I thought I'd take this momentary opportunity I have to send you an update. This last week was rough in that it was busy busy busy. Ah, the life of a teacher, eh?
1.) My 5th grade student, Larissa, had to suddenly leave Portugal with her mother this week. On Monday I found out that they were to be leaving on Friday. This meant getting a lot of work together for her to do while she's gone! Larissa's mother, Marcia, is pregnant and things are not going so well. She has very high blood pressure and very swollen feet and the doctors here aren't doing anything for her, so they have decided to fly her to their doctor in Brazil. (They are Brazilian.) Marcia took Larissa with her and they hope to return in mid-January. Please pray for Marcia's husband, Larissa's father, Marco. They could not afford for him to go with them, so they will be separated for the birth and for Christmas.
Of course, this means I will be teaching only 2 grades for the next 3 months and that will be less workload for me, but I am sad that it happened this way. Please keep them in your prayers!
2.) Secondly, I had news of Elena Schlener this week and she needs our prayers more than ever. She is really losing weight and struggling with the cancer. Please keep her and Phil and the kids in your prayers. They have moved to Idaho in order to keep Elena from too much excitement, etc.
3.) I got sick and it won't go away. Mainly the cough. I've also somewhat lost my voice now for the past two days.
4.) Last, I had quite a discouraging day today, language-wise. I spent most of today with the band at a parade and concert. I was so discouraged to find that even when I try to muddle through in Portuguese, it is still just muddling and those that I'm speaking with tend to get a little frustrated. Of course they are nice and laugh it off, but then they kind of avoid me and this led to some lonesomeness for me today. I think it is truly the first time when I was upset over the language. Until now it has only been mild irritation. I find that people speak so fast and even when I ask them to slow down, they don't. Or when they do slow down I don't know some of the words they are using. This is all totally normal, it's just that it's never gotten to me before. That I was tired and sick didn't help. :)
Please pray that I will have the guts to speak Portuguese with the people I know can help me the most- that is the people who also speak English well. These are also the most intimidating people with whom to speak Portuguese because they already have a command of their language AND yours... and often times one or two more. Yeah basically I need guts.
So, that is all for now. It is 9:30 and I'm going directly to bed... yes, I'm that tired. :) I will try to make my next update more encouraging. :)