on communication...


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Africa » Niger
September 19th 2005
Published: September 19th 2005
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i thought a lot about what it would be like to meet people in another laguage before i came here, and now here i am, doing it
getting to know peoples personalities and quirks and likes and dislikes IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE!
sometimes i have moments in the middle of listening to a conversation and just laugh in amazement at how it's happening that the still slightly foreign words that are accosting me are somehow getting mapped out in my head enough for me to form opinions.
i appreciate gestures and facial expressions more moremore, i feel so much more attentive to conversations cause i don't want to miss anything, it's making me learn to log names, dates, places, new words in my head so they stay there more permanently.
i am amazed at the things that get shared that i would have thought in-comprehensible for either party: riddles, jokes with punch lines in the right place! theories about imploding universes and reincarnation, deja vu(in the english sense of the french word), where and when someone will be...
and then there's the interactions in zarma, the musicians that came last night only spoke zarma and even though barke was there and translating up a storm i understood the calabash guy wanted water, and no hand gestures!
knowing a few key words is so liberating

je ne comprend pas
ay man faham
i don't understand

plus lentement
mosso-mosso
slower

bonjour
fofo
hello

ca va?
mate ni go?
how's it going?

ca va.
banni samey
fine

a bientot
tot, kala tonton
see you later

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20th September 2005

Tashi Deleg, mon amour. Be safe and happy. Sending my love from California...just over the hill from Gyatrul Rinpoche. Thanks for your journals, Lily-la. Pamela

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