Davao report: accents blending

ok. my arm has recovered and I’m ready for more. I’m now waiting, impatiently, for a call from my friend who want to take me out windsurfing, hoping to get me hooked enough to be part of the women’s team he’s pulling together here for a competition in December. Who knows? I tried once in Alameda with Paul & Tina and loved it. I’m likely to enjoy it even more when the water is warm… In the meanwhile, just practicing dancing in my room, alternating between tango, rhumba and hiphop. My body will be refined in nothing if I try hard enough. I really have to gain some muscle. I’m not liking the way I look or my weakness right now. Doesn’t help that weight is a normal topic of conversation here, so everyone who sees me says (directly before or after “hello”), “you look fat” or “you gained weight” or “what happened to you? just eating eating all the time?” This includes all relatives, the dance instructors, even the hotel staff. I’m not lying. Those in doubt can ask my brother.

resolutions I’m making while I’m here: I will start going to the gym regularly to go climbing again. I will get a tagalog tutor when I return. I will dance tango a lot more. Can you all help me stick to them? Help improve improve my ability?

My english is breaking down. My accent is getting chaotic. My visaya and tagalog remain maddeningly nonexistent. Examples of words that everyone prefers in tagalog instead of english:

malapit — near

mahirap — difficult

mainit — hot

mayabang — boastful

magaling — good

now, given that I tend to remember things using the first letter and the number of syllables, I’m pretty much screwed when it comes to adjectives in this country. I will continue to try. These words, at least, are clear to me. Mag practice practice makes perfect.

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