After graduating from university, I spent five years teaching English in the Basque Country. I lived in a small town, became part of a community, made some wonderful friends, started learning Euskara, and spent time wandering around bucolic green hills and cities where the old is juxtaposed with the modern. After the first couple of years I started to imagine myself living there for a long time, maybe in a restored farmhouse or in a little apartment within walking distance of almost everything. That became my dream for the future.
Unfortunately, my circumstances changed and I ended up moving back to the US in summer 2015. But even as the plane left Loiu, I knew I wanted to return to the Basque Country when the time was right. I see those five years there as just the beginning of a relationship with the people, language, culture, and landscape of that little pocket of the world.
This blog is for myself, as I continue studying Euskara and learning about Basque culture, to share the things I learn. That means it is also for you, if the Basque Country speaks to you in some way.
So, why is my blog called Euskaldun Berri? In Euskara, the word euskaldun can mean both “Basque-speaker” and “inhabitant of the Basque Country”. The first definition can be further refined into euskaldun zahar, “native Basque speaker”, and euskaldun berri, “non-native Basque speaker” or more literally “new Basque speaker”.
I hope that one day in the not-too-distant future I can be called euskaldun in both senses of the word – as a non-native speaker with a good command of the language and as an inhabitant of the Basque Country once more.