January 25, 2011

Let's Learn Guarani!

I am very, very excited that next week, if all goes well, I'll be starting intensive Guarani classes for the following three weeks. Actually, they are classes in Jopara, which is the what you call the mixture of Spanish with Guarani (kind of like Spanglish), and is what is actually spoken here in Paraguay. Pure Guarani is taught in the schools but not spoken on the streets.

This class will take place at the Guarani-Jopara Institute for Missionaries in a nearby town. I will be learning from an American born in Kenya who studied in British schools, married a Bolivian, and lives in Paraguay. Thank God he'll be teaching in ENGLISH! And his beautiful wife is due with their third child soon, so I'm praying she makes it till the class finishes! I'm a bit nervous because my two classmates have studied before and have been speaking Guarani for a while now. I'm, of course, quite the beginner. My plan was to step up my studying in my spare time this week, but there hasn't actually been any yet.

This morning, I went to the dentist. I've been needing to go since Ken was in the hospital, but that wasn't convenient in the least. And then we didn't have transportation, and then Camille was really sick, and then this and that. Today is the first free day when it was possible to go, so I hurried over once all were settled this morning and starting their schoolwork, and explained that I had an area of my mouth that's really been painful. It turns out the pain is just radiating from one tooth, which is my back molar. The dentist, who happens to be a great friend of ours, said I'll have to see a specialist pretty soon, for a root canal--called a conducto here. In Paraguay, a root canal is a three day process. Have I mentioned that I am a special case, and where your nerves divide into roots (I'm probably using all the wrong terms here, but follow me), mine actually divide and then divide again. So I have double the number of those aggravating little guys to fix in each tooth. I've never been one to just do things the easy way, it seems.

So as soon as Saul comes back from running errands for us on the motorcycle, I'll be putting on my helmet and hunting down the nearest endodontist (one town away, I think) to make plans for this dental work. I am hoping she can work me in this week so that I don't have to learn Guarani while nursing an achy tooth next week. We are also still praying about and hunting down used cars, and Camille is still pretty ill. It's a busy week. (SIDENOTE: Ken is good today, only resting from the stress of riding alongside me as I drove all over Asuncion yesterday, and Caroline is also good.) As always, your prayers are much appreciated.

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