Thursday, August 25, 2011

CAMP - Start to Finish

Can I just tell you I feel like I’ve lost an apendage? Being without my camera this week was so hard! As I spent time in the village every day, I tried to take it all in so I could give it to you in word pictures so you could “see” it, too. But I think the personal stories will have to wait until another day...

The training time in the mornings got better each day as we learned from our mistakes the previous day. That’s what being a disciple is all about. The twelve dudes with Jesus had a learning, trying, failing cycle going on all the time.

Some of the same old problems of this area kept coming up as we went out. The church has told second wives, people who grow tobacco, men who didn’t get married in the church, etc. that they can’t be born again. Some of these people can’t change their situation in life, and so this proclamation by man leaves them hopeless.

I know my group had conversations that were hard to have and hard to hear.

The last day the groups went out, we took some “good will” items. We had been looking for terminally ill people, HIV positive people, and pregnant women all week, so we could bless them. We took BGR (Baptist Global Response) buckets to the sick and Maama kits to the expectant mothers. The buckets have things like a plastic mattress cover, sheets, towels, lotion, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, 300 vitamins, socks, straws, and plastic gloves (As a side note, you can volunteer or donate to BGR at THIS LINK. They are doing a lot to fight the famine in the Horn of Africa).

The house my group identified had two pregnant ladies and one very sick grandmother. She has a wound on her foot that won’t heal (probably because it is not kept clean). It’s rotting, and the “poison” of the wound is moving up her leg. Her son would like her to get it amputated, but she feels she is too old for that procedure (and I might have to agree).

While we visited with the family, shared a Bible story and gave a testimony, I sat by her and fanned the flies off her wound for one hour. That’s at least one hour out of her day that her wound got a break from those germ-carrying, pesky things. I really hated to leave her, and I’m not sure how much more time she has. The family was beyond grateful for the bucket and didn’t even have words to express their thanks for that and the 2 Maama Kits.

This sweet grandmother told us she identified with the story we told the first day we visited. In the parable of the Four Soils, she said she was the soil with the thorns. The worries of her wound and her sickness have choked the Word of God out of her. We prayed over her both days, and I hope to return to the village in September and see how she is doing. You can pray for her, too. Her name is Neria.

Here are some of the sick people that our different groups found:

An 18-month old burned with hot milk by his mother because of jealousy???

A man dying, lying in the sun, in the dirt, with no one to really care for him.

A lady whose dress caught on fire when she was cooking, and she couldn’t get to help fast enough.

Here are some of the comments from our students after the last day:

"I feel like I can tell stories to my neighbors and those that live around me now."

"I had never ministered to “sinners” before – like talking with drunk people."

"I feel like God has given me courage like it says in Joshua, 'Be strong and courageous.'"

"This was the first time I had ever laid hands on a sick person."

"This was the first time in my life I’ve ever given my testimony."

I don’t know who all was praying for this camp, but you affected more than just life-change in the students. So many people in the village were touched, loved on, taught, prayed for, and had their lives changed as well.

At the camp, a few were unsure of their testimonies, one girl was hearing voices calling to her (not good ones), and there were some students from some mixed-up backgrounds, so your prayers were necessary for them.

Now, all these students are seeking ways to help their own people! And they took ownership of their ministry. By the last day, they were saying to us adults, “We’re going to do it like this...” Most adults didn’t do anything on the last day in the village because the students were following the lead of the Holy Spirit and doing so well on their own.

THIS is how we work ourselves out of a job…

And that's a good thing!

We train the nationals to take the Word of God to their own people (Sudanese and Ugandans) in their own language (Alur, Lugbara, and Juba Arabic)! And multiplication of disciples happens.

Isn't God good?!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A New Kind of Camp

Today was the first day for the students to go out into the village and share. We went to three different villages in a total of 8 groups.

Talk about on-the-job training! Some of these kids had never said their testimony out-loud before camp, and here they were, standing in a yard in front of a mud hut, sharing with 20 or more people!

They also shared the story of Jesus and Nicodemus today. Sharing that story brought with it some cultural issues based on what the nationals “believe” the verse is saying rather than what it is actually saying. So some groups had quite a discussion on their hands.

A challenging aspect of the camp is that the kids speak other languages, in addition to English. We had to divide the kids into groups based on the languages they were able to speak (a definite first for me at a student camp). Two of the villages spoke Alur and one spoke Lugbara, so we needed able-speakers at specific places.

These amazing students, studied the story we gave them in English, and then they had to practice translating it into their heart language for the people.

Another fun piece of the puzzle is that we have 6 Sudanese students at the camp who speak Juba Arabic, but none of the local languages. We are using interpreters for them in the village, but we realized today that their English-reading skills are so poor that they aren’t even able to read/understand the story in English to really be able to repeat it well.

SO….tomorrow, my language teacher Florence, who speaks Juba Arabic, is coming to tell the story to them in their heart language, so they can better tell it in English.

Crazy stuff, huh?

God created all these languages, so we know He will speak to the heart of the people no matter what language is being spoken.

The students also prayed over the sick, hurting, and dying. The most extreme case of the day was one man who had HIV, Tuberculosis, AND stomach cancer!

Again, I will say, this has been a camp unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.

Even though they were a bit nervous and a little timid, the students did amazing!!

Doug got it right when he told the students they were getting to experience first-hand what God created them for: to know Him and make Him known. No wonder they felt so fulfilled after our time in the village.

Student Camp

Our student camp started yesterday.

We are having it at a boarding school outside of Arua.

Students were given two locations in town for pick-ups, and they could be at either one.

They had to come with not only their mattress, sheets and towels, but also their own basin for bathing and their own bowl and cup for eating and drinking (no one uses utensils here). How’s that for a camp experience?

The leaders of the camp, Doug and 6 other Americans, all had to bring the same things. I am one of the leaders, but I’m not staying at the school.

Every morning and every evening, I take a 40 minute side-saddle motorcycle taxi ride back and forth from home. I could have stayed out there this weekend, but that is a lot to haul out there for two days.

The reason I’m not staying on the premises is…language.

My teacher, Florence, is one of the translators for the camp, and I am one of the small group leaders.

This is a leadership camp designed to take students further in their walk with the Lord. In the morning-time, they will be learning a story from the Bible, and in the afternoons, they will take their testimony and the Bible story and go hut to hut in a village.

The translators are only needed in the villages, so they don’t have to stay at camp either.

After I’ve completed my small group duties each day, and after we have gone hut to hut in the village, Florence and I will spend the remainder of the day studying Lugbara.

All of that was the long way of explaining why I’m able to write this tonight – at a place that has internet (sometimes) and electricity (hardly ever –but I do have solar).

Twenty-nine students registered, and it has been a fabulous time with some incredible students!

I taught about Testimony on Saturday. I gave my testimony and explained the three parts: my life before Christ; the circumstances that led me to invite Christ in my life and make Him LORD of my life; and my life since I did that.

The students had to break up into family groups and not only write out their testimony in three parts, they each had to share it with their group.

Not everyone had a three-part testimony. These are all church-going kids but some of the students only know of their “life before Christ” because they have yet to invite Christ to be LORD of their life. But even this is exciting, as some of these students have this realization.

They are then forced to answer the question: “What do I believe about Jesus?”

The most important decision anyone makes in his life is about Jesus.

It has eternal significance!


Dinner is about to be served each night when I leave at 7pm. Jack drives out an picks me up in a huge ski jacket, because when the sun goes down, it gets a little chilly here.

My rides home have been fun.

Have I mentioned before how much I love this town?

I’m not usually out at night, for safety reasons, but it has been so much fun to see the nightlife as I drive into town on the back of a motorcycle.

Out in the “bush,” I saw a man who had stopped his bicycle on the side of the road for a small snack. Whatever you are picturing…it’s wrong.

This man was at a termite mound, and as they flew out, he grabbed them, tore the wings off and popped them in his mouth. No cooking involved! I draw my limit right there. My brain tells me I can eat termites as long as they are cooked. I know it doesn’t sound normal, but it is what it is.

As you come into Arua, on both sides of the road, there are many, many dukas (pronounced DOO-kas).

In America, a duka would be a small store of some sort. But here, they don’t get much bigger than the size of your guest bedroom. Most of them, however, aren’t even that big. They are usually a 5ft x 5ft “box” or a 8ft x 10ft “box.” Think “kids’ playhouse.”

They sell matches, bread, sugar, eggs, washing soap, tomatoes, peanuts, air time, etc; OR they might be a barber shop or a weave “center” for hair extensions; OR they could be a “not-so-legal” DVD vendor. You get the idea.

The fun thing about seeing them in the evening is the activites in and around them.

They usually have blue or yellow light bulbs, so that makes them look interesting. And most of them (even the 5x5 dukas), have a small 8 or 9 inch box TV inside. Some were tuned in to soccer matches, but a lot of them were showing movies from “not-so-legal” DVDs. If you want to watch a movie, you pay 500 -1000 shillings (about 20 – 50 cents), and then you just crowd in at the door or window-opening of the duka.

Tonight I saw about 30 people crowded outside a small 5 foot opening on a duka.

I know I’m not doing a good job describing this nightlife atmosphere and all the sights and sounds I saw, but I guess it’s hard to imagine if you haven’t seen it.

You are all most welcome to come see it for yourselves! (When a Uganda says this, it always comes out, “You are almost welcome,” and it makes me smile every time.)

Jack is picking me up early, early tomorrow, so I’m going to bed, but I wanted to tell my sweet daughter, Kylie, happy birthday. She turns 9 today! Her daddy will not have phone or internet access to talk to her, and I haven’t been able to contact her yet.

Kylie, we are praying for you. We pray for you to know the love God has for you and understand that He has a perfect plan for your life. We are so blessed to be your parents! We love you, and hope you are enjoying your time in Texas. We miss you and want you to have the greatest day ever!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Girl

Well, I’m sure you’ve figured out, it was more of an escape on Girl’s part than it was a rescue mission on ours.

As SOON as Aunt learned Girl was gone, SHE bought a taxi ride to Sudan.

Doug, a few others that knew of the situation, and me all gathered to pray for Girl’s safety and ultimately, her life.

I have found out all this information at varying times, but I will try to put it in proper time-sequence order for you.

Girl reached her real sister’s place in Sudan, only to find the sister not living there anymore. Her parents are apparently MUCH farther north, and if you’ve ever looked at a map of Sudan, it is a BIG place.

Girl wasn’t deterred, she went out asking people she knew where her sister had gone, determined to get to her.

When she reached back to town, guess who was at the bus stop?


This is an 8-hour journey to this place in Sudan, but seeing as she was only a few hours behind Girl, she managed to find her fairly easily.

Aunt immediately started beating her and asking the taxi driver how she had gotten there. He explained that one Ugandan and two whites had helped her. Aunt started accusing us and the taxi driver of stealing her, but the man assured her that that morning, Girl was happy and enjoying herself, not afraid. He also pointed out that if the whites had wanted to steal her, why wasn’t she with them.

Being in her own country, speaking her own language, Aunt was able to pay the police to arrest the taxi driver and his conductor (the one who collects the money) on charges of stealing Girl. (The driver and the conductor, in turn, the following day, paid the police to let them out, and they are back here in Uganda. We know this because they called Florence when they returned to let her know.)

Girl left on Sunday morning and was back in Arua on Monday night.

Aunt promptly brought her to the place outside our gate and asked to speak to the guard who used to work for her, who lives next door to us. We were not at home, so several witnesses told us this story later.

She asked him how Girl had gotten to Sudan…as if she didn’t know. He told her how Girl had told all of us that she could go as long as she had money, so “the whites” helped her with money.

She wanted to know why.

Well, open door…in walks SEVERAL Sudanese.

You see, I live surrounded, almost on all sides, by Sudanese families. What I DIDN’T know is that they were all WELL aware of Girl’s treatment. In fact, they knew things that I didn’t. So they all, women and children, came out to confront her. Not only that, my guard and two other guards AND Aunt’s own boda driver joined in.

She was accused of feeding all the children except Girl.

She was accused of making Girl sleep outside at night.

She was accused of using Girl as a slave.

And of course, they all mentioned the beating.

The Sudanese, her own people, said if they heard of Girl being beaten again, they would go and have her arrested.

We had been told, by someone who obviously didn’t know, that there was nothing you could do for children who got beat. Thankfully, Florence went to the police on Sunday afternoon, which I should have done a long time ago, and found out that even Sudanese living in this country could be punished for hurting a child.

It’s good to be informed.

It’s also good to know that in a country where all the laws aren’t ones I agree with and there are many laws that they don’t have that I wish they did, they do have one that really counts!

Pray for Girl. We now know where her new house is, and several people are voluntarily driving/walking by, checking on her regularly (from afar). I haven’t seen her, but when I do, I will give you an update.

Now, it looks like I owe a taxi driver some reimbursement police pay-off money for getting himself out of jail.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Moderate Makeover & Challenges

Extreme Moderate Makeover & Challenges

1) It’s rainy season. I don’t mean to make all you people in the heat of North America feel bad, but it does, in fact, rain here nearly every day.

That means that nearly every day, it rains….in my bedroom as well. I have a tin roof, not like all the thatched roofs around, so I needed more than a bundle of grass to fix the problem.

Our landlord sent someone to fix the roof, but alas…there were still buckets and towels all over the floor.

“Super Doug” crawled on the roof and in the attic and caulked all the holes.

Now the rain remains outside!

2) Most nationals I have met, really like their dirt yards to be swept clean every morning. Which, in turn, means that grass can never grow. And if it does, it is slashed with a machete-type tool which is really unhealthy for the grass.

But we like grass.

My feet like grass.

Anyway, we finally felt that we could ask Patrick and Jeremiah to sweep only once or twice a week, and it wouldn’t hurt their feelings. We also asked them not to slash the grass every week. Doug explained about wanting grass to grow.

Well, it’s working. There is grass in places where there didn’t used to be, and where there IS grass, it is very long and un-cut. PLUS, both guys have taken the initiative to go outside our compound, dig up grass/weeds from the side of the road, and come back in and transplant it in little clumps all over the yard.

It’s also having a good chance to grow because my kids aren’t around.

3) Every cartoon you’ve ever seen with a mouse in it, at one time or another, showed someone chasing that mouse with a broom.

Can I just say that Doug looks really cute chasing a mouse with a broom.

He saw “our friend” one evening, and he went for the broom. He followed the mouse into the wash room, beat the washing machine until the mouse ran out, and just grazed the mouse as it ran out the door, between his legs, into the hall.

We weren’t sure whether it ran into our bedroom or the girls’, but I guessed the girls because I had seen evidence in their closet that they had had a visitor.

The mosquito net was down, and it has heavy material sewn on the bottom, so I knew, more than likely, it didn’t get under the net.

But the closet was a black hole. (Girls, you really need to clean your closet when you get home!) “Our friend” was long gone.

Oh well, I’d do it all again to watch Doug with that broom :)

4) We got a freezer!!!!

And it’s hooked up to solar!!!!

And it uses less energy than a light bulb!!!

This means I had the privilege of collecting all my frozen food from two different houses, and I can actually store it in my own home.

This also means that we can have ice for the first time in a year and a half.

*When we didn’t have a freezer, I carefully packed away the ice trays so they would be ready when the time came….

Now, I can’t find them.

No ice yet!

5) Town power is now only running from 7pm-11pm. From what I understand, they don't think residential areas need more than 4 hours of power a day.

I want to thank all you people AGAIN who helped us with purchasing our solar panels and batteries. And here’s to Jack Dody who taught us how to operate it!

We still have town power hooked up to our house. It helps boost the solar batteries on cloudy days and it allows us to plug in items with heating elements (when the power is on).

Without town power, I can’t use a toaster, for instance. (that’s okay. I can toast my bread in the gas oven)

Without town power, I can’t use an iron (oh darn!)

Without town power, I can’t use a crock pot (I knew that ahead of time, so I didn’t bring one)

Without town power, I can’t use the hot water heaters for showers and baths (WHAT!!?????)

Yes, I live in Africa. And in dry season, I really like cool showers. But it’s rainy season here – their equivalent of winter – and I’m a bit chilled. My friends living in Serbia gave me a light jacket, and I’ve been wearing it every day! So…yes, I’m a bit spoiled from my days with constant hot water, and I do like my warm showers.

Isn’t God good! He lets the power come on at 7pm every night, so that by 7:30 I can have a warm shower.

Ahhhh….bliss! Thank you, Lord, and keep it coming!

(more on Girl tomorrow - and for those of you who asked, Girl is 11)


We had a special girl that lived next to us for over a year. I won’t use her name here for security reasons, so I will just refer to her as “Girl.”

Girl and my kids talked through the fence, shared things, and played together. But Girl is from Sudan, and her parents are back in Sudan. She stays here with her aunt and cousins in hopes to get a better education.

The whole family speaks Arabic, but Girl was learning some English and Lugbara at school, so we could communicate a little.

Over time, she started talking to us less – or only when her aunt wasn’t around.

Sadly, I started seeing her get beaten. I would make my children remain inside when I heard the stick begin hitting her bony frame and heard her screaming out.

I would walk to the fence (as hard as it was), in hopes that her aunt would not continue beating her if I was looking on, but she never stopped. Sometimes, there would be over 70 swats with the stick before she would quit.

One day when the aunt was not around, Girl told me at the fence that she had been told if she were caught talking to us, she would get beaten. Her aunt also threatened her saying she would call the police on us because she said we were trying to take Girl away from her.

Well…Girl and the family moved to another house at the beginning of June.

But last Wednesday, Girl came to the gate asking if I would pay for her to go to Sudan.

Of course, I had a lot of questions.

Does your aunt know? “Yes, she said if I got money to go, I could go.”

Are you going to travel alone? “No, my cousin-sister will go with me.”

How will you know how to change vehicles at different stops? How will I know if you reached there? How can I know you will be safe? Etc.

I told her to come on Friday with her cousin-sister so I could talk to her.

Girl and her cousin-sister came. Thankfully, my teacher, Florence, was still around, and Florence had learned Sudanese Arabic when she lived in Sudan for a time. She was able to help me decipher some of the issues.

We decided that the girls would come to our place on Sunday morning at 8am, we would drive to pick up Florence, and she would go with us to the taxi park to translate between English, Lugbara, and Arabic. The taxi vans leave at 9am to go to Sudan.

Sunday came…8:00….8:15…

I went to Patrick, our guard, and he talked to the guard next door that used to work for Girl’s family. Patrick and I asked him to take his bike to where they are living now and see if Girl was on her way.

He found her and brought her to my place, but it was already 8:40. She came in complaining of an arm injury from being beaten again.

Girl gave me a number to call her cousin-sister to find out where we could pick her up on the side of the road.

The phone was not turned on. ???

Sarah said to just go without her. (*ring, ring* those are bells going off in my head).

We picked up Florence and then headed back to town. Through translation, I asked why she was late, and she said her aunt had told her she couldn’t go until she cooked for the day and washed all the clothes.

Florence was amazing. She talked to three drivers before she found one that carried a phone with a Sudan number. She wanted to make sure that someone could call when they arrived in Sudan. AND she found one driving straight to Girl’s town, so she wouldn’t have to change vehicles.

Florence and I went and bought food for Girl for the journey, while Doug made sure her luggage got loaded. We paid the driver money for the phone call he would make from Sudan. We gave Girl extra money to eat on the way, and we gave her her ticket for proof that she had been paid for.

God had orchestrated for a man to sit in front of Girl whom Florence knew. Florence talked to the man, and he also agreed to call Florence when Girl reached home. In fact, he offered to walk Girl home once they got to her town.

Girl was sitting in the back of the van smiling. I hadn’t seen that smile in a long time.

We left happy because she was going home and satisfied that she would be well taken care of.

Of course, we didn’t know someone was lying…

Four hours later, a boy arrived at our gate wanting to know where Girl was.

We told him everything we knew, and that she had said she had permission to go. (We couldn’t confirm with the aunt because she does not speak to us) We also said that cousin-sister knew and had come here with her to inquire.

The boy said that cousin-sister was indeed going to Sudan, leaving in one hour. But he said he didn’t know about Girl.

I know she’s safe. That’s all I know for now, but something tells me this story isn’t over.

Back in the Day

Let me catch you up briefly on a few things from June. I’ll try to use more pictures and less words to make it go faster…hopefully.

My cousin, Kristin, came for a three week visit in June.

For one of those weeks, we were in Kampala. While there, she was such a go-getter. She went out and did ministry with some students from Oklahoma Baptist, and she got connected with my friend Melissa (Mercy’s mom), and she went with Melissa to serve at an orphanage.

She also took a couple of driving tours around Arua with my friend Jack.

Before Kristin left, Jack brought his daughter, Sayida, over to play with my kids and Kristin. Sayida had been begging her dad to visit the “mundus” (foreigners).

Even though she wanted to come, it took her a while to warm up.

She eventually made it off the couch.

We really warmed her up with the white board.

What kid doesn’t like to scribble on a white board?

She still wasn’t too sure about us when she left, but Jack said all the way home she talked about when she could come back again (even though she didn’t speak two words while she was at our house).

Kristin was full of energy and a giving spirit…perfect for Uganda. On her last day with us, we drove her to Murchison Falls National Park to meet up with the students from OBU. They had transport back to Kampala, where she could catch a taxi to the airport. So, as an extra blessing, we got to see animals for the day.

Seeing God’s creation NEVER gets boring!

That giraffe was actually "stuck" in that tree. Some other people tried to help it out, but they couldn't. I'm not quite sure how it all ended.

We are always excited when we see a lion. They are really hard to find/see.

On this particular day, we saw two males!

Bye, Kristin. Thanks for coming.

And kids, come home soon. We think you are wonderful and we really miss you!!

And by the way, everyone, Melissa and Mercy are home in Kansas now after a LONG ten months! If you want to read about her homecoming, you can click HERE.

My plans are nothing!

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;

He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.”

Other possible titles:


“My, oh my”

“Flexibility is the Key”

“Breakthrough – somehow”

“Only someone with an English major can appreciate this”

Well, the big month of August has arrived! For those of you that don’t know, my kids are in America, and Doug and I had BIG plans of really learning the language exponentially better this month.

Our “teachers” went to class for three weeks in July to learn HOW to teach us the language. The first day we started, my teacher was so excited. I had 8 hours set aside, but her lesson plans only filled 20 minutes of time. She said, “I didn’t know you would get it that fast.”

Day two went pretty much the same, so we decided to venture out and talk to people. It was a disaster.

On the third day, I ended up doing the teaching because even though she had discovered in class that there were nouns and verbs in her language, she was using words like “gerund” and “auxiliary verb” she had heard in class, but she didn’t know what they meant.

So I started showing her some sentence structure. I even took a lot of Lugbara sentences and tried to find structure (for the first time). She was amazed. I was finding patterns to a language where we didn’t know patterns existed!! The fourth and fifth day, she said, “I want you to show me how you came up with that pattern. Teach me how you did that.”

On the weekend, Doug and I sat down to assess our learning. We agreed we are digging deeper every day, but “learning” would be a difficult word to use here.

We decided we really didn’t know much of anything, so we needed to start at square one….like infants learning to talk for the first time.

The following Monday, Doug and his teacher, James, and me and my teacher, Florence, all sat together for the first time to “discover” the language.

We started by translating sentences like:

I give money

I do give money

I did give money

I have given money

I gave money (there are three tenses for the past – immediate (within 3 hours), near (within a day), or far past (indefinite).

I will give money (there are also three future tenses)

You get the idea.

Well, we did this for over 20 verbs over a course of 3 or so hours. They’ve never thought about HOW to say things in their language, so it took them a long time to diferentiate between certain sentences.

We still didn’t have a pattern.

So we backed up and decided JUST to look at the present. We took the 20 sentences we had created for the present tense, and added 55 more verbs, and it started occurring to Doug and I at the same time what the pattern was, although it was difficult to “name” it.

We wondered why we could say:

I run home.

I love him.

I sit down.

But we also had to say:

I money give (not – I give money)

I tree see (not – I see the tree)

I dishes wash (not I wash dishes)

I know this is boring you, but basically we surmised that verbs dealing with the head, heart, hands, and senses are always subject + object + verb in the present.

Verbs dealing with whole body, emotions, or moving the body TO a place were always subject + verb in the present. And of course, funny verbs like “Be verbs” and “to have” and “to want” are irregular in most cases.

THIS was just the beginning. Of course, THEN we had to look for patterns in past and future as well. THEN we had to look for changes when using different subject pronouns (you, he, we, you (plural), and they). THEN we wondered if there were patterns in Commands. (Bored, yet?)

We also saw things like verbs beginning with vowels do different things to the subject in the past. Verbs beginning with vowels that can’t be split in a sentence also do other things (trust me – you don’t want me to explain).

This took one week, several hours a day. On Friday we got to negatives like:

I do not run home.

I did not run home.

They were confused. After a few hours, we called it quits, and we will start again tomorrow (on Monday) trying to figure out this language.

The bad news is: I’m not speaking any better, and now I am thinking about subject/verb order and whether the verbs starts with a vowel or not, etc.

The good news is: It is refreshing to know why I haven’t been able to make sentences correctly for a year and a half. I had to guess every time I opened my mouth!

So, I’m not sure how much better I’ll be at speaking by the end of the month, but it is possible I’ll have an entire grammar book written for future generations.

Ahhhh….sweet structure…..I’ve been missing you!