21 June 2010

Niger in the News


20 June 2010

Translation, Not As Easy As It Looks

A few weeks ago, I made peanut butter cookies for my French friend's birthday.  They were a big hit with the others at the fête and one girl asked me for the recipe.  Thinking to myself "how hard can this really be???" I agreed.

Thinking it would only take a few minutes, I sat down this afternoon to "just do it quick."  An hour and a half later and I've finally got something to show for it.  Before now I didn't realize that everyday words such as bake, stir, mix, parchment paper, cookie sheet, and fluffy are not des mots quiotidien that I've been learning here.  So, I've spent quite a bit of time with my trusty friend GoogleTranslator.

C'était Un Rêve!

They say we spend about two hours each night dreaming.  Everyone.  Even if one is not aware of it.  Some people can wake up in the morning and recant the details of each dream they had, as if they had watched a movie.  Some people experience very vivid dreams or frequently have nightmares.  But I'm quite the opposite.  I can remember scattered details of a handful of the dreams I've had in my 29 years, only two of which I'd classify as nightmares (both were under the age of six, so I assure you, if I shared them you'd laugh at my labeling them "nightmares" . . . but when you're under six, spiders coming out of the Christmas Tree and rub-on tattoos by old people in the park can be scary!).

They also say that while learning a new language, it is a significant milestone when one begins dreaming in that new language.  I had a roommate from Austria one summer who used to talk in her sleep every night.  For the first month it was always in German, until one night, as she was jabbering away in her mother tongue, she stopped, and said: "No, this is to hard!" and she continued the rest of her dream in English!

19 June 2010

Des Bonnes Nouvelles!

I am happy to report that after my exams yesterday morning, I was able to return to the bank to get my debit card back . . . and it went smoothly and without hassle or event!  When I arrived at the bank, there was a long line, but the woman recognized and sent me immediately to the back, and even asked how I did on the exams!  All I had to do was present my passport and sign my name . . . and voila, my card was back in my hands.

And to top off the least hassle-ful day of the week, I went with three other classmates to a little restaurant tucked into an out of the way corner of Paris and ate kangaroo!  It was YUMMY!  Served with all types of stewed veggies . . . it was great!  The place was called Kiwizine . . . and was the perfect end to a roller coaster of a week.

17 June 2010

C'est Ma Vie

There's an expression in French, c'est la vie (that's life).  But I really believe some of the things that happen to me don't really happen to every one.  It's just not possible!!  For surely if the misadventures that find me happened to everyone, there would be an uprising and things would change.  Me . . . I just get that gut wrenching I-think-I'm-going-to-be-sick feeling and then laugh about it for a while (cause I learned a long time ago, it's way more fun to laugh than cry!)

15 June 2010

Not Same Thing

I just got back from the préfecture.  I had some paperwork to take care of, but the office I needed is not opened on Wednesdays (the day we don't have classes) so I missed my afternoon class to make the hour's journey by bus and trains to Évry.  Over the past few weeks I've been painstakingly filling out forms and photocopying documents to make sure I have everything they have asked for and everything they might possibly decide they want when I walk into the office.

Upon arrival at 1:37pm I found that the department I needed was only opened until noon (looks like I'll be missing class Thursday morning).  But since I was there I had a question about another set of documents that I have to send by mail.  I waited in line for half an hour only to receive attitude and sarcasm from the woman behind the desk.  She was so incredibly patronizing that I got really flustered and could barely speak in French.  I sounded something like this:

11 June 2010

Hey, You Asked.

That's right.  Over there in the left hand column is a little box that allows anyone to ask me anything.  There have been some interesting questions.  Feel free to leave more.

Can you train to be a pta in the states and then work in France?
Good question.

Step 1: do some research and found out if PTA exists in France. There are PT's (here they are called kinésiothérapeutes) in France . . . lots of them. But I have not heard anything about PTA's or OTA's or PA's.

03 June 2010

Bien Que + Subjonctif

So it's Thursday night, and the week has already had it's fair share of defeats and victories.  Some of you will remember my breakdown a couple of Tuesdays back.  Well, I'm happy to report that this Tuesday's wasn't quite as bad (at least I was able to contain the tears to just in the classroom).

We were working on concessions . . . you know, words like however, yet, even though, and nevertheless.  So my prof wanted us to do an oral exercise that started with making two lists: 1. List all the reasons you should have stayed home.  2. List all the really hard things about where you will be living in Africa.