Saturday, August 14, 2010

La Escuela de Espanol

Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece. Filipenses 4:13
Translation - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

This verse has never been more true for us. We can only learn this language because Christ is in us and he gives us the strength of mind to understand and the strength of spirit to persevere. Our first week of language school has been intense to say the least. We spend 4 hours a day one-on-one with our individual teachers learning to speak, read and write en Espanol. By noon each day we are wrecked!

For those of you who know me (Angel) you will be shocked to hear about my new life. I have always been a crack of nine kind of girl - aka NOT a morning person. My best hours of the day are from 10 am to 2 pm. Well, imagine my dismay to realize the sun rises at the ungodly hour of 5:45 am. We sleep about 2 feet away from an open window and by 6:15-6:30 it is full on daylight in every room of the house. You might be wondering why I don't sleep with dark curtains or sun-blocking shades - did I mention there is no air conditioning in Guatemala. We have never been in a building that had AC. SO - all the windows stay open, therefore we are awakened with the chickens.....and roosters and dogs and did I mention that every other day they ignite fireworks to celebrate 4:30 AM!!!! What is wrong with this culture. Surely they can find better things to do than wake the world with fireworks....LIKE SLEEP!

First day of school 2010 

Actually, this new routine is good because we have to be at school by 8:00 am. YES, people I am showered, dressed, fed and walking to school by 8:00 everyday. We walk about 8-9 blocks to school each morning. Lee and I have 4 hours of language training and the kids have 2 hours. For the other 2 hours, they sit at a nearby table and do their homeschool work. After school we walk home, have lunch and mandatory rest time. Then we all do our homework. This routine seems to be working very well for all of us.

Learning a new language is intense. I hate grammar in English, now I have to learn it in Spanish too! We are amazed at what we have learned this first week. Before we started on Monday, we knew maybe 50 - 75 vocabulary words. Now we can conjugate the 5 most common verbs, we have learned a couple hundred vocabulary words and can put together some basic sentences and questions. We have found that reading is the easiest. We are getting much better at listening and understanding, but getting it out of my mouth is a whole different ball game. As I am talking, I am mentally going through each verb file and looking for the right form, tense and gender specification. I love that English doesn't have masculine/feminine words. Everything in the sentence doesn't have to change because the subject is feminine. YIKES! It's gets complicated.

Language school is pretty intense - fortunately, we have 4 months to focus on nothing but immersion of Espanol. The Lord has blessed us with this window of opportunity to really get good language skills under our belts. We know that the key to our ministry is relationships and the key to relationships is communication. Without the hard work right now, we cannot get to the next work God is already preparing for us. Thank you for your prayers and your support that allow us to pursue this calling in our lives.

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