International Ministries

A Day in the Lives of the Language Learners

December 18, 2009 Journal
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As the first rays of the morning sunrise brighten our curtained bedroom window about 7 am, we are awakened by the sounds of our neighbor children laughing and their mothers calling for them in the yard right outside our window.  After our private time of exercises, showering and dressing, Bucky makes a 5 minute trip to the local store to buy our daily purchase of two packets of milk, about 4 cups, and one of yogurt. Meanwhile, Carole makes breakfast, either cereal or eggs, and toast, browning it in a frying pan on days without electricity, sharing the kitchen with the gecko we hear calling, but have only seen once.

After breakfast, Carole boils the milk and makes the morning tea and coffee: Bucky washes the dishes rinsing them in boiled water.  Before our 10 am class, we have our personal time of Bible reading and prayer, then finish our last minute preparations before dashing off to class. 

Because Pokhara is 2,000 feet lower than Kathmandu and warmer, by 10 am the morning sun has generally burned off the light winter morning fog. In our 10-minute walk to the Language School, we look behind us to see the Himalayan Mountains that are often showing their majestic size and snow-covered peaks. We walk carefully around the water buffalo that is sharing the dirt road with us.

Our classes are from 10 am to 1 pm, with a short break every hour.  Carole’s teacher is Jyoti, who is about 2 weeks younger than our daughter, Jyoti, and about 2 inches shorter! Bucky takes his lessons from Deepak.  Our teachers engage us in conversation, correcting grammar and vocabulary that used to fly off our tongues.  Slowly we are gaining our confidence in the language.

After class, walking back to our apartment we stop to buy some vegetables, fruit, eggs, and bread.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a young woman comes to our house to wash our laundry by hand and make our lunchtime dal-bhat, the Nepali meal of rice, lentils and vegetable curry.  On the other days, Carole cooks rice and reheats the food made the previous day.

The electricity goes off during the day for two hours, and then again for two in the evening. So our afternoon activities depend on when we have electricity:  going to the local cyber café do to email; reading and studying the next lesson in our book; taking a shower with the warm water from the solar panels; soaking the vegetables, fruits and eggs in boiled water; sitting on the porch drinking tea and being frightened by the landlord’s two geese that like to come and honk at us angrily; bringing in the laundry which has been hung to dry on the flat roof of our house; and finding places in the apartment to hang the clothes that didn’t get dry.

After eating our evening meal, generally a light one of sandwiches, noodles, cheese, yogurt and fruit, we spend the evening relaxing, or reading and studying in preparation for another day, some part of it done by two hours of candlelight.

We finish this intensive language study on December 23. We’ll move to a tourist area of town for Christmas and our anniversary, returning to Kathmandu on December 30. Then we’ll then begin again the search to find a place to live.

As we listen to Christmas music from the computer, or sing Nepali Christmas carols at church, we enjoy this important season when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus.

May you each will filled with the joy of the Christmas celebration.

With love from the Language Learners,

Carole and Bucky