Tuesday, April 12, 2011

English Classes...a favorite activity.

Do we realize how strange our language is? A few weeks ago I told one of our translators that our missionaries were little stink pots, she looked at me with a strange look and said, “I don’t know that”. Really, you don’t know what a stink pot is? I explained to her that it was an endearing term for mischievous behavior or rascals. It made me think about other things we say all the time that is just plain strange. Here are a few:

A Drop in the Bucket:A very small part of something big or whole.

A Fool And His Money Are Easily Parted: It's easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.
A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand: Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out.
A Leopard Can't Change His Spots: You cannot change who you are.
A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned: By not spending money, you are saving money (little by little).

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.

A Piece of Cake: A task that can be accomplished very easily.

A Slap on the Wrist: A very mild punishment.

A Taste Of Your Own Medicine: When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others.

A Toss-Up: A result that is still unclear and can go either way.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: It's better to actually do something than just talk about it.

Add Fuel To The Fire: Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.

Against The Clock: Rushed and short on time.

All Bark And No Bite: When someone is threatening and/or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.

All Greek to me: Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek language would be.

All In The Same Boat: When everyone is facing the same challenges.

An Arm And A Leg: Very expensive. A large amount of money.

An Axe To Grind: To have a dispute with someone.

Apple of My Eye: Someone who is cherished above all others.

Cast Iron Stomach: Someone who has no complications or with eating anything or drinking anything.

Charley Horse: Stiffness in the leg / A leg cramp.

Chew someone out: Verbally scold someone.

Chip on his Shoulder: Angry today about something that occurred in the past.

Chow Down: To eat.

As High As A Kite: Anything that is high up in the sky or a person under the influence of drugs.

We tried to print off a few of these to take to our English class last week and realized that there were so many idioms that it was going to take 49 pages to print them all off! We really do use a lot of them. Check it out if you have some time. HERE

English classes really are a fun activity that we enjoy. We don’t go to all of them, just the advanced conversational class on Tuesday night. And if we are in Croatia we attend on Thursday nights as well. Last week there were 11 English students, they are a big cross section of population. As part of the lesson we asked them to tell us what they do for a living and describe a little bit about it. We have : 2 doctors, 1 secretary, 1 ITT specialist, 3 students, 1 Tupperware salesman, 2 musicians, 1 teacher and a cute little boy about 10 years old that comes with his dad. They are an extremely motivated and intelligent group of people. I think we learn more from them than they learn from us. Last week’s discussion question was: What would you change in the country of Croatia to make it safer for the people that live here. My goodness! I wasn’t prepared for the depth of their thought processes. A few that stood out:
Stop people from drinking too much and then getting in a car to drive home. There are laws against it, but they are not enforced.
 Make bicycle riders obey either pedestrian rules or vehicle rules. Don’t let them just arbitrarily decide which ones they want to obey depending on the circumstances.
I loved this one from one of our missionaries; make the drunken people that come out of bars wear helmets so when they fall on the cobblestone they won’t gash their heads in.
But the overwhelming answer from most of them was,
 Put all the politicians in jail, reelect new ones, put them in jail if they get corrupted and make them enforce the laws!!!

They really HATE their politicians! We kind of laugh, because don’t Americans all hate theirs as well?? We so often look at the differences of our countries and fail to see how much we are alike. I love it!

After English class this last week we met with one of the students and the missionaries taught her. She loved what she heard and even came to church this last week. We are so glad that we could be in on this first lesson, she is reading the Book of Mormon and seems really receptive. We have another lesson with her tonight after class. She is a single woman so the missionaries have to have Jim present to teach her, even if we can’t understand a thing that is being said, we can feel the spirit.

We had a great end of the week in Bosnia, we taught The Tadic family on Thursday night, on Friday we visited another hospital about an hour away from Banja Luka. I think we have only one more hospital to visit before we are done with the NRT follow up. We had a YW activity at our house on Saturday afternoon with 3 beautiful Young Women from the Tadic family. We made chocolate chip cookies, worked on personal progress, and watched (downloaded from I Tunes) Tangled. They loved it and so did I.

Sunday we had church at our house and a linger longer dinner activity. VERY FUN!!! The girls cleared the table and then made a prayer chart for their family to help them remember to have family prayers together. It turned out very cute and I suppose it said all the pertinent stuff. It was all in Cyrillic Serbian. Their names all start with a “V”…Violetta, Victoria, Vanja, Vedran, Vedrana, and Valentinea. I worried on the chart when I saw the names going on and they all started with a “B” ..So I guess a V is a B in Serbian.

We didn’t come home on Sunday night as usual, instead we stayed for a early morning meeting with the Red Cross and the Banja Luka City chief administrator. We discussed a water project  that we are trying to develop in a small village just on the outskirts of Banja Luka. They at times have to close the school down because the sewer and water supplies are not clean. We are going to get more details, but he was grateful for our offer to help and hopefully it will be a great new project for us. Gotta love it!

We love doing what we do, never forgetting that we have ones at home that love, support and encourage us. We pray for you always, may the Lord pour out His blessings on you as he has on us.

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