Fieldnote #2: When a Pokémon Master knows 17th-Century French Literature

I’ve recently been playing through the French version of Pokemon Omega Ruby for Nintendo 3DS— partly for the nostalgia/escapism, but also as a means to improving my French reading.  For those who aren’t familiar, there’s a place called Maison de Combat (“Battle Maison” in the English version, strangely enough), where you can enter 20-round tournaments… Continue reading Fieldnote #2: When a Pokémon Master knows 17th-Century French Literature

To Buenos Aires

Te echo de menos, Amor de Verano— Even if I struggle to speak of three days  We spent in love strolling across  Summer afternoons in Italy and France  In t-shirts and gym shorts, still I  Whisper your name beneath blankets  Of strangers. We lay on the grass behind Gardens of roses and flowers of metal,… Continue reading To Buenos Aires

Fieldnote #1: On the French verb ”arriver” + the creative life

In French, the verb arriver can describe both a physical arrival as well as a figurative one. For a long time, I’ve wanted to experience both of these feelings in my travel and creative life. “Je suis arrivé à écrire une histoire”: I’ve managed/succeeded to write a story. This is something I had always dreamt… Continue reading Fieldnote #1: On the French verb ”arriver” + the creative life

Linguacultural Lessons from the Jula of Odienné: Exploring Côte d’Ivoire’s Northwest

Lesson #1: I jatigi ye jɔn ye? Who is your host? There were two major reasons I traveled to the north, and neither of them involved getting stranded in a dirt field.  As I looked down at my map, I realized I had miscalculated. Odienné’s tiny airport was about an hour’s walk to the city… Continue reading Linguacultural Lessons from the Jula of Odienné: Exploring Côte d’Ivoire’s Northwest

How to Learn Nouchi like an Ivorian

“Le bon wé pour caler son djê” (the right way to get your money)

On dit quoi? At first glance, Côte d’Ivoire’s colorful argot can be difficult to decipher. Some call it a dialect, some call it a creole, while others may consider it a completely different language. No matter which way you see it, you’ll certainly hear it spoken in Abidjan and many other parts of the country.… Continue reading How to Learn Nouchi like an Ivorian

That One Time I Got Arrested in West Africa (and my first experiences of culture shock)

I. Silence Speaks Louder than Words It is 2AM and I am sitting barefoot in a white plastic chair. Behind me, two men, armed with shotguns, tower in silence. An old man sits across from me. He stares at my face, then at the items on the table, and then he stares back at me… Continue reading That One Time I Got Arrested in West Africa (and my first experiences of culture shock)

The 5 Principles for Learning a Language Effectively

“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Original French (right), Bamanakan translation (left)

How do you learn a language effectively? Language learning is one of my greatest passions in life. Up to this point, I’ve studied 13 languages, and I’ve used two of them at a high communicative level. Even though I can’t claim near-native fluency in any of them (yet), I’m happy to say that learning a… Continue reading The 5 Principles for Learning a Language Effectively

My 2021-2022 Individualized Development Plan (IDP): Mid-term Update

Quartier France, Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire

There were a lot of reasons why I didn’t want to start a blog, and a lot of those reasons had to do with fear. I was afraid that my ideas or experiences would be attacked. I was afraid of putting in all of the work for very little in return. I was afraid that… Continue reading My 2021-2022 Individualized Development Plan (IDP): Mid-term Update