- Sarah celebrated her 4th birthday on Friday. Actually, she thinks her birthday was Wednesday because that was the day of her party. We had several children, several parents, and several college kids come to the fiesta. I really think the college kids had the most fun! PS - pinatas are deadly!!! Whoever decided to blindfold uncoordinated children and hand them a giant stick and give them several chances to smash something???
- When you are fully engrossed in another culture and language, you suddenly find that you can no longer think or write or speak in your native tongue, nor have you mastered the new language... therefore, you are a complete idiot in two languages and cultures now. Well, yippie for that! We frequently find ourselves struggling to think of a word IN ENGLISH now, or not being able to spell anymore because we are spelling using spanish phonetics, etc.
- We have found that people who have only known us for two months will come through with flying colors when you are in need! Just when we thought that our support network of friends was no longer available to us and we were all alone, in swooped the troops and our new classmates came charging in! God is AWESOME to put us in a situation with such great people to learn with.
- You cannot imagine how frustrating and violating it can feel to have your umbrellas stolen! We left our umbrellas on our front porch to dry - mind you, our front porch is surrounded by bars... a mini prison of sorts. Upon waking up the next day, our umbrellas had been stolen! We were told that this happens often... theives use a long, stiff wire to weave through the bars and grab whatever they want, then pull it to the bars and use their hands to get it out... shoes, water hoses, umbrellas, whatever! So, here we are in the rainy season in a rainforest country with no umbrellas - go figure!
- "Woo Hoo!" for friends back home who remember that we exist!!! We received a giant box yesterday full of magazines IN ENGLISH, bubble gum, chocolate mints, birthday gifts for Sarah, books, you name it! It was like early Christmas!
- By the way, Santa speaks Spanish!!! In Costa Rica, the Christmas season is in full swing (I kid you not!) and Santa was walking around the store on Sunday. He stopped to speak to Sarah, and much to her surprise, he speaks Spanish!!! Who would have thunk it? :)
- We are very excited to find out that some missionary friends that we spent many weeks of training with are coming to language school in late December - Hallelujah!!! We are so excited! Jim and Ginnie Street will be here to learn Spanish and prepare for service in (get this) PERU!!! Their sending organization has just told them that they will most likely be serving in Peru!
- It is FANTASTIC to hear Beth Moore speak, watch her, and study with her each day as I do my online bible study! Finally, a Texas woman with a Texas accent! Feels like going to bible study back home. You will never understand how much it means to hear someone say "y'all"!
- Never underestimate the beauty of being able to speak to your doctor in the same language... there are some things that just don't translate well, nor do you have words for them, nor are you sure whether or not it is appropriate to say them! And as much as you are struggling to understand them, they are struggling to understand you... it used to all be so easy.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
2. When Billy mistakenly tells a friend that “the children are ugly” instead of “the children are sick”. Guess we should study our vocabulary more!
3. When you attempt to order a pizza on the phone (delivery) and your directions to your house aren’t correct (because your spanish is so bad)… two hours later, he called to ask for clarification! We managed to get him to the top of the street and flag him down to the house. Yummm—cold pizza!
4. When you realize that the liquid shower gel that you have been using for a week is really shampoo and not body soap. Silky smooth skin with extra body! Lather, rinse, repeat...
5. When you are at the grocery store and your 3 year old needs a bathroom… “Donde esta el baño?” you ask to 4 different people, each time being led to the aisle that sells towels. What??? Clear pronunciation is important!!! “Baño” and “Paño” sure sound a lot alike!
6. When you are so excited because the roses in your yard are finally full and bushy and ready to do their thing, only to wake up the next day to naked sticks! I’m here to tell you that leaf cutter ants can strip you clean in no time! No roses, no geraniums, no nothing!
7. On a similar note, when you and your daughter have been anxiously awaiting the emersion of a butterfly from it’s chrysalis (in the kitchen), only to come home and find the cocoon empty. “Oh no! Where did it go?”, we ask our helper, Lizbeth. Waving frantically she tell us in spanish that it emerged and was flying around the kitchen (frightening her, I think) and she shooed it out the back door (very proud of herself).
8. When your teacher admires your bag/purse and says she wants to try to make/sew one for herself. So, you empty the bag and take it to class the next day so she can use it for a pattern. Somehow, again in bad spanish, the loan of my bag became a “gift” for the teacher. She was very proud of it and carried on and on about how nice it was that I gave it to her… oh well, I hope she enjoys it…
9. When your example sentence in class (“Tonight I will bake a chocolate cake.”) somehow is mistaken for a statement of intent and you are now somehow obligated to make chocolate cake and bring it to class tomorrow to share.
10. When someone says “you smell like an American”… What does that mean? Is that good or bad? I don’t know. Maybe it’s my special blend of hairspray / perfume / body shampoo…
Monday, October 15, 2007
Click below to hear a sermon from Rev. Jay Jackson in Houston… we don’t know him personally, have not ever met him, etc. Yet, somehow, he knows of us and our mission and talked about us in his sermon yesterday… go figure! One of his congregation members sent us an email (we don’t know her, either) saying that she heard about us in the sermon yesterday and she wants to put together a mission team for Costa Rica or Peru. She is 66 years old! God is SO COOL!!!! This church also sent in a support check for us. WOW! We are amazed and humbled.
Within less than 24 hours of this pastor giving this sermon, we were listening to it in Central America! And, boy was it ever a blessing!!!! We are STARVED for The Word in our native tongue right now. Listening to a sermon in Spanish is so hard for us and we probably miss ¾ of the content. An English sermon was such a welcome blessing today! This really drives home the point to us that it is VITAL that we continue to learn this language and learn it flawlessly so that we can bring The Word to others IN THEIR NATIVE TONGUE!!! ¡Este es muy importante!!! No whining… we have to learn it and we have to do it well. We have to be accurate with The Word. Keep praying for our insecurities to melt away so that we can boldly learn to speak the language and proclaim what we know as The Truth!
Thank you, Pastor Jay, for your sermon and for putting it out there on the web in mp3 format… those of us who are out here in the “rest of the world” are listening! Right now, we are truly starved to hear The Word in our own language and we regularly seek out devotionals and sermons on the Web to keep ourselves spiritually fed. Thank you for feeding us this week. It was an added bonus that our family and our mission was mentioned in the sermon.
Thank you again for supporting us as we seek to serve Christ by serving others in Latin America. Right now, our call is a pretty rough job. We are tired and stressed and our brains are overflowing with a new language and a new culture… but we know it is all worth it and we truly love the people we serve. They deserve to hear the Word in their own language, just as we are starving to hear it in our native tongue right now! We have spent a lifetime hearing and learning the lessons that others in this world have never heard once. Therefore, we press on every day. Is it any wonder that all of Paul’s writings that talk about perseverance are our favorites!?
Love to you all! Give the above sermon a listen and send your prayers and blessings to this church and this pastor!
Monday, October 8, 2007
I'm so excited to share with you some of the very important phrases that we have learned to say in the last 6 weeks. By the way, this blog site does not allow for me to put in Spanish accents, tildes, etc., so if you speak spanish and notice that I'm missing these vital punctuation marks, sorry.
Really Important Phrases that Everyone Should Know:
- Habia un choque en el bosque. (There was a collision in the forest.)
- Averigue si la ciguena tiene verguenza. (Find out if the stork is bashful.)
- El austero bautista bautiza al gaucho. (The austere Baptist baptizes the Argentine horseman.)
- Los cautivos en las jaulas aplauden. (The captives in the cages applaud.)
- Hay cuarenta guantes iguales del Ecuador. (There are forty identical gloves from Ecuador.)
- Hay fuego en la escuela. (There is a fire in the school. This one might actually be useful...)
- Luis se cuida de los buitres. (Louis is careful of the buzzards.)
- Ponen clorox en la cloaca. (They put clorox in the sewer.)
- Los acrobatas comen croquetas. (The acrobats eat croquettes.)
- Yo cumplo anos el mismo dia que mi plomero. (My birthday is the same day as my plumber's. This is my personal favorite! I'm sure that I could not have survived another day without knowing how to say this phrase!)
In all fairness, I have to explain that we learned these phrases in our phonetics class... they are designed to have as many similar phonetic principals in one sentence as possible. Kind of like English tongue-twisters, sort of. We are suppossed to practice saying these phrases out loud in class so our teacher can check our pronunciation of key sounds. I have to laugh when I read them, though and realize what I'm saying!
Have fun with these... learn one really well and impress your friends and neighbors with your amazing Spanish!!! Who knows - maybe your birthday really is on the same day as your plumber's!