Monday, 17 May 2010

My studies commence

No time for photos today I'm afraid. I did not sleep well last night with the sound of other students' voices, the cold, then too hot, nightmares (which are uncommon for me) and then the rooster crowing at 6am. I got only 3 hours sleep which is not that unusual but not good on top of jetlag and feeling unwell.

The sore throat I developed before my trip has not improved and my chest is feeling more and more painful. There is no access to a doctor in a nearby village for at least two days so I'll have to box on somehow but it's making sleeping, studying and enjoying myself more difficult.

The facilities here are very basic and my diet is very 'student-like' but I am working around the limitations. We visited a supermarket today to stock up on provisions and I ended up spending more than I had anticipated. That's because I discovered I needed non-food items like toilet paper, clingwrap, stuff for hand-washing my clothes, shampoo and conditioner and, horrors, a hairdryer. Twenty euros went just on that but with my long hair and not feeling well I decided not to risk getting a chill from wet hair in the cold weather. We are hoping the temperatures will go up this week because it's certainly not summer-like.

The course is interesting and certainly covers a completely new approach to language learning. I had the opportunity to participate in a French lesson at Intermediate level with two other students here who have a lot more exposure to French than I do. Happily I found I could hold my own at that level which was all in French with no English. The thing now is for me to learn how to do that for students of English.

My French got a workout at the supermarket to day. Having never done shopping in French before and not knowing product types vocabulary it took me longer than usual to find what I needed. I had to check labels carefully. I discovered I had no idea what hair conditioner was in French so I found a friendly-looking lady shopper for her advice. She seemed a bit surprised and bemused to have me ask her in French but kindly assisted without giving too much assistance. This gave me self-confidence but included some challenge in being resourceful for myself. The locals here are used to English speakers arriving in the village to study.

I have just put in a couple of hours of homework already tonight so will close and hope that tomorrow is just as good. On a positive note too, the director of the centre has kindly given me a key to the dance studio so that I can practise when I want to. It's a shame I don't feel up to it tonight, hopefully tomorrow.


Lindsay said...

I'm very much enjoying your blogs.
Reading the detail of your recent experiences is awe-inspiring.
You have travelled so far and done so much in less than a week!
Looking forward to reading your next post.

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