The Last Month or so
Well, I know it has been close to forever since we’ve blogged (especially since Burke informed me it was Blog awareness month), but, believe it or not, I still feel like I don’t have much to say. Regardless, here I go.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with the YWAM group in town and had an amazing time. They incorporated different activities, games, and fellowship with each other and with God, all which brought Thanksgiving to a whole new level. Last week, the DTS left for Amman, Jordan and we are praying for their time there (three months) and we are hoping we might be able to visit at some point. Since their departure we’ve been left with a Wednesday evening void. We really enjoyed and benefit from their Open Evening full of English worship and a deep, yet enlightening, message. We are still trying to figure out how to adjust to their absence.
We haven’t quite been healthy, but we haven’t been sick like before. According to the Slovaks we know, the fall has been very long because the first freeze only occurred just this weekend, which may have contributed to all of the illness, ours as well as the many kids who were ill at some point.
School is going well and I think the kids are learning so much. The first graders I work with have, on average, about three sentences memorized and are very proud to use them. The second graders are beginning to speak to me on their own by constructing their own sentences. Some of them are still too timid to really engage with me, but at the minimum they will speak to me when they need something. Before they can leave, every student has to tell me, “I am going home,” or some other gramatically correct variation of that. One day last week one of the youngest and smallest kids came up to me and I could tell he couldn’t quite remember. Rather than struggle and slowly pronouce the words he could remember, he thought about it for a minute and then looked me in the eye and said, “Mrs. Lizzie, go to bed.” I loved it not only because it was hilarious, but also because it means his parents are speaking English to him at home too.
Another common sentence that they use (especially second graders) is, “I don’t like/want this soup.” If I know they haven’t actually eaten any of it, I usually respond with a number of spoonfuls they have to eat before they can get their main course. One of the boys preempted my question by asking a Slovak-English hybrid question, “Koľko bites Musím jesť” (How many bites do I have to eat?) I enjoyed his use of the word bites that he had learned from me.
Something that I especially like at school is my relationship with one of the little girls in Green Class. She is probably the most adventurous student in her class at learning English. She often says things that are wrong and accepts and incorporates my corrections, and she is often asking, “What is this?” A few weeks ago I was working on some hall decorations and she said, “Lizzie, it is beautiful.” I thanked her and continued working, but a minute later she said, “To je pekne” (it is pretty/nice). It was such a simple sentence that I understood and said thank you without even thinking about it but she gasped and asked the other teacher how I knew that I should say thank you without knowing what she said. So over the last couple weeks she has tried to expose me because she thinks I can secretly speak and understand Slovak. My favorite is when she says something and then looks at me and says in Slovak, “You don’t understand, do you?” To which I say no, and every time it blows her mind because I must understand some Slovak to know that I should say no, but yet, I said that I don’t understand. Lastly, I caught her keeping tabs on me the other day after we were in line together at lunch. I thanked the lunch lady and a minute later I heard her say, “Lizzie povedal d’akujem” (Lizzie said thank you). I hope by the time she decides I can indeed speak and understand Slovak, that I can actually speak and understand Slovak; I’m certainly not there yet.
In other news, Christmas is in full swing. The market is up and we have visited it several times, there is a trdelník stand on our route to work that we frequent, and we are getting ready for Burke’s parents to visit and looking forward to all of the fun things we will do while they are here. Friday is our last day of school before break, on Saturday we move into our family friends’ home to dog sit, and on Sunday is the church Christmas musical. If you don’t hear from us before Christmas, Vesele Vianoce a stastny novy rok!
Burke and Lizzie,
Thanks for including me in your beautiful life in Slovakia-!
It was a delightful surprise to receive “today,” Saturday, the very thoughtful and welcome postcard from Burke.
Lizzie, I am the former stranger who helped stamp and otherwise prepare your 100 wedding invitations with Burke one day at the Palo Alto Post Office.
From what I can read on your blog, you have been having many adventures.
All that happens in life is not pleasant. But all that happens can, in some way, be seen as a blessing, if you trust in God and are reconcilled to God.
I wish you many happy years together.
Don’t be strangers-!
Fremont, CA USA