8 months ago we arrived in France exhausted yet praising God that we successfully arrived in country with all our luggage and all our children. Lord willing, 8 months from now, we will arrive in Cameroon with all of our luggage and all our children. As we are at the half-way mark, we thought we would reflect on our last 8 months here in France:
Turns out Language Learning is Hard
Boy was I wrong. English is NOT in Albertville, France and it turns out that learning another language is incredibly difficult and incredibly humbling. When we landed, we could not read one sign. We wandered around lost for months. I guessed what spices to buy at the store because I did not know how to read the labels (good thing all the spices look the same). We could not understand the announcements at church or at school. We could not read the signs on the door of our kids school telling us that there would be a strike and to not bring our kids to school the next day and so we showed up the next day wondering why the doors were locked.
We have inadvertently said and done painfully awkward things. I have walked into a men’s locker room to men taking off their pants while trying to practice their English with me. An anonymous person in our family commented to a woman that she had a dog on her shirt…but accidently said she had a dog IN her shirt to which she pointed inside her shirt and explained that what was in her shirt was her, not a dog. I have accidently kissed people on the lips instead of kissing the air while touching cheeks. Me and my English speaking children were the topic of conversation for an extended period of time at a meeting at my kids’ school. And then we keep talking about heaters instead of unemployment, condoms instead of preservatives, we keep using future tense instead of past tense and so on. And as if these mistakes were not painful enough the first time, we keep repeating them!
The Progress has been Painful, but it is Progress Nonetheless
God Really is Everywhere