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Language Log

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006 - 7:15 a.m.

My friend just got back from her fieldwork in Tanzania. We were talking about my plans. I guess I want to go back, I want to have gone back, but I don't want to _be_ there. It's like academic reading in that respect-- I want to know the information contained in the article/book, but I don't want to ever be in the process of reading the book. I want to have had the experience, to have gathered the data, to have met the people-- just not to have to ever be in the present tense with regard to these events.

But she did make it sound pleasant, at least in Dar. I could do it-- I always think I can't do things, but when I get there, I'm fine. Like when I went to Europe alone-- I didn't know it would be alone, and I hadn't planned for it, and would never have planned to go alone, but once I was there, after a brief freak-out, I was fine. Now, Tanzania isn't Europe. I speak the language better, for one thing. I am afraid of not being competent, but I am actually. I just forget. And I can't let the worryworry of my family get to me. It isn't based on reality as a whole, after all, only a small part of reality. At best. I have my own fears, and don't need to take on theirs as well.

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