This first week of English classes and language studies is going well. The first few afternoons as soon as we got back to the apartment Chris and I both would pass out and nap for an hour or two before we begin to study. I had never thought that something as simple as talking and listening could be so exhausting! The body has begun to be accustomed to the mental workload that it now has, gradually over the past few days I have been more productive with my evenings.
In the class setting, I have the privilege of starting from the ground up with a student, he has the same grasp on English that I have on Somali. So, in the sessions that I have in the afternoon language learning sessions I have been prompted to model the English class in the same manner. This looks to be a promising way of teaching. I think that to see someone who has just moved from their home country, immediately want to grab ahold of and learn a new language to be awesome. The guy I am helping learned the alphabet yesterday, and today we went over a bit of what primary sound each letter makes.
Today, which is Wednesday, we had the opportunity to leave the English center after our lessons and walk through a bit of Mayfair. This was an awesome experience. There are butcher shops, spice markets, curtain shops, roadside food vendors and open-air shwarma and Indian “restaurants”. Crowded streets with all sorts of vehicles and people jockeying for space in the traffic. Horns and shouts were flying everywhere! Unlike in other cities that I have been in there were no overpowering smells of garbage and the like, in their place were the smells of the spice shops and the outdoor grills. We could smell the meat cooking a block away from the shops and the smells were enough to feel the need to go into every place that we passed.
We eventually made it to an open air mall/market. This place was kind of like a mall (more or less) and a lot like a multi-level market. Since we were there, of course we had to look the place over, and stop to get a bite to eat. Samosas were the choice for today’s street dining, they are fried triangular pastries filled with a type of curry/masala. They were tasty, some odd but still good. I think that I described one of them to Chris as “taking a really delicious bite of sweaty armpit, that tastes like steak in less than a second!”. While they were great I think I’ll stay with the chicken ones for a while!
Also while out in the markets we stopped at some spice stalls, and for anyone familiar with purchasing spices, you will understand the deals that I got in buying street spices. For under a dollar U.S. I purchased zip-lock sized bags of ground chili, cayenne, and other spices. In the States each of those would have ran 5-15$.
I think that the next time we go to buy meat that we’ll try out a really nice Halaal meat market that is just a block away from the ESL center. Getting the opportunity to get out and mingle with the community where we are working is really nice for us, in being able to better understand the culture and beliefs of the differing peoples that make up the community as well as getting the community used to seeing these two white guys from the U.S. Having the call to pr@yer during the middle of language learning keeps us aware of where we are. A person would have to drive several miles to find a BLT!
So far there have been no chances to take photos of the places where we are teaching, or of the area that we have been walking the streets. Taking random pictures at this stage will look suspicious and may close doors for us that would otherwise be open for now.
Thank you for all the pr@yers and support,