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Monday, December 16, 2013

Me llamo go to the bathroom

I just finished my first trimester of language school. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned in 13 weeks. Though I have plenty to learn, I know just enough to get around and get my main point across. The highlight of my time studying was my last day of phonetics class where I was able to answer my teacher’s question about the Christmas story in Spanish. I got to see the light bulb go off in her head as she understood the visit of the wise men and Herod’s genocide for the first time. This is exactly why I’m learning Spanish!

Patrick is also picking up on Spanish and is learning and applying things very quickly. He just spends time with Gina and applies all the rules I’m learning in my grammar class. The other day when I told him to say “hasta luego” (see you later) to one of my girlfriends, Patrick “corrected me”…. “mom, it’s supposed to be hasata luega. She’s a girl.” I had to explain that luego is always the same, but he’s got the whole gender thing down.

Patrick has also learned the phrase “me llamo Patrico” (I call myself Patrick), but he uses it as his go to phrase for anything. Me llamo yogert, me llamo leche (milk), me llamo go to the bathroom. We've taught him  to use “quiero __(name the item)__ “ but we’re still working on it.

He’s starting to use a lot of spanglish, but he knows which words are from each language… “I have 2 now, and if I get another I’ll have tres. Mom, that’s 3 in Spanish.” “I would like some leche, por favor. That means milk!” It’s simply amazing to watch his sponge like brain soak it all in.

While Patrick is learning a ton of Spanish through immersion, he still has times where he’ll tell me… “no more Spanish please. Please say it in English.” I often feel that way too! Language learning is a process, and we learn the best when we’re having fun.

Here's an audio clip of Patrick running through a basic Spanish introduction. He wanted to record something after hearing me record my Spanish tongue twisters for my phonetics class...

Hasta luego!

Monday, December 2, 2013


It has begun. We have started the season of Goodbyes here in our district of San Fransisco De Dos Rios. Last Saturday was the last youth group session for one of our student leaders. She is a Junior, and her family is moving back to the States--their church is successfully planted and thriving, and God is moving them home.

Others are just beginning. I just returned home from a commissioning service at Sojourn, the k-12 school attached to the Language Institute. The service was to help the students of all ages to remember what was going on--why they were moving on. Each got a picture frame with a couple of pictures from school for them to remember. Two of our youth groupers were among this group.

Goodbyes are hard. Hard for those leaving, but also for those staying behind. A connection is severed when goodbyes are said. Most of these we will never see again in this lifetime. What do you do with the love you come to have for a person, the investment you've made into each other's lives? Is it worth making friends again? Is this pain always linked to having people close? Should I just keep everyone at arms length, a safe distance? These are questions that our students must wrestle through. Please pray for these kids as their world gets turned upside down one more time.