The process of language learning we are in is really fun (in my opinion). We’re currently at a point in our language ability that we can understand quite a bit. Enough to get around somewhat comfortably. We can now pinpoint the word(s) in a sentence or phrase we don’t know and ask for them to rephrase it. I still have a ways to go before my sentences sound natural, but somehow I can usually communicate or ask what I’m wanting to.
Before when we’d want to watch or learn a new cultural process we’d have to awkwardly introduce ourselves and try to ask to watch them while taking photos (pretty creepy, I suppose). Thankfully now the awkwardness is toned down (a bit) as we’re able to communicate much more effectively. Since I have a ways to go before communicating really well more often than not I’m able to make the first introduction and then Josh takes it from there (while I’m listening and learning).
We’re still not 100% comfortable by any means! Pretty much our regular anxious, grumpy and sweaty feeling we would get before we walk out the door has toned down a bit to where we can sometimes be happy as we head out! That’s a big deal!
So even though we are becoming more comfortable here (which we can thank God for!) our language helper Dance is such a blessing as he breaks the ice for us and is able to make us very comfortable! We have been asking him to take us to learn processes such as:
Riding a taxi,
Making a slingshot,
Making fried eggs on shishkabobs
And the process of shredding a coconut among many others.
In these processes we are able to pick up many new words. After experiencing the process we ask Dance to record each step of the process. Later we’ll take that recording and listen to it, write it down and study it later again with him. Slowly but surely new words are becoming embedded into our vocabulary.
My favorite process with Dance was when he invited us to his family’s house an hour from here. He told me his sister-in-law was making a noken (a traditional woven purse) and we could come see! We drove together to the big city. And somewhere in the middle of this crazy city was this little valley with a small cliff surrounding it. It was a beautiful little spot.
We were showed a great amount of kindness!
I learned these purses are quite the process to make! It can take up to two months to make one working little by little on it. I was brought to tears when this family (who surely has little) gave me this yellow noken around my neck! A cherished gift.