Kpalimé / Mountain / Spirit

Listen… I have become unstuck in time. It was, in fact, a dark and stormy night in the forests of southern Togo, just after M. and I checked into our lodge. As I lay in bed, my mind fell in and out of sleep, not quite approaching rest and not quite relapsing into reality. The… Continue reading Kpalimé / Mountain / Spirit

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Categorized as Togo

A Beginner’s Resource Guide to Less Commonly Taught Languages

In my various attempts at trying to acquire less commonly taught languages (LCTLs), one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is knowing where and how to find the resources to begin. If you’re looking to learn an LCTL but don’t know where to start, this page is for you. The National Council of Less Commonly… Continue reading A Beginner’s Resource Guide to Less Commonly Taught Languages

Doing the Distance DELTA: My Yearlong Journey to Power-Up my Teaching Practice

I haven’t had much time to write here recently, and part of that is due to the Distance DELTA. Just this past month, I’ve gone to the moon and back with teacher development. I video-recorded three of my lessons for feedback from a teacher trainer; submitted detailed lesson plans including aims, objectives, and assessments; wrote… Continue reading Doing the Distance DELTA: My Yearlong Journey to Power-Up my Teaching Practice

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)