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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Everybody Back To School

Today was the first day of school for everyone in our family but Chutney.

After a summer that apparently was too long and boring (not really), Nia was delighted to start third grade. She could hardly wait to meet her new teacher and classmates. Here she is all smiles heading off to school this morning:

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It was also the first day of Hindi language training for Paul and I because I did get into Hindi. I am happy to report that we all survived our first day of school.

For Paul and I it was an interesting first day, though it was a little light on actual learning. We had orientations, tours of FSI and introductions to teachers, systems and services in the morning and a series of tests to determine our learning styles in the afternoon.

We started language with about 1,000 other people all learning different languages. Some were learning a language for the first time, others had quite a few under their belts. It was neat to see some of our ConGen classmates go into language training at the same time as us. Two of my ConGen classmates are even in Hindi with us, which is pretty awesome, though they both know some Hindi already.

I had started working with Rosetta Stone Hindi way back when I was pregnant but by the time Chutney came, I had hit a wall and had a really difficult time moving forward without help. After Chutney was born, Hindi sort of fell by the way side somewhere in the blur of sleeplessness.

By the time I resurfaced out of the post-partum daze, I realized that I had somehow in a hormonal lapse of reason signed up for the FSOT and ConGen (I’m a glutton for punishment, I tell you), so Hindi had to stay on the back burner a little longer.

I had applied to take Hindi with Paul but didn’t know if there would be space for me in the class until late August. But I lucked out and here I am on the cusp of mastering the Bollywood lingo. I am rather excited that I have this opportunity because it will help me when we get to India and it may be useful if/when I become a Foreign Service Officer myself. I get to learn a language and I don’t have to pay for it – pretty darn awesome, no?

Our Hindi group at FSI is rather small – only nine people right now but one of our classmates will only be with us for 5-6 weeks. The rest of us will be studying Hindi for 36 to 44 weeks, which is quite a while if you think about it. All but the classmate who is leaving in a few weeks are headed for New Delhi, so it’ll be good to get to know the people with whom we will be serving at the New Delhi Embassy/Consulate.

We are starting out in the group of nine until we figure out how to read Hindi (called Devanagari script), which apparently should take us between two and four weeks. So for now Paul and I are in the same group but after we learn to read we will more than likely be separated into two smaller groups for the remainder of language training, which is fine.

Language learning at FSI is apparently really intense but a lot of fun too. There are a lot of tests as well as cultural activities and tons of food, which is a blessing and a curse. I already gained a few pounds during ConGen and was hoping to shed them during Hindi but today we were told to expect a weight gain of about 10 lb during Hindi training! Yeah, not good for those of us trying to lose the baby weight but I do like me some Indian food every now and then. Just thinking about it makes me salivate…

1 comment:

  1. Your daughter is so adorable!! Have fun in your Hindi class!! :)

    ReplyDelete

 
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