Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I have never been fully immerised in learning a new language. I have never NEEDED to learn a language. I have traveled quite a bit and always picked up a few words from where I travel for fun, not for survival. I go to my permant site on Friday after being sworn in on Thursday. I'm pretty excited but I have to prepare myself, because NO ONE speaks English in my village. Not even my counterpart who is an English Teacher. They speak German and Russian. I got frustrated when I visited there before because I have a hard enough time understanding anything anyone says and when I was out there if they realized that I understood what they were saying about me they switched to German. No that isn't really fair! I'm working my ass(sorry mom) off to understand basic Russian and if I understand they switch it on me. We just finished our language tests. The other girl in ym village scored the highest of anyone ever has and I did, alright. If she hadn't set the bar so high I would have said I did well even. With all of our work we still make mistakes. It is this willingness to laugh at the mistakes that has made it so Lydia and I ahve gotten better than some other people. For instance: Just the other day Lydia looked terrified at her host father thinking he said that he was going to cook the dogs. When in reality he said he was cooking FOR the dogs. Lydia's family is still laughing about that one.Here you ahve to get creative when refusing booze, so when a woman asked me the other day if I would like a beer I said, "No, I don't like to drink when I shower." I was trying to say when it "rains". Rain and shower are very similiar words.The one I still get picked on happened a while ago. I was trying to use my new word of the day "always". I tried to tell Mama Saltanat that "The food she cooks is always delicous." The problem is I didn't think the sentence out before I started to say it, so I said, "Mama Saltanat is always Delicous." I knew what I said Lydia knew what I said and Mama Saltanat knew what I said. I hoped that if I didn't move or breathe no one would notice, but it was too late. So, I stuck with what I said and repeated it, "yes, Mama Salatanat is always Delicous."