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My First Week in Georgia

Chattahoochee River photos on Flickr

Here are some pictures from the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area where I went hiking this evening. The weather was fine, and river running full and clear over the shoals. Over the next several weeks I’ll be exploring different places to hike and camp, and I’ll try to take pictures to share. And maybe eventually I’ll get used to driving in the city! Oh, how I miss the transportation and compactness of Europe.

In other news, today I finished my first week of work at Truth For The World. It has been very good so far, and I’m starting to get in the groove of working eight hours a day and making the most of that time. There are parts of the job I enjoy more than others, and things that I’m really looking forward to working on in the near future, but I try to do the best job I can with what’s assigned to me. Also, for the first time in my life I have an office, complete with a blackboard wall!

It was wonderful to worship with the Duluth church on Wednesday, and I felt very welcomed. My family there was so excited for me and my new job, and I’m looking forward to learning all their names and getting to know them. Now I can’t wait till Sunday鈥攏ot only will it be my first full Sunday at Duluth, but I’m hoping to go over to worship with the Spanish-speaking Christians at Buford that afternoon. Also, today I begin learning Korean! I’ve already been trying to decipher signs around town, and there’s a Korean-English language exchange group here in town that meets every week, so I’m hoping to attend that as often as I can to practice, and maybe to help others learn English, too.

God has certainly blessed me! Here’s a scripture thought for today: “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30) I am so thankful for Jesus Christ who stands in the breach between me and God, transcending the sin between us!

Current Language Mission – Nahuatl

Fall at the Bruce FarmGreetings, faithful readers! I have returned to my native continent, and I decided just now to take the time to write up a real live blog post. You see, those photos and short posts from Europe did not freely flow from the fount of creativity, but were the result of assigned writing for one of my classes. This did not detract from their quality entirely; some were quite good in my own estimation, but others were a little forced, and would have gone unwritten were they not assigned. For these latter I apologize, but I hope to improve my habits so that I can have time to write down the things that I am truly inspired by.

At this moment I am currently sitting on a bench next to the driveway at our north-central Texas home. When I left Belgium it was cold and damp, but the fall leaves were lovely. When I arrived home, Autumn was still in the process of putting on her garb, and I am glad to report that she is now fully arrayed in her customary splendour. The leaves are turning all sorts of colours, the prickly pears are laden with bright red tunas, and the evening sunsets top it all off in a great show that mankind can never replicate. Meanwhile, I am preparing for my next travel destination: eastern San Luis Potos铆, Mexico–which will prove quite a change from northern Europe. Read More

Language Mission Update

No, I’m not in Belgium yet–but twelve days from now I will be! And in keeping with the spirit of the mission, I thought it meet to post an update telling what I’ve accomplished this past week.

I’ve been doing Rosetta Stone for French since last semester, and now I’m about three-fourths through level one. Now, I don’t endorse it as the “best way to learn a language”–in fact, I’m not the biggest fan of its method–but it was free through the university, and I want to take advantage of it. Also, earlier this week I read a number of paragraphs aloud from Les Mis茅rables, to work on both my pronunciation and my reading comprehension. I was able to follow the story line, and was much enlightened upon a few visits to the dictionary. And today I watched Toy Story 2 in French. I had hoped to turn on French subtitles, but our DVD did not provide this, so I had to make do with listening. I caught words and phrases here and there (“Qu’ est-ce que tu fait, Woody?” “Je suis Buzz Lightyear!” “Non, je suis Buzz Lightyear!”), but overall didn’t understand much of it. But I do not despair! I am just beginning, and I plan to make this a measure of my progress by watching the same movie in French once I get back, to see how much better I can understand it after the completion of my mission.

And that’s about it for now. Au revoir, mes amis!

Language Mission: Fran莽ais

In anticipation of my upcoming three months in Europe, I have been familiarizing myself with the French language, since most of my time there will be spent in Wallonia, the French-speaking portion of Belgium. Unfortunately I haven’t had as much time to devote to it this summer as I had hoped, but I have been working on it a little bit. And just of late I have become inspired by Benny Lewis the Irish Polyglot, who has achieved fluency in a number of European languages in just the past few years.

His site is called “Fluent in Three Months,” but really what he advocates is simply getting out there and speaking a language in order to become fluent, which he believes can lead to that goal of fluency much more quickly than other methods (perhaps even in three months!). Personally, I agree. No amount of study in a language will get you to fluency–as much as this will help, eventually you’re just going to have to get out of your comfort zone and start talking to natives. Read More