Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just a Note

I sit at my desk trying to get myself motivated to study for a test tomorrow.  Frankly, I am feeling quite tired right now.  I am looking for excuses not to study which, of course, is not good.  So I took the camera and took some pictures from our apartement.

The other day it was around plus 10 celsius, and it rained, so a lot of the snow is gone.


On my list of "must do before we leave for Africa".  Make a snowman.  Task completed with a help of Josh, the son of another missionary couple. 

This is "Fred"

typical day/ week

What does a typical day of language learning look like:

  • We get up at 6 am
  • We have formal class for approximately 4 hours a day
Then the fun begins, the additional requirements to make our language more comprehensive include:

  1. Meet with a french bible school student to read the scriptures 15 for minutes 4 times a week.
  2. Read school devotion program and write a small responce en francais daily.
  3. View or listen to 5 hours of French media a week (movies like Narnia are great in french), french news etc.
  4. Complete 5 hours per week of doing Rosetta Stone - a computer language learning program
  5. Have ten - 7 minute french conversations per week
  6. Do one French 'activity' per week, which is some type of social event where we hear lots of          French.  ie festival or curling event, etc.
  7. Read French newspapers/journals or other reading material preferrably daily
  8. Get homework done for the next day of classes and review the information for the following class to increase our comprehension of the material being covered.  On-line french helps are frequently utilized for comprehension and learning.
  9. Memorization and more memorization of bible verses and dialogues for class.
  10. Prepare oral presentations for class.
  11. Occasionally go on a class field trip.

Take some time to have quiet time alone, and with each other in english, to grow in faith and knowledge of our Lord.

Make meals, do laundry, buy groceries etc. - that which is necessary for daily living.

Try to remember to laugh a few times a day.

Wednesday includes 1 hour of French chapel in the morning, 1 hour of French Bible training in the afternoon, 1 hour of ladies/men's time for prayer and devotion.

Orest meets with 3 men at our apartment 2 times a week to enhance the french conversation and work
on preparing their testimonies.

Being immersed in French, to learn the lesson takes a lot of time and effort.  Only by God's grace can we survive and succeed - thankfully.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Polar dip

It is polar dip season at PdvB.  They have winter camps for the next several weeks.  Part of the weekends activities is an opportunity for brave hearted campers and language students to go for a Polar dip.  They first take the brave or fool hearted people in a building close to the glass tank. They first get the polar dippers to exercise and get the blood flowing well.  The crowd cheers and out they come and jump into the 3' wide by 6 feet long tank full of water.  The temperature of the water is slightly above freezing and extra snow is put in the tank at the last minute, just to chill it off a bit more.  They jump down at the one end of the tank, need to walk to the other end and climb out the other end.  It was great fun to watch. 

Below is a slideshow of the fun.☺

Conversations en Français

Orest and I have been blessed with a couple who want to engage in french conversations with us weekly.  We generally met for an hour over lunch on Friday's.  They are kind and patient listening to our bad french, then they gently and kindly correct us when necessary and help us develop confidence.  This helps us use all that we have learned at school.  We have great laughs and feel so blessed.

Orest also is hosting some of the men from his class 2 afternoon a week.  They are working with an advanced student to help develop their conversation and testimonies en français.

Merci beaucoup

A dear supporter sent us some "special date cash" at Christmas time.  We took the opportunity to go to one of several Fondu restaurant's in Sherbrooke.  It was an evening to remember.  3 courses of fondu. Appetizer cheese fondue, then main course, the dessert fondue.   This will be a treasured memory of Quebec.
The meal was served in a dish the shape of a painters palate.  4 "paint wells" with different sauces, with the vegetables (legumes) and entree in the plate area.  How cool.

During our stay in Quebec we have been astonished at the volumne of fondue food items available at every store.  Thin sliced meats in the frozen food sections in all stores including Walmart.  1 litre cans of fondue broth in a variety of favors and cheese all prepared for an instant party. 

Flu shots

It was flu shot time for us.  We went to the local clinic, as we were waiting for our number #102 + #103 to be called we overheard a conversation between friends.  It went like this: "We need to be grateful to be waiting in this clean, safe, warm room able to get the flu shot when others in Haiti are sick and injuried and have no access to medical treatment."

It is a matter of prespective.  We felt blessed.  The 1.5 hour wait was no problem at all.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I had a deja vu event this week.  There is a 2 sheet Curling club 5 minutes from the school that offers free ice time.    They provide brooms and sliders for novice curlers.  We have not curled for about 20 years.  Had a great time.  Apparently Brazil used this rink to prepare for the upcoming Olympics.  Kind of like the movie "Cool Running".  It reminded me of the curling rinks in the surrounding farming communities I grew up in.  I successfully met my goal of not falling and hitting the head, and bonus I got 2 out of 4 rocks in the house. ☺

On of those to do things on my list "before we leave for Africa"  was to make a snowman.  Yesterday was a beautiful day and the snow was sticky, perfect for snowman making.  I can check this off the list!☺

Please join us in praying for Haiti this week.

We are both working very hard at our studies and are making progress in our french language studies.  Continued prayer is appreciated.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We love Quebec

Some of our observations:

  • The folks here love to spend lots of time visiting over meals.  There is no quick meal at a restaurant.  Here you linger at the table and enjoy the meal and the fellowship.
  • There is a huge selection of cheese available at the stores.
  • At church, the pastor preaches for at least 45 minutes.

SIM Supper

Being able to spend time with other folks who are planning to serve in Africa is one the most enjoyable aspects of life at the school.  There are students from numerous missionary agencies currently studying french.  On Friday we particularily enjoyed having all of the SIM language students over for supper.  In total there were 9 adults and 2 children.  What a great way to spend the time through fellowship over a meal.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New School Semester

January 5, 2010 and it's time for French language studies to resume.  We have heard that this semester is a lot tougher so admittedly there is some anxiety.

We have blocks of time for which we are required to do clean up in the building we stay in.  This also includes shovelling the snow.  This week is our week and it has decided to snow a lot.  We have to shovel from the apartment to the classroom.  This is a long distance.  Sunday there was enough snow that a number of things were cancelled, including church.  We felt the pain of shovelling for two hours that day.

We have consistently maintained our daily devotions and prayer to keep us uplifted and faithful in our lives.  Now we have also started a new study on the book called 'Seeking the Face of God' by Gary L. Thomas.   This is a book that attempts to help us attain a more intimate relationship with God by using insights from Christian thinkers of the past.  The book is starting off good and we are excited about continuing the study.