So, I sent Pat to get a loaf of bread for breakfast -- only I didn't send him to the big grocery store down the street where everything is easy to grab. I sent him to the little convenience stand in our complex where you basically have to talk to the worker, or point as I expected would be the case.
Two American girls walk into a bazaar... The bazaars in Bishkek are always fun to shop at, but they are even more interesting because of the trilingual conversations Erica and I often had there. Read on about the Kyrgyz-Russian-English convos in this post.
Learning or relearning a language is like a roller coaster. I'm up and then I'm down... and it sometimes isn't easy to see the light! This past week has been especially hard, but I'm back and ready to smash my final week here in Bishkek.
I have studied many languages now in my time, but I have yet to master any of them. Latin in high school was not about speaking. Italian was learned in college, but I was never good at conversing. Spanish in Guatemala was a small triumph when I found myself booking tours and arguing with people without thinking too hard by the end of it. But Russian...
Communication issues are just an everyday part of travel to countries that don't speak English. There are some moments, some days when you may not want to deal with it. Or, you just might want to be extra, extra, extra sure your meal doesn't come with meat. Whatever it is, you now have a tool that can help you communicate your desires and needs without words!!
With language lessons, I was forced to be introduced to a culture each and everyday. Our teachers would take us out to excursions, and share their family dishes. It was easy because it was part of the program, so that meant there wasn’t any awkward breaking the ice that would come with finding randoms on the street.
For seven long weeks I lasted as a regular in the Kyrgyz family. Somehow, now when I think back, I don’t know how I did it.
Some days were more trying than others. As a complete newbie to Russian, I quickly realized just how much brain power I expended at my lessons constantly thinking, translating and deciphering all day… Read more
When a language is just so different from your native tongue, the best thing you can do is to forget about any preconceived notions you have about language structure and just attempt to learn it like a child.
I learned my lesson the hard way – by spending countless portions of class time hounding my poor teachers as to why… Read more
I apologize for the delay in new posts. I’ve had every intention of posting updates, but whenever I thought about it, I was just too tired. Brooke has been super busy! I almost didn’t have time to remind myself to breathe, which is pretty scary, but let’s just say I’ve been busy for a reason. In the process, this is… Read more