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Whirlwind Transition

Sunday, 10 July 2016

I have so much to write about! I started a little list and will get to a variety of things little by little in the coming weeks/months.

Unfortunately, my computer was out of commission for a while and I was also without internet at my room for about a month. Now that those things are all in order, I feel a bit more relaxed and feel like I’ve finally moved in!

Going back about 7 weeks or so… two days before my last final exams in Bangkok, as I was on my way back to my room after another final exam, I had a bit of a bicycle accident. I was going at a pretty good clip and it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to hardly react at all. One sign of that was not a single scratch on my hands! It was a solo accident, if you don’t count the role of the sinister roadway. The university police brought me to a hospital and after some stitches in my head, a chest x-ray, and a couple of other bandages, I was set to head back to my room to prepare for my last two exams. Well, if that were all, it would have been a relaxing weekend! But I was in the middle of packing my room and about a dozen other time constrained chores in order to move out of my room about 36 hours from that point in time! I was in a significant amount of pain, which made doing just about anything difficult, including breathing. I consciously made it a mind of matter kind of thing and determined to get things done as well as I could. The next day the shippers came and took my things, after helping me wrap up a few of the last boxes that I couldn’t quite manage. And the morning after that I headed out, checked out with the room management, headed to the exam room with my luggage, took my last 2 final exams, said goodbye to a few classmates, and headed to the bus station. I arrived early the next morning to Chiangmai and made my way directly to the university to make it to my classes! I was actually arriving a few weeks after the classes had already started, thus the mad rush to get up here as fast as I could, but the department allowed me to start late and teachers met with me after classes for a couple of weeks to help me catch up. The classes are held over the summer break and are pretty intensive, so missing as much as I did, was a significant amount of lost time. An overall score of 86% in these prerequisite classes is required to pass into the master’s program. I have finished the first two classes and passed without a problem. I got 99.4% in the Phonology class and a bit less in the Articulatory Phonetics class! 🙂 Only one more class to finish up this month. Unfortunately, two of my classmates weren’t able to pass on into the master’s program. 😦 So, my class will be that much smaller for the coming year.

After arriving to Chiangmai (northern Thailand), I was so grateful for the room that one of my schoolmates (who I’ve actually known for a few years now, via an old friend I know from church about 25 years ago!) let me stay in for a couple of weeks so I could recuperate and not be as stressed out needing to rush as much in finding a place to live. My body was in pretty poor shape and the rest was very much needed. To this day, seven weeks later, my ribs still hurt and my hip has just stopped feeling any pain this past week. Funny enough, my head never hurt much, even though it was the most obvious injury, bleeding like crazy and made me a hazy for a bit. Everyone kept asking how my head was, but it never really hurt! I guess my hardheadedness has proven its worth! hahaha Looking back, I’m pretty amazed how I could have possibly done everything I did after that accident! Some days, after getting up here, I felt like I could hardly move, let alone pack up my room, haul luggage (a backpack, a guitar and a rolling carry-on type suitcase), traipsing around Bangkok, and travel to the north!

The transition to move into this linguistics program has been something that I have been looking forward to for a long time! It has been an exciting time and I am looking forward to see the many new things coming my way! Hopefully that won’t include another concrete roadway! I have been encouraged in so many ways since coming here. It has been great meeting people who have been on the field doing all sorts of Bible translation related language work in numerous countries around the world, some for over 30 years. I have met people from at least 14 different people groups in and around the Linguistics Department. In my classes now, there are a few students who have been working in related fields in a few different countries. I am looking forward to learning more from them as well. Outside of class, I have also made an interesting connection. One of the security guards at the building I live in is from a town about a 5 hour bus ride from Loikaw, the capital city of Karenni! And his aunt lives in Loikaw! He can’t speak any of the Karenni languages, but he is happy to teach me some phrases from his language. It is really fantastic being around so many like-minded people here. I will explain a bit more about the program here and get into a little more background later. Generally speaking, the end goals are to get the scriptures into languages that people can understand. That involves a wide variety of things! And of course, linguistics is a major part of that.

At this time, I have less than a month before my present summer session will end. Following that, I believe there will be a one week break before the first semester begins. At this point in time, I still don’t have the funds to do so, but am praying toward that end. I will appreciate your prayers as well. I’m still short a pretty hefty amount… needing somewhere around $1,700. Then of course, the need to pay for food, a roof, transport, electricity and other neat things like internet and running water seems to just never stop. I’m sure you know exactly how that feels. I wasn’t able to find any scholarships to apply for, so it will be a more demanding financial time than when I was in Bangkok and could qualify for scholarships by keeping high grades. If you believe God would have you sponsor me at all, that would be a great blessing. He has amazing ways of having his body build itself up that are far beyond my understanding. And I am grateful for his blessings in whatever way they may come. If this is not a direction God is leading you to use your finances, your prayers are still a currency that has no available earthly exchange rate! In God’s economy, I believe the prayers of his saints are infinitely more valuable than their gold. With that in mind, your prayers are something that I highly covet. And of course, if you are among my non-Christian friends, I’m happy for any encouragement from you too!

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