Tumemaliza shule ya lugha. Tunafurahi kurudi nymbani yetu. Sasa tutajaribu kusema kiswahili kila siku!
(We have finished language school. We are happy to return to our home. Now, we will try to speak Swahili every day!)
Yes, indeed. We have finished language school for the summer. We have moved back to Tenwek, and most of the house is in order. Now, we need to put what we learned into practice! There are a few obstacles, however.
1.) We’ve lived here for over a year without Swahili, so we have established the habit of speaking to everyone in English. Even when I tried to use my (very limited) Swahili today, people would just revert back to English. It’s just easier for all people involved in the conversation!
2.) The accent here is different. I expected the local people to have a different dialect, but I didn’t expect is to sound so different. Just like in the States, where each region has it’s own version of English, each region of Kenya has its own dialect of Swahili. The helpers were speaking words I knew. I just couldn’t understand it!
3.) The last two weeks of language school were overloaded with information but my heart and mind were already in Tenwek. Not a good combination! Since we need at least 3 months of language school in order to be conversing at an acceptable level yet we only got 2 months, the teachers tried to squeeze a lot of technical stuff into the last two weeks. I’m happy to have that knowledge. It’s just crammed into a tight space somewhere in my brain and it’s having a really hard time coming out. I’m hoping that with daily practice that all this knowledge will start to assimilate, organize itself and start finding its way out of my mouth.
4.) So many other things seem more important than studying and using Swahili. School needs to start soon, and we aren’t ready. The house needs to be reorganized. Joshua’s nursery needs to be set up. I need to finish his blanket and Christmas stocking. The boys actually expect to eat several times a day! And they want me to play with them and talk to them and stuff! We can’t forget Aaron…He wants me to act like his wife. Man! Life is crazy demanding, huh? While I know this demands are legitimate and never-ending, I feel like they’re so urgent. It feels like it would be easier to push Swahili aside.
On the positive side, though, we are truly happy to be back at our Tenwek home. The boys are loving every minute of their playtime! I’m so thankful to have Joyce here to help me with the cooking and chores. It’s good to sleep in my bed, wash clothes in my washing machine and sit around the table for meals. And it’s SO good to see sun every day!
Thank you so much for praying us through our 2-month language learning. We could not have done it without you!! Now, keep on praying please!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for His provision! We were overwhelmed with gifts when we arrived home. Both short-term visitors and long-term missionaries spoiled us upon arrival.
2. Praise God for Tenwek weather! I love that I see sun almost every day of the year!!
3. Please pray that we’ll be disciplined in using what Swahili we do know and in continuing our learning now that we’re back at Tenwek.
4. Please pray for Shade Language School. It’s an important link in making missionaries more effective on the field.
5. Please pray for Tenwek MK School. We are quite large this year…about 30 kids, ages 3-13. Please pray for God to work miracles this year, for the kids to excel, and for the teachers/parents to do their bests in serving God by serving the kids here at Tenwek.