language learning

Even sorbet gets lost in translation

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Feeling like an ice cream I went to see what flavours a local shop was selling. I decided on a zesty looking lemon sorbet and so when a lady came over I asked for a scoop in Spanish and pointed to my choice. She said something back and I replied “si, si” ( “yes, yes”) and so she took a cone, scooped out a berry flavour and gave it to me.

My thoughts of walking away enjoying a zesty lemon sorbet had to change quickly to a sweet berry scoop.

It wasn’t a big deal and it made me chuckle a bit inside but it does give a little taste of what it’s like living life in a new language and culture. Most days I’m trying to understand and be understood, sometimes I have to readjust my expectations (lemon to berry) and often I feel more like a child than an adult. In two months there has been many highs and lows but I am so grateful that God is not like me and that he is always a strong rock and a secure fortress who doesn’t change. We can find true rest in God alone.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall never be shaken (Psalm 62).

 

A few weeks ago I signed up for crochet classes as a creative way to learn Spanish and to spend time with people from the community. I go twice a week and join a table of nattering Spanish Women who are all working on their own knitting or crochet. My teacher is a very friendly and patient lady who seems to be the ‘go to’ person in the neighborhood if you need craft advice. She teaches me how to crochet in Spanish with drawings and small demonstrations thrown in, we laugh a lot. I am very thankful that it has been such a joy to sit and listen and to try using my Spanish with these women.

 

To learn more about Katie and the work she is involved with in Spain click here.

 

Katie Settles into Life in Spain

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On the 16th September I arrived in Gijon, Spain and to my new home. I got to settle into my first week of getting to know the team leaders and the family, Gijon and eating a ‘welcome to your new home’ cake. I have loved eating foods like breads, cheeses and chorizo; soaking up new sights like the many Spanish people that stroll in the evenings and finding local places to relax and to exercise.

I am learning language with a Christian lady living in Madrid who I Skype with three days a week. The course is focused on building conversation fast so from the very first lesson I was able to speak simply.

Language and culture learning has been the hardest thing – at times as I want to say so much more than I am able to. Pray for patience in learning and in waiting to speak and pray that I would trust God with the pace of learning he gives to me. I’d also appreciate prayers for continued unity in relationships particularly with my team and host family. Pray that we would continue to love each other as Jesus loves us.