At the end of part 4, I said I’d decided to round off my world travel by visiting my colleagues in Argentina. Buenos Aires I spent the week before Thanksgiving in Buenos Aires. Finally, my spouse got to come along on one of these trips. We learned you should not arrive in Buenos Aires on a Sunday. Nothing is open. No, you can’t buy a sube (metro card) to ride the subte (metro).
Dance I’ve never been one to dance at weddings. I was fine dancing ballet as a kid because I was told the order of steps to do. And at SCA events, I’d participate in the medieval English country dance. Again, there was a sequence of steps to memorize. But improvisational dance? That was not me. I decided it was time to get out of my shell and learn how to dance without a script.
When I left off in part 2, I said I spent July circumnavigating the globe. Also, I mentioned that I had started studying Swahili. Kenya Nairobi My group of Quakers (Baltimore Yearly Meeting) is associated with both Friends General Conference (more liberal, no pastors) and Friends United Meeting (often more conservative, usually pastors). Every 3 years, FUM has their triennial. Ok, that’s obvious in the name. Anyway, the largest group of FUM Quakers is in Kenya, and it was their turn to host.
In May, I went up to Pittsburgh for Mothers’ Day weekend. My brother’s New Zealand work visa had come through, so he was saying goodbye to the family. Exam results In June, I got the notification that I had passed my DELE exam. Woot! The breakdown on scoring is a maximum of 25 points each for reading comprehension, writing skill, listening comprehension, and vocal interaction. You need 30 points total between reading and writing and again between listening and speaking.
It’s the end of December, and I’ve barely blogged this year, so I’m going to do a wrap-up for the year. 2023 was an extremely full year. There was an absolute ton of travel and a lot of being usefully bilingual. There was so much stuff that I’m splitting this into 5 parts. Belgium At the beginning of February, I went to Belgium to speak in the Elixir/Erlang track at FOSDEM.
A friend of mine (a native Spanish speaker) just started teaching one of his friends Spanish, and the first thing I said was: Explain to her that ser is essence/identity/characteristic and estar is status, and that’ll go SO much better than the “ser is permanent and estar is temporary” that makes us try to say “es muerto” and “estoy bautista” (because hey, conversion exists). Like, death is pretty permanent, but it’s still a status.