My love-hate relationship with French (not the fries)

So I’m stuck for another more year here in Burkina Faso. A West-African French-speaking country. I’ve been here for over a year now. Because of that, everyone expects me to speak fluent French now. I also thought I can do a year and emerge victorious and with a new learned language in my pocket. But what went wrong?

You see, I hated my country assignment. I even cried a bit when I received my new contract. Well, maybe not hate hate. Maybe just envious with my batch-mates. They got US, Japan, Chile, etc and I got Burkina Faso. WTF (Where’s the food?). Is it my performance for the past year? Are they secretly hating on me? I don’t know.

Before going to Burkina Faso, I stayed in Dakar, Senegal for almost three weeks. In fairness to them, they enrolled me to a French class. 10 sessions, 2 hours a day. 20 hours of guided French lessons. I repeat, 20 f*cking hours. Also, they gave me beforehand a How to Learn French books. I even Instagrammed it, maybe flipped a couple of pages and that’s it.

My ever so patient French teacher.

Now that I’m looking back, I realized that it’s mainly my fault. My indifference on learning a new language that will be very helpful for my two years stay here in Burkina Faso. What if I go to France? Or settle somewhere in Europe? I’m doomed!

One reason also is that a part of me knows that I will be quitting after a few months of training here. But no. I lasted even longer than I expected.

Also, I need to deal with several factors like fatigue, emotional stress, some sort of depression, homesickness, etc. I’m working on an 11-hour shift from Monday through Saturday for C’s sake. Yes, I have field breaks. It should be the time to relax and unwind but instead I get stressed even more. They asked me during one of my interviews before landing on this job if I am mentally / emotionally stable and I answered yes. I thought so. Maybe I’m not that mentally and emotionally stable after all.

Whoa! I didn’t see that coming. This post should be light. Well, watch out for my next post: My love-hate relationship with my job.

70 thoughts on “My love-hate relationship with French (not the fries)

  1. Oh di ba. Alipin talaga kami dito. JK. (Baka mabasa ng boss ko gawin niyang 13 hours. Peace boss). Nurse ang peg kaso mas mahirap ang work. JK (Baka mabasa ng mga nurse friends ko)

  2. Sige, stalk ko boss mo para masumbong na kita. So ilan hours ang break time mo? Sa bagay, lahat tayo kailangan natin ng break.

    Kung ako nga binigyan ng break eh…..

  3. 1 hour for lunch tas paginom ng tubig. Buti pa sa office sa pinas na nakaupo lang at maghapong nagfafacebook eh may break. Ang government offices na kurakot may break. Pero kaming mga kumakayod ng marangal eh wala. hahahaha. #hustisyaparakaymike itrend po natin. Hahaha

  4. Aray ko po! Parang natamaan naman ako dun! Hahaha well, more on WordPress naman ako kasi nakablock ang pc ko sa Facebook (unless I use another pc lels). Haha yang mga gov’t offices na yan, sobrang sarap ng buhay nila grabe. Hahaha report mo muna kay Mike sa Imbestigador, Mike!

  5. Oo sa sobrang witty mo gusto ko na manampal kasi sobrang bullied na ako. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ uy hindi ah. Magaling ka naman magsulat in english ano ka ba. Bully ka lang talaga hahahaha

  6. Tanginang Data to. K. Ulitin ko reply. English kasi kami sa bahay. Haha. JK. Nagtumblr ka din ba dati. May tumblr meetup dati eh. Mukhang masaya. Sana sa wordpress din may magorganize. Para lumawak network. Oh ha.

  7. Hahaha! Ikaw na ang laking aircon! Oo, nag-Tumblr din ako dati but I find WordPress mas okay. Haha. Meet up saan? Punta kami diyan?

  8. Ai oh. Di ko man yun inoopen. Sige. Try ko ulit magpostpost ng kung ano2 para masaya. Wala na akong facebook. Tsaka para makasagap na din ng balita.

  9. Balita sa mga rants ko! Chos. Haha updated lang ata Twitter mo dahil sa mga Instafeed mo eh. Mabait na bata, walang Facebook.

  10. Di din kasi ako opinionated masyado eh. Pero try ko ulit magtwitter nga. Yep. Mag 2 months na wala akong fb. Dati di ako mapakali sa isang araw ba facebook. Hshs

  11. Okay lang yun. Scan scan ka lang ng mga fino-follow mo. Tapos Translate to French para lalong masiyahan ka. Hshs is the new haha so #gangsta

  12. Sayang. Left out kaming mga OFWs. Makakauwi akong Pinas this year kaso 2 days lang ako kasi magtratravel ako. Baka sa 2020 makasama na ako sa meetups. Hahahaha

  13. Hahahahahahhahaha di ba croque monsieur? Hahahahahha awts ok….naku lalo pa pag natuto ka magpranses baka lalo ka ng hindi makakaalis dyan trololol

  14. Kung iaabsorb nila ako dito, mas masaya ata ang benefits. Every 6 weeks uwi sa Pinas. Di ako excited sa paguwi. Excited ako sa points/miles na maiipon ko sa flights. Hahahaha.

  15. Sending thoughts and well wishes your way πŸ™‚ It can be rough living in a foreign country. But imagine the stories you’ll have to pass on one day! Chin up and keep blogging. You’re doing great! πŸ™‚

  16. Thank you. Exactly. I’m working not for money. I’m working abroad so that I have something to blog. JK. I enjoy working here. But there are also low points like homesickness, etc. I miss Filipino foods. πŸ˜‚

  17. I bet. While I wish I could say that personally I understand, I can’t. But it’s been almost 11 years since my husband has been back to Manila and there are times where he misses it terribly. He says, “even though the weather is so unbearably hot… there is something perfect about the Philippines. Your barkada is there. The street food is there. It will always be home”. I can’t wait to visit one day πŸ™‚ But until then… keep blogging about it! I love reading your stories.

  18. Yes. Manila er Philippines has its charm. I can’t pinpoint really. Yes there are pickpockets everywhere, it’s loud and dirty but it’s home. One can really appreciate the beauty of his own country after leaving. J only have nice things to say about Ph. I even convinced my Belgian Site Manager to have his honeymoon in the Philippines. You’ll love it there. I can send you postcards from the Ph if you like. Maybe I’ll add a couple from Burkina Faso and Senegal.

  19. That would be amazing! πŸ˜€ What is Burkina Faso like? I know it’s in West Africa, and I’ve seen the pictures you’ve posted on your blog, with the ATV rides and such. So I know it’s largely a desert, right? But there must be more to it then that! πŸ™‚ Are there any fun night spots or… tourist attractions? I’d love some postcards when you aren’t too busy. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend!

  20. Oh the ATV ride is in Senegal. It’s not really largely desert like Niger or Mali. We have forests too but it’s not too dense. I haven’t really explored Burkina Faso yet because 98% of my time, I stay in out minesite which is miles away from the city. There are small villages nearby but there’s no happenings really. But the people are great. The food is mostly influenced by French.

  21. Ahhh I see! Well, even though you are in a remote area out on the mine site, it’s really cool that you get to experience another culture, and its people. Pasensya na po for asking so many questions ❀ I am a curious soul. But from everything I've read on here you are extremely busy so I won't pepper you with too many questions. Promise! πŸ™‚ But I really enjoy chatting and I hope that… and I think it should be Sunday morning there now, right? I hope you have a nice Cafe Au Lait and Croissant and have a relaxing day off! πŸ˜€

  22. Dalawang shift lang kasi ang minahan namin. Normally 3 shifts. Eh before start ng operations eh andun na kami kasi kami in charge sa mga machines mismo. Pero 9weeks work tas 3 weeks vacation naman. Medyo bumawi. Kapag icocompute eh halos pareho lang din sa 8 hrs na work na Mon to Fri. #alipin hahaha. JK.

  23. What an interesting post. You’re funny. LOL
    I envy you, you got free French lessons and here I am struggling on Duolingo… haha
    Those are very long shifts. Is it even legal?
    I hope you decide to just have fun and before you know it you’re done and who knows you’ll be sent Stateside or somewhere in Europe where your new language skills will be tested…

    Amuse toi bien!

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