With the first week of summer underway, I find myself sitting in a cozy log cabin overlooking a gurgling stream. We are on a week long family vacation at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The nature here is absolutely beautiful, and the best thing, in my opinion, is the abundance of snow up in the mountains! As we walked through the snowfields earlier today, and had a little snowball fight, I couldn’t help but think of the country where I will be in just a few weeks: Jordan! With its desert-like climate and immense heat, it will be a stark contrast from what I am seeing now, although equally picturesque.
Speaking of Jordan, I have been continuing with my Arabic studies. After returning from the day’s hike (in which my parents manifest their obsessive love for exercise and make me hike for hours on end), there is nothing better than curling up with Alif Baa and a mug of hot chocolate. My last Arabic quiz for my Mandatory Pre-Program Language Course (MPPLC) is just around the corner, but of course, my studies won’t end there. Seeing as the school year was extremely busy and I wasn’t always able to give enough time towards all of my Pre-Program Preparation, in the next three weeks, I plan to go back through the different units, review vocabulary, and continue watching Arabic videos and reading song lyrics to improve my comprehension and become more familiar with the script.
As it turns out, Colorado weather is hard to predict, and when it starts raining outside, my little brother and I resort to playing card games, especially Uno. Every time I put down a card, I have made it a point to say the number in Arabic, since counting is my universal weakness, not only in foreign languages, but also in English. As a result, even my brother has picked up how to count to ten in Arabic, and, out of habit, he even refers to the game as “Wahed”, which means “Uno”. Also, since I am perpetually singing the Arabic alphabet song, my brother has proceeded to memorize it as well, and he can now recite the entire alphabet on command (and I command him often).
Anyway, the next few weeks are going to be quite busy as I catch up on Arabic lessons, continue shopping/figuring out what I will be needing for Jordan, reading and rereading the participant guide, and enjoying my first and last weeks of summer before I go abroad!
Here’s a recording of my little brother singing the Arabic alphabet song! His pronunciation is still pretty shaky, but I will say that he’s a fast learner!