One of the most common questions before leaving for MTI was “what will you be studying for four weeks?”
So, two weeks in, my answer is a lot of prep for language acquisition and how to go about it in intelligent ways in Kenya. How many of us have had the experience of spending years studying a language in high school and not being able to understand or speak much? I certainly found that the case with Spanish. Well, Haley and I have about 3 months when we get to Kenya to try to do better than that.
As Haley mentioned last week, we both got to get a test run with three sessions of a foreign language – Mandarin for Haley and Russian for me. While neither of us are fluent after the ~7 hrs of practice, we do think learning a good amount in Kenya will be doable if we put our minds to it.
In addition to those language sessions, we also learned how to beat box, I mean how to make non-American sounds. Some are easier than others, but even if I can’t do it, at least I can kind of understand what the Brits, Northeasterners, and Southerners are doing when they start making “funny” sounds around me.
Other than prep for language acquisition, we have started to hit on identifying cultural differences. Today we had an exercise where people acted in ways according to their “example” culture when inviting other “example” cultures. Please, don’t ask me to move to a culture with “exuberant” personalities.
Oh… and this week I worked to prove that math was indeed more akin to a language than history.