Our meetings and lectures today included an overview of languages spoken on the continent of Africa, more Wolof lessons, a lecture about what it is like to be a foreigner in Senegal, and a viewing of a film entitled, Faat Kine. WARAs U.S. Director, Jennifer Yanco titled her overview of languages, "Do You Speak African?" She finds it is a common question asked of her and others who have lived or spent lots of time in Africa. The question demonstrates one aspect of Americans' misunderstanding of Africa because, in fact, there are more than 2,000 official languages spoken in Africa. Maas Ndiaye continued teaching us basic Wolof grammar and phrases. Today, focus was on parts of the body and what they do. For example, the eye sees and looks. Eye is "bet". See is "gis", and Look is "xool". Learning this may be one of my biggest challenges. Aye! Professor Patricia Tang told us about her experiences in Senegal as a foreigner. She is an ethnomusicologist at M.I.T. Additionally, she plays the violin and the sabar. (Remember the drumming group we saw on day one in Boston? The drums are called sabar.) Her anecdotes were very helpful and practical. Finally, we watched the Ousmane Sembene film called Faat Kine. He was the first African to make a movie about Africans. The movie's setting was Dakar and was in French with a little Wolof. Very interesting.
Boston is in the midst of a Harborfest. It is, after all, the Fourth of July week. We have seen the staging for the Boston Pops, costumed historical figures, and a faire at Faneuil Hall and the Quincy Market area of town.
If one is going to be in Boston, perhaps once in a lifetime, one must eat New England clam chowder in a bread bowl. One really must! Walking back from the Faneuil Hall to the hotel through Boston Commons was also a highlight.
This is the view of Fenway Park from my hotel room at Buckminster Hotel. There was a game tonight, but I decided that $35.00 was too much to pay for the cheap seats. Enjoying the cheering, the lights, and the hustle and bustle on the streets as ambiance was fine given my budget and the amount of time I have here.
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