wow. I have so much to say I dont think I'll be able to read anyone's emails or write back, but I will tell you ALL ABOUT Marshallese program!! My comp doesnt really know that much Marshallese, she understands it well but doesnt speak big words. She teaches all the lessons and I...well....I drive us around? Haha. I get to drive a 2012 Chevy Malibu. I really dislike that car, the turning radius is nada. It makes me nervous to drive such a new car, too! There are 500 thousand speed bumps here! I'm glad Utah doesnt have that many. Also, I no longer have a GPS so we tough it by map. And get lost a lot.
Sister Konou is pretty shy, wouldnt hurt a fly. Literally. There was a fly in her face yesterday and she just gently pushed it out of the way. Marshallese culture is very different. Everyone is soft-spoken and gentle. All the people let us in even if they have no intention on getting baptized so its interesting because we have a hard time knowing if they are really interested! There is a lot of conversational silence, too. Long. periods. of awkward. silence. There are a bazillion children everywhere we go. When I get bored because I cant understand anything, I find myself just making funny faces at the kids and they play with me sometimes. I wear a flower in my ear now and we remove our shoes at every door.
Marshallese language sounds like jibberish. Like a 18 month old baby who is just babbling. It doesnt sound like a real language. Most people we teach CAN speak English, they just prefer Marshallese, so thats what we do. Everyone is related, too. We are teaching Sister Konou's uncle, her aunt, one of her cousins, and another aunt. We share our Marshallese branch with 2 elders, Elder Zepty and Elder Jones. Elder Zepty is Marshallese too, but it makes me happy that Elder Jones and I are in the same confused state constantly. Guess I like the company of not being the only one who is utterly lost all the time.
We went to a birthday party last week for a Marshallese 1 year old girl. I was thinking "great! a few friends and family at an apartment with some cake!" nope. The first few birthdays are celebrated with ginormous parties for the whole Marshallese community. Like, they probably fed a full-fledged dinner (complete with oysters, which I ate) to about 300 people. There was a program of dancing and the birthday girl's family gives GIFTS to everyone! They gave away like 50 blankets and toys for the kids. It was a huge deal.
p.s. Can someone please tell me the difference between a speed bump, a speed lump, a speed hump, a speed table, and undulations? Because they all just slow down the car. Why do we need 5 different names??