Where are you going? This standard greeting in Salasaca is rolling around in my head with about a dozen others like a song that, no matter what, you can't get out of your head. Language learning has bee really good and my comprehension and speaking abilities have jumped an enormous amount since we've been here in the past less-than-a-week. Maggie and I helped wash one of the Co-translator's sheep in a ditch so that they could shear it in several days. We each held a leg, and one man held the sheep by the ears, and there it was, laying on it's back as we scrubbed it with laundry soap (Which I reflectively thought appropriate). That was a very neat new experience. I have been working on a study to give to the youth on Sunday--we'll be going over basics of Christianity, starting with what the Gospel is all about. I feel like this is an ambigous term for so many people, when it is the core of our faith! So we will be covering Rom 1:1-6 this week, and probably part of 1 Cor 15 next week. I'm looking forward to it, but am nervous as well.
In other news, Maggie is NOT pregnant, contrary to comments on my facebook wall. My old buddies from work (and I usually with them) tend to spread rumors about people's single/married/engaged status quite boistrously (if thats a word) and this is my friends, well, being my friends. Love you guys. That's kinda what's been going on here and all I really feel like writing tonight. God bless and tupungachi!
I had written a post 2 nights ago that was quite detailed, but somehow it is forever lost in cyberspace. Our time in Salasaca has been anything but boring. We have learned a ton since we have been here. Quichua learning is going extrememly well, but also slow. We are using a different approach called the "Growing Participator Approach." This approach focuses more on comprehension than speaking. Jonathan and I now have around 100 words that we can recognize and comprehend. It is kind of funny, because we can pick up a couple of words in people's conversations about sheep, coming, going, cows, and a couple of other things. I have a terrible memory, and there is no way that I could have learned 100 words by using my rote memory. I'm happy with this new approach despite all the ambiguity it brings.
Jonathan told you about washing the sheep, which is one of my favorite activities so far. I have also enjoyed all the linguistic elements. We have learned all about all the changes in the Salasaca Quichua dialect. I have also learned the Quicha alphabet and some of its suffixes. Quichua words tend to be really long because they put suffixes on everything to add to the meaning of the word. It has been fun trying to figure them out.
Tonight we went over to the house of the missionaries we are working with. We had a lot of fun eating pizza and playing Ticket to Ride. It has been really neat to see another missionary family that deals with a whole other area of missions.
Please be praying for us to develop relationships with the people. Linguistics isn't always as interactive as Jonathan and I would like. Please be praying for the Salasacans who are working on the translations. They have an important task of communicating God's Word. Also, please pray for Jonathan and I to find jobs when we return back to the States. I was sent an email yesterday about interviewing for a job that saw my resume posted online. I told them I am out of the country and won't be back till May 1st. I don't know yet if they will let me do a phone interview. Thank you for your support and prayers through this learning experience.