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Showing posts from October, 2015

A Trip to Kenya

If I've been a bit silent on my blog, it's because I've been incredibly busy.  I attended a conference in Kenya, but the week before leaving was crazy with trying to get ready and tying up a lot of loose ends here.

I left for Kenya on Saturday, October 10.  We kept checking FlightAware for my flight and it wasn't showing at all.  We'd heard from other friends who had recently traveled Ethiopian Airways about flights leaving earlier or later than expected.  Later didn't bother me, but I sure didn't want to miss a flight that was leaving earlier than expected!  When I got to the airport, I told John not to leave until I texted him that I'd gotten checked in.  When I got to the check-in desk another passenger was yelling about canceling his flight, so I still wasn't 100% sure that the flight was going to work out.  But it turns out everything was on time and the flight itself went well. 

 Except when the bathroom door in the plane wouldn't open and I…

My First Job(s)

Linking up with Momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesday...First Jobs

When I was in 8th grade my family moved to Syracuse, NY and my dad went back to school to get his Masters in Journalism.  He got a small two-bedroom apartment in married students' housing.  My sister and I shared a very small bedroom and when my brother came home from college for Christmas he slept on the pull-out couch in the living room.  The great thing, though, about living in married student housing was that almost all the other families had little kids.  And little kids need baby-sitters.  Our apartment block had eight apartments and it faced another building of eight apartments.  My parents would only let us babysit in those two blocks, but that gave us a job many weekends.  That was when I learned to not read stories about Jack the Ripper late at night when you're alone in an apartment responsible for somebody else's kids!  This is a picture of our family when we lived in Syracuse.  It's not gr…

When French Isn't Always What You Expect

One of the adjustments new arrivals face is that even though they've had a year of immersion French language study, many still struggle to understand French when they arrive in Niger.  There are several reasons for this.

First, a year of French gives you a good solid foundation, but it isn't enough for you to become fluent.  French is a fairly difficult language to learn.

Secondly, just like English spoken around the world, there are many different French accents.  So if you studied in Paris and got used to a Parisian accent, the West African accent might be difficult to understand just as an American might have a difficult time understanding the accent of an Australian.  It's the same language and the same sentence structure, but the accent is very different.

Thirdly, and perhaps the one that takes the longest to figure out, is that words and phrases can have a totally different meaning here than they did in France or in Quebec.  It's much like soft drinks are called &qu…