Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Today I'm 4 years old

I am now capable of tying my own shoes in portguese.

I am the only American in my portuguese for international students class. Today I sat in between a woman from Iran and a man from Germany. I suppose the class name is a bit deceptive. Most people in the class are not students and do not plan on studying at UFPE. There is a mother from Argentina who speaks wonderful spanish, but her children are now in school and speak portuguese... she wants to learn to speak with them in the language of their instructors and peers. The woman from Iran is married to a masters student at UFPE and is only learning portuguese because he asked her to. She likes me because she want to live in the US and likes to practice her english with me.

I'm hesitant to practice english with other students. Why? Because, it delays my progress in Portuguese. However, Sara (Iranian) is different. She bring an opinion to my table that is so far removed from my sense of normallcy that I must interact with her to learn more. The big thing that got me is when she said to a group of students (including me) that "Osama Bin Laden is not a terrorist." Sara is definatly not in favor of violence or acts of terror, and has no ill will towards the US. In fact, it is her dream to live in the US, and that's why she and her husband are living in Brasil. She told me it is forbidden for Iranian citizens to travel from Iran to the US. However, once you travel to Brasil (or any other country that's not Iran)... getting into the US is much easier. I do not know, but I am under the impression a US citizen travelling to Iran is nearly as difficult. I don't feel the need to travel to Iran, so for now I will ask Sara questions about her worldview and just listen. I will wait some time before I start agreeing or disagreeing about anything. All I know now is... somebody is wrong! I don't like W... I don't agree with most of our governmetn's involvment outside of the US... but I also am pretty sure the Osama Bin Laden is a terrorist (I think Bush might be as well).

So while, I'm helping Sara with her english. I'm also going to help Andre (german man) with his portuguese. While mine isn't good, it's about a thousand times better than his. Also, german is his only language, so he can't communicate with the teacher at all. What do I get out of it? Answer: I have this problem... in my mind I have english and not english. when I first got to Brazil and tried to figure out how to say something, German would come to mind first...then it turned into Deutscheguese (a pidgin tongue spoken only by a few people, and understood by none) today I tried to remember som german and only remembered Portuguese. To help Andre with portuguese I will have to create a mental partition between the two.

Anyway... not too much exciting right now. Really it's all very exciting, but only for me.

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