Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alli Puncha....Good Day...

Well, we went to our first meeting last night in Quichua. As we stepped out of Fernando's car and were walking to the doors, I felt like it was the first day of school! My heart was in my throat! Chad, Fernando and I just looked at each other knowingly like, "well, this is the end of life as we know it..."
But, I can tell you that it already feels like home. I am so grateful for that. I had prayed to Jehovah that if it was the right decision, it would just feel right. And it SOOO did (well for me anyway, I can't speak for the others!) We knew quite a few of the brothers and sisters already, and they all gave us such a warm welcome! Those that didn't know us were all like, "you must be Chad, Michele and Fernando"...they had been anxiously awaiting our arrival....awww, how sweet!

I didn't understand much...back to square one, and I remember thinking, this sounds like Japanese or Chinese to me. The old feeling of complete stupidity when they say something funny from the platform and everyone is laughing hysterically...except us. But, we are used to being lost, right? haha It definitely is different from Spanish and English. This week is the CO visit, and then next Saturday starts the class.

There were a few native Quichua-speakers there, a sister and some bible students, which was encouraging to see. The advantage/disadvantage is that the majority of Quichua speakers also speak spanish...it isn't their native tongue, but they speak very well. I say it is an advantage, obviously, because we will still be able to get our points across in Spanish if needed while we learn. The disadvantage is that if we rely too heavily on our spanish, we won't progress as fast in Quichua.

We found out tonight that they have their circuit assembly in Riobamba (about 6 hours in bus) in 3 weeks...and everyone is telling us we HAVE to go. We would like to go, it should be a good experience. Also, because the branch does not yet have a Bible in Quichua, we need to buy another translation, and they aren't really available here in Cuenca. But, someone told us we can get them in Riobamba. Yes, just another thing to add to our already bulging schedule! But, sounds fun, huh? The need really seems to be great here in Quichua...we found out that they sent the same letter requesting help also to the special pioneers here in Ecuador! They are really pushing! It makes us feel good to know we are a part of something so important here. Although every cong. here has a need in whatever language!

I took a few pictures. The sisters are from here and are learning Quichua, but gave a talk tonight, and to show their love of the culture, wore the traditional garb. Now, this clothing is native for those from more up north near Otavalo, but it happens to be one of my favorites. The women always look so beautiful. From what they say, it seems that each area has their own style. I look forward to learning and seeing the differences! I was told I have to buy some of my own...sounds fun!

Just wanted to keep you all updated! Thanks for all the words of encouragment...keep em coming...this next year should be a challenge!

Miss you all...






12 comments:

AJ and Jordanne said...

Go Chad, Michele and Fernando!!

And go Sylvia ~ she looked so cute in her traditional dress!

You guys will do great with your diligent spirit and reliance on Jehovah!!

Wish I could say something now in Quichua to sign off,
Jordanne

kambelina said...

How exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth NOT in Ecuador said...

Well done you three-and it was nice to see Silvia looking lovely!
Hey I got an email from Alexandra - is she joining you? Reading Spanish is not my forte (or speaking or listening....)

Aaron said...

So how do you say "Hola, somos testigos de Jehova" in Quichua?

Aggidio - JoAnn said...

So exciting!! Jehovah will help you and the friends in the congregation will adore you as much as the rest of us do. It is so great that you made yourself available and can see Jehovah directing you in this way! And any language group that suggests you go shopping for new clothes is pretty awesome in my opinion! :) Thanks for the update - keep them coming!!!

The Haines Family said...

Wow, how exciting!! You guys will do awesome.

Deb n Doug said...

Well, life for you guys is never boring! This is just another exciting chapter. Could you tell us how to properly say Quichua. I'm saying it in my head with the Spanish pronunciation but is that correct?

mominlebanon said...

Awesome! And very encouraging! Has our new song book been translated into Quichua? What about the other publications that we are using for our meetings? We can't wait to see field service photos and hear your experiences. Until then we are proud of you, knowing that Jehovah will bless your willing spirit.

Jeff and Meli said...

We are really proud of you guys. Most certainly Jehovah will use you both greatly in your new assignment. Thats also cool to tell people: "yeah sure I know some Quicha" Oh it's just a little hobby" Watch how shocked they will be!! hahaha

ChantalLenee said...

Loved reading this blog. We are debating and debating and debating and debating learning Spanish to help out the Lebanon Spanish here in PA. They are down to three elders and one is very old and home bound. And all congregations need more pioneers.
My husband's brother has just moved here from Spain and they are going there so we thought that would be a help... but it's so scary. Any tips?
I will be following your progress.

Jeff and Meli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff and Meli said...

Hello ChantalLenee: We used to serve in Lebanon Spanish for 4 years but 2 years ago we decided to serve where the need is great and that has brought us to Thailand. Yes, you're right the congregation does need alot of help. We encourage you to learn Spanish, it will definitely be useful and you won't regret it. If we can help you in any way please let us know.