I have really enjoyed learning Arabic. And honestly, I'm quite impressed with how much I understand. I definitely don't study as much as I should and I definitely don't practice as much as I should, but nevertheless...it's progress. It's exciting when my natural response is Arabic. And it happens most often when I'm in the villages with the kids. I guess it's one motivation to spend more time there.
But there comes a time when I want to hear and see English all around me. No Arabic. No foreign language. Just English. I want to understand the signs in the grocery store. I want to purchase things and not spend time doing EGP to USD conversions. I want to be able to say things once and have people understand me. I want to speak and not have someone laugh at my pronunciation. And I want my mind to rest from trying to understand what everyone else is saying around me.
I'm actually a little nervous about some aspects of being surrounded by only English. I have become so good at tuning people out, that I'm afraid my listening skills have gone down the drain (and they were poor to begin with). Because I've been surrounded by so much broken English, I actually have found myself speaking in incomplete sentences and with really odd word order. Forgive me and please don't laugh. (I don't notice most of the time, so be gentle.) And my fabulous Minnesota accent has dwindled. (Don't worry...a few days with Grandpa and it'll be back!)
All in all, though, it will be so good to be surrounded by the one and only language I'm fluent in. Yep...it's go
a simple girl on a