TESTS

Written October 2, 2011

I would dare vote that all of us respond differently to tests.  Some of us are highly motivated by them, others stressed……whatever the case may be, they do serve as a tool to measure a level of comprehension and mastery of material.  Friday was test day…..  we all studied so differently.  Aubrey did not study at all and he is in the language lead.  Andrew spent about 30 minutes reviewing a few words.  KIDS!!!!   I tend to want to talk about all the words I am studying and make games and jokes about them. Then I really focused for about 2 or 3 hours, but there were still meals to cook and trips to the market, etc. etc.  Darron wanted silence and solitude.  We have never lived with each other when we are both having to study…..totally opposite, with a whole lot of culture shock going on made for an interesting week! : )  But we still love each other…..WHEW!
So our first test was over the first language book…which covered material from negotiating at the market, to dickering for a taxi, to introductions and ordering at a restaurant, to getting help at a hospital and so much more.

There were many parts to the test, but the most challenging was writing a 20 sentence story in Bahasa Indonesia and giving a 10 minute verbal report on our families.  For Darron and I, it is easier to write than speak.  I think the boys felt differently.  We hope to finish 4 books by the time we leave in December.  I already feel ahead of where I was after 9 months in the Philippines.  So this experience is very enriching and a tremendous foundation.  We will not find out our test results until Wednesday.  Until then……. ignorance is BLISS!

When talking with “people” about the “things” we know how to talk about……we can understand much of the conversation.  However, throw us in church and this is how our comprehension appears:
“Thank……………………….. you…………God…….we………for……..people……………………..for……happy………..they…………I……..because…………for……………..with…………..eat……………………like………………..thank you…………….and…..and…..because……..rain………………..Amen.

After about 2 to 3 hours of trying to concentrate and piece anything together my brain finally says…..forget it!  However, we are encouraged!!!!!  Even though we can’t connect all the dots……we are “hearing” or perhaps I should say “understanding” so much more than 7 weeks ago.  The true test will be when we can understand and speak so the Indonesian people understand in a setting such as church.  Even so Lord, please bless our tongues and brains.

Saturday afternoon found us hiking into the mountains again.  A refreshing peaceful activity after brain workouts.  This time we headed a different direction from the waterfalls and ended up in a vast tea plantation. On and on it rolled.  Indescribable.  No  camera with us, but next time…..we will try to capture a few images for you.  We hiked up over a mile in elevation and over 5 miles.  The military were “playing war games” in part of the tea plantation……so we had to redirect our hike once.  The small bushes make for mazes and mazes of places to hide and practice war tactics. Something we don’t see in America so openly.  Many little tiny shack homes dot the mountains along the way.  Little children with tattered dirty clothes, but shy smiles that melt the heart……….

Today Darron sent my Hesley and me off shopping for some girl time.  The “men” checked out the swimming pool while we were gone and said the water was so freezing.  Hesley and I made our way into Bandung on the great Angkots…..we only spent 3 hours travelling and 2 and 1/2 shopping.  So it wasn’t quite like going to Home Goods, Christopher and Banks, Michaels, and let me not keep going…… but, I did find a lovely shirt on sale and treated Hesley to a shirt and shoes.  She (my house helper) is such an incredible blessing to me.  I will forever be indebted to her.  Not only does Hesley keep this home in order, but she is always looking out for us in many situations and is invaluable to our transition time.

I put the rice cooker to the ultimate test and made SCONES in it!  Sorry didn’t mean to torture you.  True comfort food.  The rice cooker did not fail.  Though the family thought they could have been a little more crunchy on the outside (picky, picky).  Unfortunately, Indonesia will not know the taste of scones as freely as many of you did as butter is very expensive here.

So I have a feeling that many of you are being TESTED right now.  Praying that God will give you the wisdom and discernment that you need.  Then may you soon have some bliss filled days!  With love and some British scones…..  Ruth

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