Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Value of PILAT

We are nearing the end of our first week of class, and things have definitely gotten intense!

We have at least 2 drills per day of practicing sounds for our languages, and then other classes throughout the rest of the day.  We have been given several assignments to truly gauge our learning and also allow us to reflect on our language goals for the long-term.  Josh and I had no idea, but today we found out why it is so hard to get rid of an American accent in Spanish.  We have COMPLETELY different tongue positions for a lot of sounds, so we spent some time today with one of our professors trying to fix this.

As one of our mentors told us, "The effectiveness of a missionary is directly proportional to their ability to speak the language and speak the language CORRECTLY!"  Communication will be vital to us as we build relationships in Ecuador.  Starting a hospital is quite an endeavor and we will need to clearly express our goals and our needs to the local population, the government, local churches, and craftsmen in order to get the job done.  Just mumbling and fumbling our way through Spanish will not be sufficient.

We are so grateful for the support we have received and we know that this training will be invaluable to us moving forward.  As much as we would love to move straight to Ecuador tomorrow and begin our work, this is s a very important step and we have had to realize that.  We'll see what tomorrow brings!

On a side-note, I cannot believe that North Carolina has gotten more snow in the last week than Colorado.  Who would have thought???

Love and God Bless,

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