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Showing posts from May, 2016

In Kampala!

After months of preparation, not to mention the past year of academic study, I'm finally in Kampala.

I've been here three days now and it has been such a rush just to have the grasp of Luganda that I do. To understand signs, to pick up parts of conversations, to surprise people by responding to questions in Luganda - it's been so exciting.

I've been very much reminded of the conversation we had in class about the low expectations people frequently have for foreigners to communicate using even a little bit of the language. I've greeted a number of people using just basic Luganda and been met with "oh! She's speaks Luganda!" One of my favorite moments was telling a bodaboda driver that we did not want a bodaboda, and he repeated what I said in surprise ("Tetwaagala bodaboda!") and then looked at me with some admiration and said "Omanyi Luganda." (You know Luganda.) And then he drove away laughing to himself.

So far I've been prett…

counter to my nature

Last week I wrote a bit about how I have figured out how to use my personality quirks to my advantage in language learning. This week, I realized that sometimes I actively have to work counter to my personality in order to make progress in independent language learning.
You see, as my classmates can certainly attest to by now, I am an extravert. A really-extreme-on-the-continuum kind of extravert. I wither without human contact, and I seek out company at all times. Being around people gives me energy, and I have designed much of my life in such a way that I can take advantage of this.
However, as with anything, there are drawbacks. Because I prize time spent with people so much, I will oftentimes choose to go along with whatever the group is doing rather than prioritize my own needs. A major example of this in my life is photography. I’ve long said I’d be a better photographer if I was less interested in spending time with whatever group of people I happen to be near. A photographer o…