Well, we’ve finished one week here at MTI. Wow—what an intense week. I have a re-occurring dream where I find myself back at Covenant College, living in Carter Hall again…with my husband and 8 kids…trying to do my assignments and take care of my family. Just to state the obvious… in it, I’m always completely stressed out.
After this week…I am convinced that the feeling I have when I awake from my dream (nightmare?) isn’t that far off base.
In my dream, I always am thinking to myself, “this is ridiculous, why am I still at college?” But, thankfully, this time at MTI does not leave me questioning the value of this time of learning. The teaching and fellowship is great and we are already seeing the benefits of it. But it’s still very hard! My brain and body are exhausted by the end of each day. One of the ladies in the kitchen told me that they even have to cook extra food during this program because the participants get more hungry than in the other programs!
These first two weeks here are all about language acquisition; in other words, how to learn a foreign language. We’ve learned all about the anatomy of the mouth and how our mouths form English sounds. We are also teaching our ears and mouths to hear and form all sorts of foreign sounds. And we also spend a great deal of time in “drill”—holding a mirror in front of our mouths and forcing them to make new sounds. (No small task—except the glided vowels—those came super, duper easy for this southern girl. :)
We also have spent a great deal of time putting language learning techniques into practice. Since the point of the exercises is to learn the technique, it really doesn’t matter what language you use it with. So we’ve been studying Russian and a Vietnamese tribal language. The kids have also been learning French, Hindi, Spanish, and Chinese. Benaiah has been doing sign language.
The kids program is wonderful! They are learning so many helpful things. They also took a field trip to the Olympic training center and next week the older class (Timothy, Katelyn, Matthew and Rebecca) will be going to a Chinese Restaurant so they can practice ordering food in Chinese! The kids teachers have all spent time abroad. Talitha’s watcher lived in Liberia for a few years! The boys were very excited to hear that and are looking forward to seeing her pictures.
It’s coooold here! Lots of snow! The kids are outside sledding right now. MTI has snow equipment (boots, pants, etc) and sleds. They seem to have thought of everything for us!
All in all, a hard, but good time—one week down, four to go!