Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bloggers' Block

Hmm… Long time between drinks. Few half backed excuses – the most recent being that I have had bloggers’ block, something which can only be overcome by writing about it.

Prior to suffering the blockage, first I was sick (I was out of commission for about two weeks with a flu/cold combo which left me energyless, exhausted and braindead). Luckily I had accrued enough flextime to get to work late and leave early. Am better now.

Then came the intervention. I had to organise interpreters for many of the community visits which was quite stressful, and filled with many hiccoughs. The stress left me functioning at a bare minimum when I got home, and it was all I could to do lift the remote, turn on the TV and vegetate. A pretty poor excuse for not keeping in touch as much as I’ve been meaning to, but I think I was still getting over the dregs of the cold. Anyway, that’s nearly all over now, and I’m learning all sorts of new and wonderful ways to cope with stress. I must be far down the road to superherodom in that regard (own horn: toot toot!).

If you are interested in reading first hand accounts of some community visits, Wamut and Jangari give their accounts at that Munanga Linguist and Matjin-nehen (the 'h' is pronounced as a glottal stop) respectively.

The most exciting thing happening now, is that I’ve finally been doing some linguistics. And I’ve started on the road to learning a language that has only two fluent speakers left – two sisters. Learning this language involves such wonderful outings as going fishing and recording stories and songs by the river. I have been instructed by the ladies that I must make recordings and listen to them on tape at home, as a previous anthropologist did. Aside from that, after this post I am going to stick posters up on my walls of all kinds of funky pronouns and grammar. You’ll know when I’m starting to feel more confident about it all when I change some of the headings of this blog to language headings, as Jangari has done.

At the moment I’m reading the Diary of Anne Frank. It’s amazing. Highly recommended to anyone with eyeballs.

Another thing I’ve been doing is volunteering at the Book Exchange. I sit in there for 2hrs on a Sunday morning, spending my ‘time of worship’ amongst the books – fitting, think not you? Sometimes it’s busy, sometimes hardly anyone comes through. But you never get bored because you’re surrounded by everything from Romance novels – titles include Indiscretions, Practise Makes Marriage, Husbands on Horseback – to spiritual healing books, children's books, history, geography, science books. I spent this morning reading Here Comes Snoopy – very cute, inflicting all kinds of nostalgia.

Oh, and I have been learning to be hospitable in my new environment – night before last, made a pavlova, and last night had ppl over for DVDs. Thanks Mum: the DVDs you sent up finally arrived this week.