So we’ve began our Karen lessons on Monday, going two hours each day. And let me tell you, it’s a dousy. (Is this a word? My dictionary can’t find it, but I’d really like it to be.)
Our teacher, Lavender, is wonderful–she’s a 57-year-old Karen woman who used to teach in Burma. She moved to Mae Sot to teach a few years back and is now retired and teaching Karen on the side. It’s about three dollars an hour for us both to learn, so we’re excited at the opportunity! Her teaching style is helpful in that she simply speaks Karen to us, and it’s kind of sink or swim. It’s like sitting in front a fire hose, I think. It’s everything you can do to understand, repeat, answer, etc., but usually I’m kind of making it for the first hour or so. But by an hour and half, I’m pretty much drowning. There’s a distinct fog that sets in: I have trouble remembering things I’ve know forever. The letters and words turn into unrecognizable sounds very quickly, and it’s hard to avoid blank stares.
Even so, we usually take a break after lessons and then get back to studying later in the day, trying to retain what we just learned. Hopefully it’s sticking! I would write you some of what we know, but it’d just be sounding it out in English, which really isn’t helpful. You’ll have to call us to hear in amazement all that we know 🙂