Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roosters, Grammar, & Yummy Food

Our new place is beautiful! It has just as many non-functional issues as the other, but I think it is better since it is cheaper, there is a lot more room for all of us, and tons of spots for my boys to run around in.

{Silas & Jonah our first morning there, on the porch outside of our rooms.}

The house comes with a pet rooster! Jonah and Silas noticed him right away!

We have a couple staying with us right now. The Yoders, James and Marietta, called us up several months ago and offered to come down for a couple weeks when we had time to tutor us in Kekchi. Why? Because they love Kekchi people. They were missionaries in Belize for many years and actually lived in a Kekchi village. James has been down here before to teach a KBI module. The Kekchi pastors still go on and on about how good Brother James' Kekchi is and how it is pure Kekchi and even better than theirs since he doesn't mix in any Spanish words.
Their offer to come help us learn this language is a wonderful gift! We were very excited to hear about their willingness to do this. We feel like there have been so many setbacks, especially trying to find accurate grammar books and dictionaries that use the new alphabet. The more books we find and people we ask questions, the more different answers we get. I feel like we are constantly learning and then relearning things that were written down incorrectly.

Yesterday we all went to the country's headquarters for indigenous languages. They are supposed to have all of the textbooks that are used in the schools. It was kind of disorganized.

We had to rummage through piles of books in all the Mayan languages to find Kekchi textbooks. We bought 2 of everything they had that included the Spanish in it.
{Some of the books we found}

Once we got home we were pretty disappointed. It looks like they must have started with a Spanish textbook and then had that one translated to all the Mayan languages to use as a grammar book for those languages whether the languages were similar or not. Lots of words don't exist I guess in all of the languages or the thoughts weren't clear to the ones translating, because the books are kind of a mess. The sentences don't even make sense. The charts are off. I feel bad for the Kekchi children who are using these textbooks to learn how to write their own tongue. They have a beautiful language, but these books might make them doubt that.

So our plan now is to continue with James over skype and Tutor #4 in person, writing down as much as we can get and organizing it in a usable fashion. Please pray for us, we need this language to move on with our Kekchi work.

Beyond the language, the Yoders know so much about Kekchi culture. We are constantly learning valuable things from them just in casual conversation. Jimmy has already made several adjustments to the seminary just from discussions with James. Beyond language and culture, we really enjoy their friendship. We come from such different backgrounds, but there is just such good fellowship there. They have had so many experiences, and we get to reap wisdom from all of them.
They are great with our boys. Jonah and Silas are fascinated with James' iPad, so he won them over quick!
Marietta is a great cook, so I have really enjoyed being around her in the kitchen. I am writing down all kinds of new recipes.

We are having the best time with them!

Marietta took pregnancy photos for us yesterday, so I will try and post them soon. Eden is staying put for now. Jimmy went out and bought newborn diapers today and a pack n play, so I'd say we are officially ready... as ready as you can be! I probably should pack a hospital bag I guess.

1 comment:

  1. What a blessing to find people who have the knowledge you need! Too bad you have to make your own textbooks, pretty much.


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