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I had quite a difficult time figuring out how I could fit in four different vacations and two new languages in one year but it seems to be cracked (for now, that is). I have always wanted to go to Polynesia because my favorite group of languages is spoken there, I first fell in love with Hawaiian (‘Olelo Hawai’i), and after not being successful at securing a Hawaiian speaking host family, I gave up. I quickly found an alternative that would prove to be a success, the island of Rapa Nui, more commonly known as Easter Island. The language was more isolated than Hawaiian, Tahitian or Maori and has a lot of interesting evolutions (e.g. vi’e for v/wahine – “woman”). Another weird thing that happened was lot of metathesis but the sounds have stayed relatively in tact and have not experienced as much change as say, modern O’ahu Hawaiian.
Anyways, I did a Facebook poll of six Polynesian countries and the most went to Rapa Nui, so that’s the destination for the Pacific. The other three places are Brazil for a week, Cape Verde and the Azores again, and a week at a Maya immersion school in Yucatan. The great thing is that families in Yucatan are still speaking Maya in the home, and the school actually has Maya-speaking host families, so I have started learning that. Once I finish a Maltese-Tunisian Arabic/continuum mutuality study, then I am going to start on Rapa Nui, and will do Maori at the same time so as to be able to understand Maori news from New Zealand.