Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shout Out To Jillian!!!

So for this week, I thought I would focus on Malian foods, as advised by William (yes, I am giving him a shout out, but Jillian's shout out is special, because her shout out is in the TITLE.) The staples of Malian food are rice and millet (grains) and their plates look like this:
       Apperently, when you are done eating, you should burp. THis tells the host(ess) that the food was yummy, and you enjoyed the meal. Truth to be told I've never had African food before, so I'm a little nervous about it's taste. I know that I have to eat what I am served to not be rude, but what if I don't like it? I've found a couple of African restaurants in Seattle, and I plan to go eat there, so that I am prepared :) If anybody wants to come with, call me! Or if you know of any African restaurants, too. I don't know if I am correct or not, but it seems to me that when it comes to eating, everybody eats out of the same big pot. Sounds pretty cool, if you ask me. But I'm a big culture nerd >.< Talking about cultures, Mali is a cross roads of different cultures. Dance and Music are very important to Malians...Sounds like I'll fit it with no problem! Yeah! Another plus--the majority of the population are boys my age ;) just kidding, we're not allowed to have a relationship when studying abroad haha. Greetings are like most american greetings. there is a verbal greeting, and you shake hands (unless its male to male greeting. this is followed by putting your right hand on you chest to show respect) you should, however, bow your head if greeting an elder (again, to show respect) As for touching (of course I'm talking about touching) its common between same sex (e.g a guy touches another guy a lot --if they are friends they hold hands while walking! D'awww why can't Americans be like that?) But girls and guys don't touch each other a lot (Darn!) Malians have an indirect style of communication (so if they have a problem with you, they won't tell you to your face, they'll tell other people instead) and usually start a conversation with small talk. WARNING: NEVER EVER EVER INTERRUPT OR CONTRADICT AN ELDER THAT IS JUST PLAIN RUDE. Eye contact is a no-no, too, unless you're talking to a friend.
A good gesture to know: pursue your lips and make a "bzzz" noise. This gesture means "nothing."
Taboos: Don't point with your index finger. Instead, point with your hand. Don't use your left hand to give or recieve objects. Its rude. Don't bring your host(ess) a gift if invited to dinner. The host(ess) is expected to be able to provide their guests with everything. I hope I can remember all this!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Third Post...My Titles Are Brilliant, Right?

So I just got back from my Rock Climbing Trip, which I totally enjoyed :) The cuddles sessions were my highlight hehe :3 My excitement for Mali keeps growing and growing \(^o^)/ This is my excited face. What's even better is that the number of my supporters (lol) keeps growing. NOW I HAVE 12 STALKERS!!!! I should probably be a tad bit more concerened, but it brings such a warm feeling :P Today, I want to give a shout out to my Momma, becuase she always had faith in me, even when I got in loads and loads of trouble. My only complaint: she has not yet checked out my blog. THIS WILL CHANGE. MARK MY WORDS >:] I really can't wait to hear about our host families. I don't know when we will learn about them, but it's going to be terrific to get to know them! :D Bye for now!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Second Blog Post...I Suck At Catchy Titles :/

Sooo, remarkably, I'm keeping up with my blog. It might be from the excitement of actually having a blog. I promise to write at least once a week... or at least I promise to try xD If those of you from Seattle don't mind reminding me, I'll be your personal slave. Or something less creepy...but its the idea that counts, right? I'm really liking the shout out idea, and now, I want to give a shout out to Macey, for supporting me 250% of the way. You don't know how much I appreciate it. I'm super stoked, especially because when I come back I'll be speaking French (albeit a different dialect of it) like a PRO! :D I know at first I was bummed because I really Really REALLY wanted to go to Morocco for a year, but I've come to realize that this is for the best. For one, I've never been out of the country before. Going away for a whole year is a bit daunting. Not to mention I would miss my family and my special (oh so special) friends <3 Plus, its my senior year. I'd hate to miss prom, hehe.
Some facts about Mali. The Official name is Republique du Mali (accent egu on the first e) and their official language is French. They also speak Bambara, and the students from 2 years ago picked up some of that, so I assume I'll come back knowing a few words, too (Yeah, Languages!!! \(^o^)/ ) The capital is Bamako (that's where I will be! Hence, the URL: to Bamako and back) and the Northern border is in the middle of the Sahara desert (did you know that Sahara means desert in Arabic? That means that we Americans call it the desert desert, everybody else just calls it the Sahara. We pronounce it wrong, too. Way to go us) Anyhoo, continuing my original thought, this means that I will be in the sun Sun SUN!!!!! (Bamako is actually in the South, but I still expect to get a tan when I come back teehee)
A little bit on Kenya: Their official languages are Swahili and English, but because I am ME, the wonderful (or should I say Amazing to keep up with the list of A words?) Andrea, I have been collecting words in Swahili. Did you know that they share some words with the Arabic language? An example is the word Tafadali. In Arabic, it gives permission (to a female) and in Swahili it means please. I thought it was interesting because although these two languages use the same language, they are used in almost opposite meanings. I also know that Jambo means Hi (LIKE WAKA WAKA!!!) Maybe when I'm in Kenya I can learn the meaning to the words in the song, and perhaps I can learn the dance too ;) That would be quite nice, don't you think?
Because this post is getting VERY long, I will stop here. I promise to try my hardest at posting at least once next week, and every week after that. Au Revoir!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

First Blog Post Evah!!!

Because I am dumb, and a little bit slow, it took me a whole 15 minutes to figure out how to post a blurb. But Look! I did it :) I want to start off by giving a shout out to Emma cuz she came up with my lovely tittle, and to Jaira too, becuase now my blog has a ballin' URL :D YEAH EMMA AND JAIRA <3 Emma is my new best friend, by the way. So for those of you that do not know, I am going to Mali next year for SIX WHOLE MONTHS (haha suckas!) and I am completly and absolutely excited. On top of that, I'm doing community service in Kenya for a month too. As you can see, Africa and I are reeeaaaaal tight.
I promise to write more later!