Thursday, February 7, 2008

TOP 12

top twelve things people say to me daily:

What they say:
1. Bata jin Hausa!
-She doesn't hear Hausa (Hausa)
2. Fofo! Comment tu t’appelles? -Hey (Zarma) What’s your name (French)
3. Ina zahi? -How’s the heat? (Hausa)
4.Ça va?-
How’s it going? (French)
5.Bonjour! Cadeau?- Good Day! Gift? (French)
6.Bonsoir! Cadeau?- Good Evening! Gift? (French)
7.Nasara! Nasara! Cadeau?- Foreigner! Foreigner! (Hausa) Gift? (French)
8.Ina mijinki?- Where’s your husband? (Hausa)
9.Kina da aure?-
Are you married? (Hausa)
10.Dommi ba ki da namiji?-
Why don’t you have a man? (Hausa)
11.Zani Amerika tare da ki- I’m going to America together with you (Hausa)
12.Zamu da aure, ki da ni-
We are going to marry, you and me. (Hausa)

My reply:
1.Ina jin Hausa kadan kadan yanzu, sai hankuri!
I hear Hausa a little right now, have patience!

2.Fofo, Bani jin Français.- Hey, I don’t hear French.
3.Akwai.- There is.
4.Ça va bien, Ça va? -It goes well. How’s it going?
5.Bonjour, babu cadeau -Good day, there is no gift.
6.Bonsoir, babu cadeau. -Good Evening, there is no gift.
7.Babu cadeau -There is no gift.
8.Bani da namiji- I don’t have a husband
9.Bani da aure yanzu.- I’m not married now
10.Saboda ina da aiki sosai- Because I have a lot of work.
11.A’a, babu tuwo cikin Amerika.- No, there’s no (pounded millet) in America
12.To, ba ni rakumi hamsin- Ok, give me 50 camels.

I also have a story to tell you...
Today I went to the tofu lady to buy some tofu, and she isn't very nice, so it's always a fun experience. Today it was even better because she was just setting up when I got there and she was just taking her time and these two little Hausa boys came up next to me and started chatting in Hausa. I was buying tofu for a couple other people at the hostel as well, so the first comment was "tana saye arbain!" (she's buying 200 CFA worth!), and then the other little boy said "namiji ne ko mace ce?" which means..."is it a boy or is it a girl??" So, I sadly turned and looked at him and said "Ni mace ce" or "I'm a girl"... So, pretty much they couldn't tell if I was a guy or a girl and they thought I was a huge pig!
So, if you're a girl and ever visiting Niger, especially in the bush, wear a skirt and earrings and don't wear a baseball cap, because it throws them off.

July 27, 2007-1st letter home

I just got to Africa today and its very different. It doesn't feel like I'm across the ocean or on another continent, more like the begining of camp. We met some PCV's that have been here for a year andthy are all happy & love being here.
We are all staying at the Peace Corps camp tonight & tomorrow night and then Sunday we move in with our adoptive families who we'll be living with for all 3 months of training.
I don't know how much I'll like the training, but I'm excited to be sworn in and move to my village.
There are 3 groups of volunteers; the ed, municipal and health.
I'm sleeping under a mosquito net outside right now & its not too hot. We have showers & flush toilets here but won't when we move on Sunday.
We passed a bunch of villages on our way to Hamdallay for training & there are tons of cute little babies, so I'm really excited to get language over so we can actually do our jobs.
Some things I could use that I didn't bring are
coloring books, Chaco sandals
colored pencils/sharpeners
soccer balls
a head lamp
Some earings w/studs (b/c I found out we can wear them)
rubber bands-caus I lose them a lot

Traditional Costumes

Traditional Costumes
Our Adoptive mom dressed us

Me and Erin

Me and Kellie at Training facility

Pond that forms during Rainy Season

The Village