Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mission Moment: May

A couple weeks ago, Handsome had some time to accompany me to Solola.  I had been waiting for this because I wanted to take shoes out, and that’s a little difficult on the bus.  So, one morning we loaded two large, plastic totes full of shoes as well as three medium-sized duffel bags into his car and headed out.  I had planned this trip for February, but with our cat getting sick and eventually dying, we were busy with her.  With March ending, I really wanted to do what I said I would do back in February.

The families were happy to see us.  Most of the grades hadn’t come out yet; so many of them had fewer points to spend.  However, I know what the shoes mean to a lot of these kids; as one of the mothers told me the first year, “My son realized that he could earn things with good grades when I brought home the shoes.”  As a result, I allowed some of the families to go into “debt” with their points.  I’m hoping it turns out to be an investment that results in better grades.

In mid-April, I’m hosting a retreat in my house for missionary women who live in this area.  At time time that I’m writing this, it hasn’t happened yet; so I can’t tell you about how it went.  However, it’s put on by a website called Velvet Ashes, a site which ministers to women serving overseas.  This is the first time I’ve participated (and only the second time they’ve offered it online), but I decided to jump in with both feet and host a group.  I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other missionary women in this area and learn about the work they’ve been called to do.

Language Learning

Your word in Kaqchikel for this month is “xajab” (sha-HAB).  (I don’t think I’ve given you that one before.)  It means “shoe” in English.  In Spanish, it’s “zapato.”  When I ask the kids (or their parents) what size shoe they wear, I say, “Ach kin numer xajab?” (Besides the last word, that’s all phonetically for those of you who are trying to learn Kaqchikel or for those of you who read the newsletter to someone else.)

I have one delightful woman in the program who only speaks to me in Kaqchikel.  Sure, she doesn’t know much Spanish, but she won’t even say “hello” (“hola”) or “goodbye” (“adios”) to me in Spanish.  I find it funny because this woman who has never even gone to school is utilizing one of the best ways to teach a language with me.  If all the rest of my parents would follow suit, I’d probably be fluent in Kaqchikel in no time.

Some of the mothers looking for the perfect pair


  1. I cannot be sure how late I am in saying this: although this post is dated from several months ago, it has only just shown up in my news reader this week as your most recent. In any case, I am very sorry about the death of your beloved cat, Annalisa. My condolences to you and your husband for your loss.

    1. Thanks, Virgil, for your message. She died in mid-March. I was a little slow at posting the church newsletter articles which is why this post just showed up in your news reader. I had mentioned her death very briefly in another post, but as it was a brief mention, it was easy to miss.

      As for you, looking at your Google+ page, it seems that you have started a new blog and perhaps abandoned your old one. I was hoping you were okay.

    2. Frankly, it's a wonder we have managed to keep in touch at all. You know (recall your youth, my friend), it was some eight years ago that we first "met." And I am not on Facebook, so I cannot keep up there. As it happens, I did start a supplementary journal to Lasseter's Lost Reef, but I have not abandoned the first. I simply tend to post on the first far less, as my "vision" for that one is narrower. To give a simplified explanation of my idiosyncrasy, Lasseter's Lost Reef Βʹ is where I put the stuff that's easier to write or to copy (such as comments I have posted elsewhere on the Internet) with whatever additional brief commentary.

      In any case, as lives have gone through such radical transitions over these years, I do find it poignant and somewhat nostalgic to visit your page and leave the odd comment from time to time. You are gracious in responding to my comments. I believe I shall test that graciousness further with a brief remark on "code-switching" in your most recent post, which just popped up in my news reader.