Tuesday, June 7, 2011

a little bit of this and a little bit of that

-Peru elected a new president on Sunday. Since I'm new here I don't think I know enough to add much to the conversation, but it was definitely a significant election. If you are interested, you can read a very benign article on the results here. In Peru, the language surrounding the president-elect is much more harsh and scary. Now, scare tactics in elections aren't anything new and we are certainly keeping that in mind as we evaluate the situation. Unfortunately, the difference in Peru is that threats of rewriting the constitution have been made and congress can be (and has been at times) dissolved. Both would obviously grant the president a lot of power. Regardless, we are thankful for the current democracy in Peru and we respect the vote of the majority of Peruvians. This is who they elected and it doesn't do us any good to worry about the future.

-Spanish is still beating us up daily. I have memorized tons of verbs and vocabulary. Unfortunately, I have a huge mental block when it comes to actually using my Spanish and my pronunciation is just embarrassing. Blake, on the other hand, doesn't know as much vocab, but is amazing at speaking. He can hold his own in a conversation. (None of this surprises those of you who know us.) So, we make a great team (always). I can supply Blake with the words and he can actually put them together to make a sentence.

I know that most people have studied Spanish at some point in their life, but I still wanted to share a chart that Blake made of the verb, "to buy." In English we have "buy," "bought," "have/had bought," and "buying." Behold the many (but not all!) conjugations of "to buy."


(Also, this is a regular verb so it follows all the rules. Don't get me started on the hundreds of irregular verbs that don't seem to follow any rules.)

-Right after we moved to Peru I decided to potty train Tyler. I figured there was no time like the present since we had no furniture and wooden floors throughout our house. Plus I had some time on my hands and no car to go anywhere. Thankfully, Tyler got on board with my plan. I am happy to announce that after almost 10 years of wiping someone else's butt every single day, I am relieved of that responsibility. I feel like we are moving on to bigger and better things.


-We recently had our biggest cultural snafu since moving. On Saturday each of our kids invited a friend over to play. The parents of Brady's friend only speak Spanish, but Blake was able to communicate with them and invite their son over for a play date and lunch. Or so he thought. When the parents and son showed up, they brought a dessert and we invited them into our house. It was completely understandable to me that they would want to talk to us a bit before leaving their child. Peruvians are so welcoming and kind that I didn't think much of the dessert. Two hours later, when my brain was hurting from speaking so much Spanish and watching 7 kids I realized that the parents thought that we were serving them lunch. Let me also add that Peruvians eat one real meal a day- lunch. So it was a pretty big deal that we didn't serve this family lunch. I was so sick over what we had done (or not done in this case). After everyone left I crawled into bed and tried to figure out how we are ever going to make it here. Blake later confirmed with the father that they were expecting lunch, but he was very gracious about it and understood our mistake.

-Homework is taking a toll on our family. I have never seen so many random assignments, quizzes, and projects in my life. It would all be manageable, but the kids have the added pressure of learning Spanish and after school tutoring. Unfortunately, our last two weekends have been spent catching up on all of the homework the kids can't get done during the week. We are committed to figuring out a better system, so that we can have some fun on the weekends. Nothing says Sunday morning like homework.


-And... yarn orders are in the works!



Anonymous said...

I don't know if the subjunctive (subjuntivo!) is used over there, but if it is, just wait. It's a doozy.

VandD said...

I've been reading your blog since just before you departed for Peru. To say I think you are brave, would be the understatement of the year.

I just wanted to let you know I've been following along and rooting for you guys. I think what you are doing is awesome!

Best of luck from Canada :)


Sarah said...

So funny- right after Blake made that chart we learned the subjuntivo. I have never seen so many irregular verbs! Too much for my brain to handle. :)

Thanks for introducing yourself V and for rooting for us! I'm so not brave- seriously, if you could see me everyday you would know that most days I am barely making it. But we keep pressing on- one day it will be easier.

Anonymous said...

I look so forward to your updates.
I squirted 7 up out my nose at your expense over your lunch snafoo.
The strides you've made are awe inspiring. It will all be but a distant memory before you know it. You'll be focusing more on enjoying your new life than trying to learn it.
Keeping you in our prayers!!

Michael J. West said...

Just because I'm curious, did you take Spanish in high school? I did -- for 4 years -- and yet never managed to truly understand the difference between past preterite and past imperfect tenses. When you figure it out, will you drop me a line and explain it to me? :-)

Sarah said...

I made the stupid decision to study French in high school. We have found that Spanish people can't really teach the difference between the past verb tenses because it just comes naturally to them. I have studied the "rules" online, but am still just as confused! I guess it will take lots of practice and correction from our Peruvian friends.

Anonymous said...

No more wiping butts is an amazing accomplishment, way to go! Much love, Thrash

TacnaTeam2011 said...

Blessings to you and your family. I continue to pray for you all. Spanish will come easily soon, you will be speaking fluently by the end of the year; just stick to the Peruvians! And Yay! for no more wiping butts!

I hope this is encouraging :)
"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
Psalm 27:14 KJV