Monthly Archives: May 2016

Learning Afrikaans

“Elyse! Quick!”
I went running out of the house at the sound of Ryan’s voice.
“Ary walked without holding onto me!”
I didn’t believe it. Ary is only 9 ½ months old. I knelt down and called Ary to me. Amazingly, she stood there for a moment, daring herself to move without the reassuring hand of mommy or daddy. She looked at me and smiled. She took one step and wobbled. She kept going faster so to get to mommy before she fell over. She then toppled into my arms. I wrapped her up in my arms as we cheered her. She looked so proud with herself. Those first steps brought on a new life for mommy. I now spend Ary’s waking hours chasing after her inside and outside. Her favorite thing to do , besides put things in her mouth that she shouldn’t, is walking. It’s a whole new world for her to explore now. If you want to see some of her first steps, here is a short video clip.
After being here a year and a half, we finally found an Afrikaans teacher: our friend Christo. We are using a method that we learned in our missions training. We have paper hanging next to objects in our home with words and sentences on them so we not only use the word but also learn how to say it in a sentence. We play games and watch TV shows in Afrikaans. It is slow going as we only have so much time to dedicate with our teacher….not to mention we have an active child who loves attention. I must admit some of the sounds make me giggle. An Afrikaans “g” makes the sound of bringing up phlem in the back of your throat. I have a lot of fun now speaking to people in my limited Afrikaans and having them teach me some words and phrases too. People respond so much better to me when I speak to them in their heart language. Ryan wants to be able to speak technical computer Afrikaans with Waldo, one of the other programmers in the office. Once we get some of the basics down, he will be learning that. Programming language and terminology is complete gibberish to me in English so I will not be learning that. One of my goals is by the end of the year, I will be able to have a simple conversation with some of my neighbors. They are mostly older Afrikaans people and they are very proud of their language. They will not speak to anyone unless it is in Afrikaans. I would like to get to know my neighbors and learning there language is probably the best way to break through the walls in the community.
IMG_3474 IMG_3473 IMG_3478 IMG_3476
I know you can’t read them but these are just a few of the papers taped up around our house. The other picture is one of the games we play to learn modes of transporation and places to go. We are so awesome a drawing right?!
Until next time
Totsiens
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