French, Independent Study, Dinner Parties

The majority of my life is taken up with French right now, which makes for boring blogging. (I can now use the past and future tenses! I know how to talk about the weather! Riveting, I know.)

However, enough interesting things have piled up, that it may be time to talk about them.

#1: French: There’s not much to say here, but the more I study it, the more I love French. I still have a great deal of trouble understanding spoken French (regardless of accent, though apparently a Congolese accent is one I have particular trouble with), but my ability to read and speak both is increasing dramatically. I’ve even begun writing short stories in French. (Little, childish, stupid ones. But stories none the less.) It’s amazing how much faster I am learning this than any other language I’ve studied. Part of it is the instructors; part of it is the intensity (5+ hours/day!); and part of it is that I have a much better grasp on the structures of language in general. (For instance, it’s nice that I don’t have to learn all over again what the hell the “imperfective” means.) I’m on track in my studies, and I feel good about this.

#2: Independent Study: This week, as many of my classmates are on vacation (along with many of our teachers!), we are on “independent study.” I still have to go to the office and sign in and out, and this bothered me at first. However, now, I am absolutely grateful for this opportunity. It has allowed me to work on exactly what I wanted to, and I have actually (I think) managed to get rather ahead of where I was. I’m looking forward to having a teacher again next week, so I can practice and make sure that I did things properly. But it’s been fun!

#3: Dinner Party: The Teacher and I both love cooking (and eating), and we had been meaning to have a dinner party for some time. As some friends of ours were heading off to post soon, we finally had one! I made roast pork and a crepe cake with duxelles, and she made a kale salad and fresh bread. Others brought dessert and wine. It was fantastic, and we plan to do it again soon. The only picture we have is of the loaf of challah she made.

#4: Cooking Experiments: I tried to make an ancient recipe for a precursor to eggnog. I messed it up, but salvaged it by making a spiced sherry custard, which was tasty. At the Teacher’s urging, I’ve also purchased a (cheap) beer-making kit to try out. We shall see how this turns out.

#5: Dancing: We went waltzing at the French Embassy! Well, technically La Maison Francaise, but it’s on the embassy compound.,It was FANTASTIC! (No pictures, sadly, because they didn’t come out. It was really dark that night.)  We plan on more dancing in the near future.

#6: Holidays: Due to the restrictions imposed by our acceptance of State housing, we were unable to go home for the holidays this year. In college, it would happen often that I would miss Christmas with my family, or Thanksgiving, but missing them this year left me quite a bit sadder than I expected. I think it has a lot to do with the knowledge that the next two will be spent in Togo. However, we now have our fake tree to take to Togo with us. I know that fake trees are not environmentally friendly, but I don’t want to imagine trying to use a palm tree for a Christmas tree next year. Though, to be honest, it’ll be weird having Christmas here:

In other news, the Teacher and I gave each other Kindles for Solstice. I have promptly put an insane amount of ancient fantasy and a bit of sci-fi on mine, and I’m actually reading again, which is fantastic. (I will not comment on the actual quality of what I’m reading, but still.)

#7: Lomé: I finally have my official email saying that we’re going to Lomé! This now means more work I need to do, but it’s exciting. I’ve also contacted my predecessor, and he’s begun filling me in on what the work there is about, and what I’ll do. It’s still 8 MONTHS away, but it’s getting closer and closer!

#8: Question for anyone who actually reads this: I used to blog about people who make writing/editing/PR mistakes, in an attempt to drum up business. Now that I’m no longer freelancing, this is now more of a personal blog. Part of me really liked writing about the other people’s mistakes, and it might give me more motivation to update this thing. Does anyone have an actual preference for what goes up here? Or is this just me rambling anyway? I’m be curious as to what you all think.

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2 responses to “French, Independent Study, Dinner Parties

  1. Felicitations pour ton poste a Lome, David. Et bonne continuation avec la langue, quand t’arrives la bas tu amelioreras rapidement. Tu as goute la cuisine du Togo a la fete?

  2. Je ne mangeais pas la cuisine togolaise, mais je veux.

    Et, merci beaucoup!