Today has been an absolute blast! I felt very alert and attentive today, and I learned so MUCH! Today, my brain was a sponge, and Euskera, the water that saturated it! Literally, my understanding has increased exponentially. An example of this came today in class, when we actually argued about a topic in Basque. My classmates and I carried on for quite a while about our differing opinions and it was all in Euskera. (I couldn´t have done that three weeks ago.) We also read from Berria, the Basque newspaper. And surprisingly, I was able to understand most of the article I read (with a little help from my hitztegia). Even my confidence with speaking has increased. I am able to talk with an ease that I didn´t have before. Finally, I have ¨lasai-ed¨ and it feels great.
I had this moment in class today when I just sat back and took it all in. My thoughts progressed something like this:
¨I am in a barnetegi. I am listening to people around me speak Basque…and I understand them. I am speaking Basque. Wait a minute…me? Me?! I CAN SPEAK BASQUE!!!!¨
Its funny, I guess I just didn´t realize how much I have been learning every day, and how much it helps that I am around Euskera all the time. (I still haven´t dreamt in Basque yet…but hopefully I will soon.)
I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be here now. But it´s actually happening, and I am in the throes of it. When I first started studying Basque at the university, I remember my irakaslea Nere telling our class of the possibility of one day visiting the Basque Country. Four semesters later, here I am. And it is beautiful! wonderful (zoragarria)!
In one of my earlier posts, I complained about the fact that everyone around me spoke Spanish, and that they were able to explain it to eachother but I was unable to understand. In hindsight, I almost think it´s better that I don´t understand Spanish. Euskera is all I can rely on (with the occasional help of my hitztegia of course). Today in class, one of my classmates, Isabel explained a concept to me in Euskera by circumventing the word I was trying to learn. She gave me examples and I was able to understand. It is so comforting that my classmates have so much patience. They are all very kind, and try their hardest to explain when I miss something. Being in such a safe environment helps. Everyone here understands eachother because we are all in the same boat. Though our classmates might have spent more time at Maizpide, they have been where we are. And they just get it. So my thought of the night is thank God for barnetegis. Thank God for my teachers, for Nere and my teachers at Maizpide, for my classmates, family, friends, and for the friendship of Cody and Megan, which has held me together on this trip. I couldn´t be luckier, or happier to be where I am right now.
Gaur, asko ikasten dut. Ulertzen dut ere bai! Duela bi urte, nik ez nuen ulertzen. Oso urduri nengoen. Euskera hitz egiten ez nuen nahi, beldurtuta nengoenelako. Orain, nire Euskera hobeto da eta posten naiz. Nire irakasleek esan didate, ¨Lasai, neska, pixkanaka, pixkanaka.¨ Egia da!
oraintxe, oso pozik nago! ondo pasa eta Gabon!
Mendira joan eta irrintzi bat bota, zuk dakizun bezala 🙂
Hi, how did you get started? What would you recommend?
well, lucky for me, Basque language courses are offered at my university, so that´s where I started learning Basque. Do you have any sort of program where you are? (The only two I really know of are in Boise and in Nevada…but there might be more). Also, have you heard of BOGA? It´s an online program for learning Basque. I haven´t used it much, but plan to when I return to the states. You should definitely get yourself a dictionary! It´s never too early to start learning new words–the more you know, the better!
Megan,,,,wonderful post…..sound like you have made amazing progress and enjoying every minute of it………Thank god for buckets….Ken B