Well, I started Thai language classes this morning! Hooray!!! There are just five people in my class, and the teacher (“khruu”) is great – I had a lot of fun today! There are nine vowel sounds including one particularly interesting one that we don’t use at all in English. I can try to describe it here in words, but I don’t know what a fluent speaker would think of this description… 😛
You have to close your teeth together and then open your lips in a “line” (like, don’t smile or pucker or anything – actually, if you say the letter “E”, that might make the right shape…). Then make a sound like “ugh” (um… you don’t say a “g” sound at all… it’s sort of like the sound you’d make when you see something absolutely disgusting and you’d curl your lip and shudder – ugh!!!).
At least that’s how I remember it… It’s an interesting sound. Maybe I’ll model it for you when I’m back home! 😛 (I certainly hope to have mastered it by then! haha)
Today we reviewed all 9 vowel sounds and all 5 tones, but really focused on 7 vowels and 2 tones. We did lots of repeating after the teacher, and then speaking the sounds on our own. It feels SO silly, at first, to be trying out the new vowels and consonants (like starting words with the “ng” sound), especially when you’re saying them all by yourself, but it’s actually great because the teacher can hear exactly how you’re pronouncing things and help you. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed, too, so if you mess up (usually happens with the words that start with ng or have that new vowel in them), you just laugh and move on.
In terms of learning vocab, their approach is that you learn by context and watching their actions, etc., not by translation. That will take a bit of getting used to for me, but it’s all good. 🙂 I’m just excited to be learning a new language!!!
After that, I went to NightLight for lunch and we started a book study reading “the Man Who Loved Women”. I’ll let you know what I think of it after I’ve read it. 🙂
This afternoon, I went to the ESL class for the girls at NightLight. I enjoyed watching the lesson and seeing the girls having fun. They were learning fruits and vegetables today, and the teacher brought in real fruits and veggies for a game. She’d say “May I have a _____, please?” and then two girls (one from each team) would have to pick the right item and take it to the teacher. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Haha – these girls are so competitive (in a fun way, though)! They were diving over each other and knocking each other over to get to the food first – with all of the other girls literally screaming support at the same time! Sandra could hear their screaming from across the street on the 3rd floor of the other building!!! Wow! 😛 They definitely seemed to be having fun and I enjoyed watching them! 🙂
Then I came home and put Eight Below (movie about dogs in Antarctica) on while I wrote a few emails and this blog. Now I need to finish prepping for my first ESL lesson tomorrow, and then I’m going to bed!!! I go to bed so much earlier here and – more importantly – I fall asleep much more quickly here! I love that…! 🙂
Oh – a final note – I went on my first outreach last night and it went fine. 🙂
Thank you so much to everyone who is praying for me. I know most definitely that God is the one providing me with exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. Having that confidence brings a peace for which I am so grateful! 😀