Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Language Study

I should be doing language study. Does it count if I write about it instead?

It's coming along well, it really is! I know heaps more than when I started. I've got to remember that we've only seriously been at this for a few months. However, the more I know the more I realize how MUCH more I have to learn. Motivation can be hard sometimes when the 'end' is such a long ways ahead...out of sight...around a bend in the road...through a looong black tunnel...under a bridge...through a brick wall..............

Here are a few things I've learned about language study so far:

-There are lots of things that just can't be translated straight from English so you have to open your mind to not saying EXACTLY what you're looking for, a close enough meaning will have to do.

-You CAN become jealous of the progress of your much loved spouse when everyone points out (even strangers on the street) how much more fluidly they're speaking than you are.

-It's really hard.

-If you try to go to sleep thinking of how to say certain things you will be up half the night.

-Every word you've ever learned in any other language that has been asleep in your sub-conscious for years will suddenly float to the front of your brain blocking the free flow of the words in the language that you WANT to speak.

-Did I mention that it's hard?

-Ever left a situation where you walk away and think, "Oh man, I SHOULD have said _______________"? This happens multiple times a day, every day in language study!

-People laugh at you. A lot.

-You may have to resist the urge to hit your spouse when they go on and on about how 'fun' language study is.

-You will most likely become very animated with your hands to try to make up for your lack of verbal skills.

-Even though you're a mature adult with loads of experience under your belt you may find yourself figuratively wagging your tail like a puppy when someone compliments your language skills or accent.

-Lots of housework or writing of blogs may occur to avoid the hard work of study.

-When you say something that sounds like gibberish to your ears but understanding lights the eyes of the person your talking to........WOW, it's really, really COOL!

-An uncomprehending stare back because you've failed to communicate? Not so fun!

Bottom line: The people I desperately want to communicate with are worth all of this bother. So I need to not even try to see the road ahead, take it one day at a time, and just get on with it!

----------------I guess I'd better go study now!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A bit of slime.....

We're having problems with algae in our water pipes.

The water in the area comes on for a couple of hours morning and evening. We plug in a pump during those times that pumps the water to a tank in the roof so we have water all day. Clear plastic hoses run three stories up to the roof, across, and back down two stories to our kitchen and bathroom. It's temporary but it works!

But this algae is a problem. Our tank can be completely full but when clumps of algae come through it blocks up all of our taps, shower, toilet, washing machine, etc. There are days when we clean the filters on all of them numerous times!

Sometimes it's a noticeable amount and sometimes it's just a tiny bit, but even that tiny bit is enough to block the big source of water behind it.

Sometimes our lives are like blocked faucets/taps. We've got a huge Source behind us but there's a bit of unlovely slime blocking the connection and keeping the water from flowing through us. If we're wondering why we're not producing what we should, maybe it's time to check our connection with the Source!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not for Sale

Someone gave me this poem today that beautifully illustrates why we're here:

Stop the Traffic.

I am a person
not a potato to be picked and packaged
and sent to market
to be sliced and diced
chopped up and ketchupped
on the other side of the world.

I am human and I am not for sale.
I am a living conscience, not a cargo.
I travel passenger not freight.
I am not cattle
not contraband,
not a catalogued commodity.
I’m not the bottom line
for those who trade in tragedy
and profit from perversity.
I am not a can to be recycled.

I am human and I am not for sale.
I am a thinking individual, not a rare exotic bird.
I am your sister, not an inmate for your zoo.
I am not merchandise,
not meat,
not a meal ticket.
I was mothered,
not manufactured,
begotten, not created.

I am human and I am not for sale.
Its time to end this trade
in human tragedy,
to terminate this travesty
of a global economy.
Let the red lights
of your cities
be put to better use
to stop the traffic.
Write it in lights across your seared conscience:

I am human and I am not for sale.

-Gerard Kelly

And even more importantly human in the image of our Creator!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Choosing to laugh!

I had an experience a few days ago that I'm choosing to consider funny now:

I was in a taxi at a stoplight. Usually beggars and people selling things come up at stoplights and try to engage you. And the windows are always open because it's too hot to shut them.

Unexpectedly, I had a cobra shoved in the window at me! There are men who take them around places, show them (somehow it 'blesses' you) and then you're supposed to give them money.

I had carefully memorized the phrase, "Not my custom," in the language to calmly say on just such an occasion. But did I remember that in the heat of the moment? Nope! The only thing I could remember how to yell was, "No, snake! No, snake! Go aw

Thursday, April 8, 2010


It's not easy to find ways to relax here. The guys in our family have managed to find a couple, though! Steve's had a motorbike here for years and that gets taken out for rides now and then. Backyard cricket games are popular as well! I WISH I'd gotten a picture of Adam yesterday when he came home from school and wanted to help with the construction. He was carrying 4 big bricks at a time up two flights of stairs. The local workers were amazed. Guess for him that qualifies as recreation as well!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Today has been a sad day around FS. A former employee who went back into the trade on the streets was found murdered this morning. No one is sure but the word on the street is that it was a 'customer.'

This is sad on a number of levels. Firstly, that she was put in the position to be in the trade to start with. I don't know her particular story but it usually has to do with trafficking, abuse, or intense poverty. Secondly, that she never really became 'free.' There is the occasional woman who finds leaving her old life difficult. Fortunately that statistic at FS is fairly low but it happens.

We didn't know her but we know who she was. She used to stand on the main street near the flat we stayed in when we first arrived. She loved Adam and hugged him each time he passed.

She will probably remain just another statistic, not considered worth much by the authorities and not missed by too many for too long.

But He knows when each sparrow falls and I'm sure that His heart is sorrowful over this lost sheep as well.