Monday, March 31, 2008

For it's root, root, root for the Cubbies!

'So what if it's supposed to be 65 degrees with thunderstorms in Chicago today? So what if the future ownership of this franchise is still up in the air? Who cares of Ryan Theriot is our leadoff hitter? We can worry about all of that again tomorrow. Today is Opening Day! And all is right with the world.' (from 'A League of Her Own')

Harry would have been so happy today!
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. -Henry Van Dyke

If you are reading this, stop immediately and go outside!!!! Who ordered this weather?!?! It's gorgeous!! I stood outside facing the sun with my eyes closed just soaking it all in...until people started to stare at me. I remember reading once 'you know you live in Utah if...' It was a long list of things that are peculiar to us 'Utahrns'. One said, "if you think 20* is 'a little chilly'". I am not one of these people. I think 20 is freezing...BELOW FREEZING actually! I HATE being cold. By about mid-January I am officially done with winter. Tomorrow at precisely 5:48 marks the vernal equinox and the official start of spring. Everyone, say hasta luego to our last day of winter!! It's a great day...there is a baby chickadee outside my window, the sky is blue, and I don't have to put on my annuraaq to go outside!! Welcome back spring!!

No, I didn't take this picture...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Aprendamos Kirundi!!

Some days I really love my job. At school we've enrolled 35 refugees from Africa and Asia in the last 5 months. Sialeo is one of the 6 kindergarten-2nd graders that I get to work with every day. She's beautiful and smart, she loves to laugh, and she has the coolest hair of anyone I know! Thursday Sialeo was "sick" (I think not.) So while we waited...all day...for her mom to come and get her, I decided it was time I learned some Kirundi. You would be surprised that for a language 6 million people speak, the limited amount of resources actually available. After some hard searching I found a twelve page guide to words and Spanish. I'm not sure how many Burundi refugees are moving to Latin America, but it must be a few because a Spanish-Kirundi guide was the only one this umuzungukazi (mujer blanca....white woman) could find. So I printed it off, took a deep breath, and sat down next to Sialeo to see if I could learn some Kirundi.

We covered everything..."Saludos, y prases mas usuales" (expressions and typical phrases), "En casa, clase o la oficina" (In the home, classroom, or office), "En la mesa" (On the table), "Comida" (food), "Personas y animales" (people and animals), and "Numberos. Los dias de la semana y el tiempo" (numbers. the days of the week and the time). Sialeo was a great teacher, she'd repeat words when my mouth couldn't quite get it out, and when I'd finally get one right she'd laugh and say "Yes, good job teacher!" Sialeo is amazing. She's only been in this country for 5 months and she knew the English word for almost everything I tried to say in Kirundi. I don't think she knew the English words for the phrase 'white woman', because when I said 'umuzungukazi', she pointed at me and said, "YES! YOU!" Enough are some pictures....

Umukobwa mwiza! Beautiful Girl!

I'm just not getting it....

Still not getting it....

Learning 'umugenzi'...friend.

Sialeo's first picture with a digital camera. When she looked down she freaked out because she thought she took my head off, so she looked up at me really fast to make sure that all of it was still there...