Archives for the month of: February, 2017


The Kabiye Wikipedia now has over 900 articles. Recent additions include Augustus Caesar, NATO, free will, Johann Gutenberg, the Han dynasty and metallurgy. We’ve been having fun adding infoboxes, maps, photos, audio clips and links too.


End of week 8. We’re at that point in the marathon when it already feels like we’ve been here for ever, but still have a long way to go. Only swam twice this week, by Wednesday the water was lurid green.

End of week 7. I’m amazed at Emmanuel and Josephine’s ability to juggle four different ways of spelling this language. This week’s training, timetabled to take five days, was over in one and a half, so we’re taking the day off today. That’ll make it easier to fit in 90 lengths of the pool.

End of week 6, so we’re halfway through. The instruction couldn’t have been clearer: I asked my assistant to make one photocopy of a 90 page document. He returned with 90 copies. No choice but to pay for a mountain of waste paper.

End of week five. This week we trained 30 Dan volunteers to read and write their own language in two versions of the alphabet.

I’ve also set myself a personal challenge to go swimming every day at the Hôtel Amoitrin, adding 10 lengths a week. Funny thing is that 70 lengths this week was far easier than 30 when I first arrived.