I realized something that I had not immediately picked up on the other day while talking to my new friends. I have actually started to pick up their language! Granted, it is only in bits and pieces and if I don’t practice it I will surely forget it soon after I return home. But for the time being it is kind of exciting! Their language, as I have found out, is not a form of Hindi as I had thought. They have their own language for their state called Tamil. Appropriately the state is called Tamil Nadu. Please do not ask me to type out the words… They have so many letters that are silent in their words till I could never get any of them right. In fact the only reason I got Nundri (thank you) right is because it was the first word I told them to teach me.
I found out that I am learning the language through the group of Americans and from the resident workers here. First the new medical team from America has quizzed me from A to Z on Indian culture. I have quite impressed myself with the knowledge that I have gained by immersing myself in their culture. But when they talk to me they want to know how to say things and what are certain things called. From my own struggles with their language I am generally able to communicate to them how to ask for things in Tamil. General things of course, but some nonetheless. The other way that I have realized that I am picking up their language and am accepted here at IGL is through the resident workers. They are now communicating through me to be able to communicate to the medical team. All of a sudden I have become the handy person around campus haha. This makes sense tho because at one point years (two weeks) ago I was in the same condition as this new team. The only thing is I did not have a communicator handy working out the things that they said to me. So I had to learn the hard way.
Everything is good here. Last night was an introduction of the new team to all of the boys and girls. That was real neat. Especially when a young boy, probably 15, stands behind a podium and gives his testimony. In English no less!! He struggled a bit but it was a blessing to hear how God has placed him into the hands of the people here at IGL and how IGL has grown him into a young man. His parents left him at 1 month old because they could not afford keeping him. He has been here since. Also a part of this event was singing and dancing! Everyone had a great time and all the team members received Mali’s (Indian version of a lei). These lei’s are beautiful. They are made out of the jasmine flower and are white and red and all the women here wear them. Except they will take and cut the loop and braid them into their hair. Again, very pretty to see:)
Maybe by learning the language I will be prepared more if I ever come back here (wink wink)…