I had the worst day - until I got back to my apartment. I walked out of the elevator and before I could even get to my door, I was handed a bag of meat by my Arab neighbors. Yes, a BAG of MEAT. I stared at it, and said, "Thank you, but why?" They … Continue reading The Bag of Meat: A Story
I took the most WONDERFUL trip this weekend. Impulsive, unexpected, rewarding. I woke up on Friday morning determined to get out of Suli. It had been 2 weeks since I'd gone anywhere, and the longer I go without travelling, the more I get stuck in a complacent rut. So I went to the bus terminal, … Continue reading Halabja
You should read this article. It's about how accents are frequently mocked in mainstream, "white" America. And it's something that's been on my mind here. I work in a school where I'm one of 5 Americans. I work with Kiwis, a Canadian, some Brits, a ton of Kurds, a ton of Iraqis, and a ton … Continue reading Accents
My students have made a new song. It's really simple, ready to learn? It goes: "Miss Rachel aql e!" And repeat. "Aql" is an adjective that roughly translates to "well-behaved." It's what adults tell children when they're being good. Like saying, "good girl," or something. Anyway, I gave my kids a talking-to in Kurdish the … Continue reading Kindergarten Moment of the Day – Aql
I've been communicating with a few farms in Nicaragua this week, and today I got a really exciting email from one of them. I was in the staff room and I started doing a happy dance. A few teachers asked me what was up. Ms. Lata (my TA) was there and she gave me this … Continue reading MashAllah!
Pronunciation key: ê: "e" as in met e: "uh" as in hut y: "ee" as in meet a: "ah" as in park o: "oh" as in boat SAYM KIRDN - TO STUDY (literally, "to do effort." Saiy = effort, Kirdn = to do) PRESENT TENSE mn sayakam: I study to sayakayt: You study ew … Continue reading Another Verb
Pronunciation key: ê: "e" as in met e: "uh" as in hut y: "ee" as in meet a: "ah" as in park o: "oh" as in boat kh: an aspirated k KHWARDN: TO EAT PRESENT TENSE: mn akhom: I eat tô akhoyt: you eat ew akhoa: he/she/it eats ema akhoyn: we eat ewa akhon: … Continue reading A Verb
Some things I learned in my Kurdish lesson this evening. Pronunciation key: ê: "e" as in met e: "uh" as in hut y: "ee" as in meet a: "ah" as in park Sentence #1: Kurdish: Pêwystm pêt hêye. Literal translation: (the) need to me of you there is. Acceptable English: I need you. Sentence #2: Kurdish: Pêwystm be seyareyek heye … Continue reading Grammar & Syntax
Bought the cuuuutest book in the bazaar today. It's called "Cheeroki Paneerek" - A Story of Cheese. I also bought two dictionaries today, English-Kurdish and Kurdish-English. Let's get to translating! It's like being back in Ancient Greek class. Except now I get to use the words I learn in actual conversation.
Kurdish Funny #1: I got into a taxi last night and I wasn't in the mood to chat, so when the driver started speaking in broken English, I said, "Afw, kaka, Inglyzy nazanm." (Sorry, sir, I don't know English.) "Oh," he said, "Xalky kweyt?" (Where are you from?) "Espani," (Spain) I replied. There were 10 … Continue reading Kurdish Funnies