jumping the barrier

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first round of tests done. and I’m still alive! the weather has been AMAZING this week: cold morning runs and cool shade to study in.

this year I have a conversation partner from saudi arabia. at mc students who dont know English take a semester (or two) to learn the language before they start classes. my job is the best part! I meet with Zahra each week to help her learn english. I’ve been trying to do creative, fun things to help her learn. this week we hit up the deliciously cheap Oriental Express Chain to learn all the english (and japanese) dinner terms we could.

after dinner, we stopped by one of my favorite spots in clinton: lions park. what better way to teach english than by doing it! I tried to demonstrate how kids play on the jungle gym, but I don’t think I got the correct message across. she kept repeating “you crazy! you crazy!” and laughing.
ok, maybe she did get it.

I can’t imagine the culture shock she is in. burkas to tank tops. what does she think of us? there is a huge culture and language barrier between us. Offending her culturally is one of my fears. I’ve found myself reading pages of arabian etiquette. most of the time I have no idea what she is trying to say, which always ends with us laughing over dramatic hand gestures.

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