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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Me Tarzan...You Jane; Learning the Language

It's the end of the day and my kids look like sugar donuts.  They've been playing in the sand of the volley ball court and the sand clings to their sweaty skin-they need to be scrubbed.

Luke is at the tippy top of the guava (goiaba) tree, his new 'jungle gym'.

"Luke, você tem das chaves?" I shout to him.
"Yah mom I have the keys!"

Apparently learning another language happens pretty naturally for kids.  Phil and I spend two hours a day in class to learn what he's learning just hanging out with his friend and listening to the other kids.  Oh to be eight again!

In the two weeks since we pushed 11 suitcases from Canada to Brazil (at least that's what it felt like) we have managed to unpack, make a kitchen out of raw wood and concrete blocks and have begun the process of learning Portuguese.  It's been a great ride so far.

We've settled in to a routine of working on the ongoing construction projects and homeschooling in the morning, language study and language practice in the afternoons.

Our kids are learning things too.  Like not to leave crackers in your Barbie house or it gets taken over by ants.

This is the first time for both of us to learn another language by being completely immersed in it and we're on a serious learning curve.  For two people who love to talk, get to know people and build relationships it can be a challenge but also a motivator.  We are eager to learn the language well and yes, maybe a little impatient.  We're a long way from fluency.

 Just today I was trying to explain something for which I had few words and I'm sure I sounded like a cave woman.

"I need do this.  You help me?"  or something like that....sigh...we'll get there.

Sometimes for fun we use the google translate app on our phones, speak a phrase of Portuguese into it to see if we're saying it right.  Either our accent is terrible or the app has some issues, the other night I was trying to say that I wanted to buy some ice-cream and it said I was trying to buy a transvestite.  Whoops.  I guess I better not go anywhere by myself for a while.

Saying all of that the buds of relationship with the Brazilian pastor and his wife Monica are starting to grow.  Monica is teaching us Portuguese and we seem to communicate enough for quite a few laughs, it's amazing what you can get across with a few words and a lot of body language and facial expressions.

Something that has been an absolute gift is seeing our kids flourish here.  It almost feels like we were trying to raise a pair of border collies in a tiny apartment and we just moved to a farm.  For any of you who know our kids you know they are full of energy, imagination and creativity and this rhythm of life, the amount of time they spend outside is good for their little souls.

Here are a few more photos of our second week.

Waking up 

Asleep in their 'pods' 
They had to wait for their eyes to open to hold them

Is there anything cuter than a new puppy?
There was a big grass fire on the property, this one was lit to keep the snakes at bay 

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