Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ana btitkum Arabi shuaya shuaya

I've had a busy week--finally! Two hours a day of Arabic lessons doesn't sound like much but I guarantee it is way more than you would think!!! We speak Arabic most of the time and have a big paper to write down all of the new vocab words for the day. At the end of the lesson, my teacher records all the new words I learned. Then I go home and transcribe the words into my Arabic notebook and listen to them over and over until I have them memorized. On top of this, I have homework. It usually involves writing sentences or paragraphs in Arabic (keep in mind, I don't know the alphabet and can't recognize words, but I have all the words I've learned written down). Today, I also have to buy a newspaper and look for the 4 letters of the alphabet I have learned so far.

I really love my tutor and my classes, which is surprising because I've never liked school. It's a really rewarding pursuit because I can immediately practice all the new things I learned. The grammer structure, new sounds that aren't in English, and the major lack of vowels in words confuses me somewhat, but I figure it'll all work out.

I had my first chance to practice my Arabic for an extended amount of time yesterday. I spent the day with my Arab family. I met up with my brothers and sister to see a movie. (Have I mentioned the movies yet? You have assigned seating, everyone talks through the movie, and there is a random intermission at some point during the movie.) After that, my roommate Amy and I took them to Cinnabun for some American food. I personally, am not a huge fan of Cinnabun but they seemed to enjoy it.

We took a microbus (i.e. a decrepit mini-van) to their house and I got to visit my mama and baba. She fed us Fetta which of course is amazing, but I have no idea what it is. She also brought a plate of meat and I asked, "What kind of meat is this?" They replied "Buffalo." "What? We're eaing buffalo? I wouldn't think there would be buffalos in this part of the world. Buffalo like this..." then I used my hands to make horns and acted out a buffalo. They replied, "Yes buffalo, like cow." Ahhhh, there's the problem. We're eating cow--not buffalo. We finished off the meal with peaches, pears, tea, 7-up, and cookies I brought. Everyone kept coming up to me and saying, "Sarah, you must eat more! Eat more!" Fortunately, I am becoming more and more skilled at either giving the impression that I'm packing it in when I'm actually not, or at declining more food.

Then, we just spent the evening together. I love this family dearly! Over and over they tell me, "We are your family Sarah. If you need anything at all, we will help you. We love you Sarah! YOu light up our house." Isn't that wonderful? They invited us to spend the night, but we didn't last night, though I plan to sometime soon.

Amy and I will go back over there on Sunday to celebrate the first day of Ramadan with them. They told us we must fast and break the fast with them. I'm really looking forward to experiencing it. Plus, it's really an honor that they've invited us for the first day of Ramadan, which is one of the most exciting!

Well, I'm off to some exciting adventures today--like asking someone what time it is in Arabic...and then trying to understand their answer!

1 comment:

Liana said...

I don't have enough to write about to update my blog more often. sorry! You don't need to check it every day, cause I am lucky to update it once a week! :) love you. hopefully i can get your stuff to kristin!