Monday, September 13, 2010

Learning and Misadventures of Late

Gilles just taught me an amusing Flemish game called Finger (Vinger).  Two people stand facing each other and each points with both their hands at the other person. You take turns touching each other’s fingers with one hand at a time. When you touch the other person’s finger, they add the total number of  fingers together and then they have to put out that many fingers on that hand. When you get to 5, you ‘lose’ that hand and it goes behind your back. You can take a turn to clap your hands and bring back a hand, but you divide the number of fingers you have between your two hands. The object is to make the other person lose both their hands. Good fun. I think I’m addicted.
I also learned why the two species of Rhinos are called white and black, even though they are obviously not white or black. Jean-Pierre told me that it is because when the English heard the Dutch-speaking Afrikaaners in South Africa describing the White Rhino, who has a wide mouth for grazing, they heard ‘white’ instead of ‘wide’. And thus, the brilliant English decided that the other type of Rhino (with a pointed mouth for browsing) must be black. Ha. I always wondered about that…
This weekend I helped set up for an event for Greyhounds in Nood. Every year they have about 5 dog walks with ‘barbecues’ for fundraisers. (I put the ‘barbecues’ in quotes because it’s more of a banquet; barbecues here are much bigger and well-provisioned than in the US). I helped set up tables and package items for a sort of raffle Saturday, and Sunday after church we all went and enjoyed grilled bacon (SO AMAZING---nothing like bacon here), grilled ham, three types of sausages, couscous, three types of salad, bread, pineapple, tomatoes, and more things that I didn’t have room to try. We then went for a short jaunt with Touchtou and Piout and enjoyed the felicitous sunshine.
I have survived two hurdles that I had been dreading: PE class and the eventuality of getting lost all by myself without a cell phone. And both in the same day, nonetheless. I managed not to get left behind when we ran around the locality for PE---I was so worried I would get abandoned out in the countryside with no idea where I was! But after school I managed to get turned around on my way back from the bank, and take several wrong turns before I retraced my steps, found the school, and made it home. Boy, was I tired when I got home!
I am feeling much more comfortable and confident at school. They have decided to keep us in three classes of 18, fortunately. The schedule is still a little goofy, but I don’t have to worry about getting lost anymore. I was supposed to give a presentation today in English, but there was a fluke in the schedule and we only had 5 people in the class. I wore my obnoxiously-glorious bright yellow Alaska Grown shirt with the presentation in mind, but instead I just ended up looking exceedingly bright and very American all day. Take note, all Alaskan fashionistas: AK grown is coolest in the US. Not so much in Europe. I think I will wear something else when I give the presentation next week. 

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