Archive for the 'Language' Category

Rubber Dinosaur, The Holidays, etc.

David came up to me the other day and said, “Papa, this candy does not taste good at all.” He was holding a rubber dinosaur. He likes gummy-bear type candy and I guess he figured this was like that. He ate the head before deciding that the taste was unpleasant.






Yesterday, we prepared the house for Christmas. I dug out our fake tree from the back porch (sorry, so unromantic) and we decorated it all together. David helped by breaking the ornaments that he felt would look nice on the tree. He also found my Santa outfit (that we use for skits) and tried it on.

Tuesdays are always busy. First thing this morning, Mark and I met together and then we met with our local coworker. After lunch, the team met and we planned the week’s events and brainstormed possibilities for January. Elbek, my language helper, came over in the evening and we recorded Altai words and phrases. And that about wraps it up.


The Prodigal Sun

My title bends the dictionary a bit. The adjective ‘prodigal’ does not work well with the word ‘sun’. The sun can never really squander its wealth, as far as I know. However, most of us familiar with the Bible liken the word to someone who has been gone a long time and then unexpectedly and joyfully shows up: and thus my play on words.Today, we welcomed the long missed sunlight and blue skies. It has been two weeks since we saw the sun. We are glad that it is back at last. At lunch, David and I grabbed a few minutes to try to build a snowman, but to no avail. The snow was too dry to pack. It is -5C now: the coldest air this winter has yet produced; but at least we saw the sun.

Below, and unrelated (as of yet) to the word ‘prodigal’, are some pictures of David, taken today.


(just outside of our apartment)

After lunch, Maya and I went to our Altai language class. We are not doing badly. I have about 50+ words and perhaps 10 phrases: a total novice. Maya is farther along, and has a better accent. The grammar is about as difficult as Russian’s, but a few things make learning less arduous; such as the adjective, which does not decline, as the Russian adjective does, according to number or gender.

Tomorrow, we have two meetings with new local friends of ours. In the morning, we tour the city with Alya, a widow (her husband died last year) that Maya has befriended. In the evening, I meet with Elbek, who will help me in Altai while I help him in English. This is relationship building, step by step.