Thursday, April 14, 2016

|| adjusting ||

^^ Sunday afternoon, 2013

There was a time when I used to think, "I'll just never, ever get it."  Living here was so new. Everything was so different.  It wasn't that I missed home.  But I felt as if I went from being a capable person to being a very incapable person in a matter of a few plane rides over an ocean and a continent.  And I thought the feeling would never end.

I remember my sister-in-law giving me the shopping list for the restaurant.  I would say, "No, I know for sure they didn't have allllll of these items."  Then, she would patiently explain where they could be found and yes, they were there.  

The brands on the store shelves were different.  The packaging was different.  The names of items were different.  I would buy canned Hunt's diced tomatoes just because I knew what they were!!!!  :)

For a fairly non-adventurous person, it even surprises me (now that I think back) three years into this marriage thing, that I am happily married to someone in a different culture than mine halfway across the world from everything that was familiar.  

But I know why I did it.  Because it was God's perfect plan for me.

^^ crazy, wind-blown, holiday hair but deeply happy

I can only give praise to God for how He has helped me.  I have learned so much.  If you could hear me say it in person, it would sound like this:  I have learned sooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!  I have learned about forgiveness and mercy, happiness and contenment, trust and FULL assurance in God's love for me. 

This week, we left our baby on the farm with my MIL and nipped to the big city for our monthly shopping trip.  Now, sans responsibility, I zipped around the city by myself checking out places I've been wanting to for ages.  I felt like I had conquered the world.  

Every time I leave here and go away on holiday, my heart becomes more knit with my life here.  Let me say, I've never once dreaded the plane ride home.  When that plane lands, my heart surges with joy to be home.  Leon and I are so grateful to raise our baby girl here.  The people have endeared themselves to me.  The healthy, simple way of living filled with hard works gives me pleasure as I drop into bed each night. 

So those of you still wondering how I'm doing, let me say this:  I am fine.  And I really hope to give you a peek into my life through this little blog so that you can see that life here is good.  It is really, really good.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

|| three languages ||

Liesl is non-stop talking these days.   Most of it is in English simply because I am around her the most during the day and I speak English.  However, her little brain is learning how to process three languages.  I love the fact that she will be fluent in three languages.

So many Americans only speak English.  To be able to communicate in another language besides one's own is such an advantage.  

So how is she learning three languages?  Do we sit her down and go through vocabularly flashcards to teach her words?  Does the mother need to know as many languages as the child?  Do we wait until she is old enough to understand one language and then increase to two then to three? No, no, and no.

Simply, the one who is speaking to Liesl speaks their native language.  I speak only in English to her.  My husband speaks Afrikaans.  And the maids (and others) speak Bemba to her.  

The rule is that each of us should not put in words from the other language simply so Liesl learns how to process the three languages.  But that doesn't exactly happen.  I grew up with a few German words sprinkled in my vocabulary and I've done the same with her.  Sometimes, I say to "sit moi" (sit pretty or sit nice).  And Leon puts in a lot of English words in his vocabulary.  

Another great thing is that I have effortlessly been learning Afrikaans since Liesl has been born.  Because Leon primarily speaks his native tongue to her, I have learned from the very beginning simple phrases such as "Papa is going now"  or "Wait a minute" or "Stop crying or screaming".  In a pinch if I want to say something privately, I can speak a bit to Leon in Afrikaans.  

The newest thing that I have been noticing is Liesl speaking Afrikaans.  She says many things in English.  But just lately, has been saying more Afrikaans.  It is so neat to me to hear her speaking another language.  

I would most certainly encourage anyone with a background in another language to speak that language to their children.  It is so beneficial!!