Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One of my hobbies

In my mind, a hobby is something you work at but don’t really consider work. It is something you do to amuse yourself after regular work hours. If that is the case, I guess I should consider plumbing one of my hobbies. Last week was my big translation check with our consultant. We worked long days going verse by verse through 33 chapters. We finished by the end of the week, and by Sunday afternoon I finally had a chance to relax. I was just wondering what I could do when I heard a strange noise outside and went to investigate. It turned out that the pressurized water tank had sprung a leak. Sometimes hobbies have a way of demanding attention and this was one of those cases. Being serious about my hobby I took a few minutes to consider my options: Duct tape probably wouldn’t hold. I didn’t have any rubber to wrap around the tank. I decided to go to town for some epoxy.

I did a beautiful job of mixing the glue and patching the tank. Everything would have been fine if the water pressure hadn’t pushed my patch right off the tank. Fortunately, one of my missionary friends who also plumbs as a hobby saw my problem and offered a bit of help.

“Super glue,” he said, “You have to start with super glue and then put the epoxy over the top of that.” Together we went to the store and purchased the super glue and applied it and the epoxy to the tank. People who enjoy hobbies enjoy spending time with other people who enjoy the same hobby. This was definitely an enjoyable experience for me. Thanks, David! This time the patch worked beautifully. No air or water could escape the tank. This was proven the next morning when the tank exploded.
For some strange reason, the folk there didn’t call me to help plumb the new tank. Perhaps they wanted a professional.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What's New

The day after we finished the translation check, Heidi and Carrie arrived especially so that they could see the three Isnag language helpers. They are all much loved friends of Carrie's and she hasn't been able to see them for a long time. They have had a wonderful time together.

I went outside last night and was surprised to see the frogs tempting the dogs by sitting on the rice in their food bowls. I've never thought of frogs as brave creatures before, but I might just change my mind.
On the other hand, foolish might be a better word.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Consultant check

I am thanking God that all the details for my week of translation checking worked out. Ginny, my translation consultant, came from the United States, Vicky, our co-worker in the Isnag work, came from our support center 4 hours south of here. I came from Manila, and Pearly, Romilyn, and Florence, my Isnag language helpers came from our village.

They all met me in a city in Northern Luzon where we have worked for a week checking over the 33 chapters I have translated. The check went very well and it won't take too long before I'll be able to start publishing them for the Southern Isnag to use.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed.

At one point we did have a big concern come up. I didn't know it, but on one day during the week we were translation checking, the government had a program for people to get set up with an ATM card. The ladies who were working with me wanted to run down to the place during their lunch break and get their cards. When I arrived there I was surprised to see so many of my Isnag friends. I know almost everyone in this picture.

It was very enjoyable to spend an hour visiting with them while the language helpers collected their cards.

(The "bus" taking our friends back to the mountains)
Our co-villagers headed home and we headed back to work. The next day we received a urgent message saying that one of the guys hadn't returned home and was likely lost in the "big" city we were in. Could I please help. We did do some checking with the police, but fortunately our prayers were answered and the fellow turned up safe and sound. He had gotten off the bus early to stop by and visit a distant relative. On other days the power went out and other things happened too, but we were able to press on and finish the translation check a day early.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Welcome Jenna Lee

Carrie isn't the only one who loves holding babies.
Jenna Lee was less than 24 hours old and was already asking me to pick her up and tell her stories. I think we are going to be good friends.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Key Happenings

One of the things I like about having a camera on my cell phone is that there are many times that I want to take a picture, but I have left my big camera at home. For example, I parked my van in the back part of the basement of a parking garage and ended up getting a picture of a guy breaking into it. I admit that it isn't a very clear picture, but given that it was dark and the guy wasn't going to stick around long I had to get the shot off quickly.

It all started like this, I have only two weeks to go until a translation consultant comes from the U.S.A. to check the 33 chapters of Genesis and Exodus I have prepared. Last week I estimated that I needed about 25 more hours of help from an Isnag speaker and was really praying I would be able to get it. The flight program we have been using to get in and out of our village has closed and we are waiting on funds to ship a helicopter over, so I am a bit stranded out here in civilization.

Last Tuesday, I planned to go looking for a language helper in the area in the photo above. In the center of this community there is a small community of people from our village in the mountains. But, Tuesday morning I had to take James in for a foot x-ray. We finally made it through the process and found out that he had a bad bruise, but nothing was broken. By this time I was running late. I worked my way through traffic and made it to a large mall on the other side of town. Across the highway from the mall is the community where some Isnag live. I parked at the mall, but locked my keys and bag with Translation Notes in the van. I tried walking around the van 7 times and making trumpet sounds, to no avail. (Not really, but I did try many things and the only reason I didn't try the trumpet was that I didn't think of it at the time.)

I finally decided to leave the van, keys, and translation notes and go look for my Isnag friends. I found them or rather they found me and I had a visit with them. I found out that the young lady in the picture, whom we have known for years in the village, doesn't have work at the moment and is glad to work on the translation with me. The fellow is a long time friend. He offered me the use of his table and chairs as a workplace.

I headed back to the van very happy that the Lord had provided me with language helpers. When I got back to the garage a friendly guard took me to a "locksmith" (guy with a wire in the picture above) and he had the van opened in no time.

I have been able to return to my Isnag friends several times and plan at least two more visits next week. My translation work is on schedule and I'm very thankful for that.

There is another outpost of our village in a different part of Manila and I have been able to get some help there too. On Friday, Heidi, Carrie, and Thomas came along with me. This is Carrie enjoying holding an Isnag baby.