Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Do You Mind Not Knowing What is Going On?

Show card for my Art in India exhibition.
A Nepali Indian friend asked if it bothers me ”when people just speak in Hindi?” She continued, “I think it would drive me nuts if everyone around me was talking and I couldn’t understand.” This is a good question…

The simple answer is “no, it has not bothered me yet.” I really enjoy observing and using these times to learn and listen. Every time I have wanted to understand more or need clarification I always ask.

So why does it not bother me? Haha probably because I am a bit socially awkward to begin with. I don’t mind observing nor do I mind that isolated feeling while in a large group, in fact I really enjoy it. I love people but am fairly introverted. That “alone in a crowd feel” can be incredibly nice…though I don’t really feel alone with my Indian friends. Most of the time I can pick up enough….though the times I am lost are nice too. Sometimes I just don’t talk even when I do know what’s going on. I suppose it’s less awkward to have the language “barrier” as an excuse.

The most important reason I don’t mind is the answer to the question “what is the best way to learn a language?” To go to the country…unfortunately I tend to do things backwards. I go to the country then a month after returning home decide to commit to learning the language. Spending time with people speaking the language you are trying to learn is really the only way to pick up a language…

The other friend in the car joined in and stated “they don’t do it on purpose, it’s just habit.” We continued the discussion for a bit longer (and by we I mean I continued to ponder over the question in my head…I will share my ponderings in future posts.)

I nodded in agreement as we continued to sing along to Bollywood music and drove off.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

24 Hours: No English

Its been 24 hours and my brain is kinda freaking out. I'm exhausted and feel like I am a major pain in the ass because people have to explain everything several times and the tension and the frustration and knowing I'm bad at Portuguese is is making it more difficult to understand, speak and recal what I do know...
 
Por outro lado, eu gosto la experiência porque é unique e eu sai que eu vou crescer mas que todas las otras situações em Brazil. Eu vou aprender mais português. Os pesoas tem muitos patience comigo também. Elles são fantásticos. 
 
My portuguese is atrocious and its frustrating because I want to connect with people deeper but I can't because the words must be simplified so much. Even my thoughts in English are being dumbed down. "I want sit. I like the day in the past. I make paint water."

Meus pensamentos em português são ideias complexas. Eu adoro la experiência é acredito que eu vou aprender muito coisas sobra la Brazilian cultura so observando. E eles falan que meu português é bom pra dois meses. E eu mais o menos concordo. Tenho muitos feliz e sorrisos quando uma convenção é swave. 
 
I miss home (mostly my husband) and I miss spicy food, eating with my hands and taking my shoes off indoors. I miss Laramie and am sad that there is a possibility that I may never return. I am sad that I'm not yet in Washington and I'm sad that Jim is stuck there without me.
 
Saldages é minha palavra favorite en la idioma português. E eu penso que é descritivo de a cultura beleza. Uma cultura com muito emoções linda e sentimental. As pesoas aqui é carinhosos e dulce. Eles pensam com suas emoções. E eu gosto disso. Tenho saldages pra meus amigos en Santa Catarina e eu terei muitos pra pesoas aqui, pierto de Brasília, e todo o país.
 
Challenges make you stronger.
Viagem é cultivo bonito. 
 
Looking at Brasilia
 
*I ended up going several days and it was amazing...eu tenho cinco dias sem inglês e é foi muito bom! Obrigada amigos Brasileiros! 
 
E mais uma coisa. Disculpa meio mal em português...Eu escrevi este no meu diário/jornal, depois de um mês de practca português :p 
 
For those of you who speak both languages...I didn't intend on the two different tones...it just happened as I journaled and switched languages...
 
 Originally Posted August 8, 2014 on my Travel Art Blog.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What Am I Listening To?

Lotus collage art inspired by travel. Felicia Follum
One of my favorite ways to practice language is listening to Pimsleur or other audio lessons in the car when I'm by myself.

I find that Pimsleur is great at getting you to think in the language. It uses similar techniques to how we acquired our native language and simplifies it all for the listener.

If you haven't tried Pimsleur, give it a try. I listen through my local library but you can also purchase the CD set on Amazon or other audio book sources. These are just the courses I have completed but there are many more languages available.






Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Esperar - To Hope: Quando as Coisas Não Funcionam

People in brazil have a strangely beautiful and amazing ability to wait patiently and maintain relaxed when things não funcionam.
 
I talked to a man on a bus about this. I pondered "eu não entendo como pesoas em brazil tem muitos patience. É muito interesante pra mim."
 
I'm pretty sure this man ended up missing his flight because the bus didn't come on time. Yet...
We calmly talked about brazillian patience, lack of function, and a myriad of other topics for over an hour (em Português, I might add). 
 
Em los estados unidos pesoas....grrrr (meu mao português at work here...)..." In the US we want our money back if we stand, waiting, almost two hours for food.
 
But, I suppose it is rare that we would ever wait that long in the first place. We refuse to pay and walk out long before the 30 minute marker. 
 
If something goes wrong we get angry and try to get the priority service we paid for. After all we either earned or deserve it.  
 
At the end of out conversation, I think this man and I came to the conclusion that Brazilians are used to things não está funcionando so there is "no problem" and a backup plan will come along so that eventually things will work out even if they don't work... But Brasileiros sabem that eventually it all works out and not staying relaxed doesn't help.
 
If you wait through, it will all work out, even if it doesn't function properly or work. 
Se você tem patience, todas as coisas vão funcionar, mesma que ele não funciona direito.
 
 
I will end this post with a message I sent my husband while I was waiting for a delayed airplane with some Spanish-speaking imagrants coming to Pasco to work...
 
"well a cool fact...Portuguese and Spanish both use the verb esperar. It means "to hope" but is used for "to wait" as well. So you are literally hoping for something or someone. I like it. I think it shows insight into the hopeful mentality and patience Latin Americans have...anyways back to hoping :) love you"

Originally posted August 19 on my Travel Art Blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

3 Countries in One Day: Day 3-6/7

We unintentionally ended up in Paraguay a few days ago. Which is kinda sad becuase of the ease of border crossing also equals the ease of human and drug trafficking...
Standing in Argentina looking at Brazil (rt.) and Paraguay(lft.). 

But I absolutely haf a blast in Argentina with a good friend and his family. And Paraguay was a wonderful experience as well...


Originally posted in August 2014 on my travel art website

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dhanyavaad Doston - I had a great year with you all!

I typed a thank you in Hindi that I planned to read at the going away party when we left Laramie but forgot it :( and I'm pretty sure it actually made no sense...as I shared it online to have it proofread and was told it didn't make sense (when I get back to the US I will share it anyways. Ok well, when I find my computer)

This letter was for the many Indian friends that we made over the years but especially in that last little bit in Laramie, Wyoming.

I wanted to thank you all for welcoming Jim and I into your community. It was really special to be a part of your family. I've heard missionaries, and less often but other travelers as well, talk about going somewhere and being welcomed into the culture.

I now have a better understanding of how special that really is. There is a difference between hanging out and getting to know people and really being a part of it all and I feel like you guys blessed us with the opportunity to really be a part of your lives and culture.

It's funny becuase after returning to Wyoming I was seriously considering grad school at Khala Bhavan. But when we realized it was a longer program than I had originally thought we decided against it. This past year, though in Wyoming (possibly the place on earth that is the least like India), I really was able to experience a mini-India and it was beautiful. I learned so much about food, culture, religion, languages, social norms, cricket, and fell even more in love with your culture and people.

I began by wanting to learn Hindi. I honestly belive my goals desires changed to simply being friends and sharing life which was so beautiful.

I will never forget my last year in Wyoming and the times that we shared. I love each and every one of you guys. 

See Dhanyavaad Doston Pt 2 which I talk about being homesick from Indian culture while in Brazil.

Originally posted August of 2014 on my Travel Art Blog

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

US - Brazil Connect Bio

Felicia Follum is a watercolor artist who has a passion for using her art to work with people in culturally diverse environments. She currently teaches art, blogging, yoga, and very basic languages (Spanish, Hindi, and Sign Language) to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And teachers private art lessons with “at-risk” youth. She would like to eventually have her own studio space where she creates and sells artwork and offers various creativity-based classes. Felicia’s significant travel experiences include Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (in South Dakota), Haiti, Mexico, and India. She is excited to spend time in Brazil and see what creative work and lasting friendships will come out of the experience.





To learn more about US-Brazil Connect, check out their website


Originally posted on my Travel Art Blog and website in 2014. I have recently decided that I will move my blog posts from Brazil and other travel adventures from my art page to my language blog. I am sure that you will enjoy <3