I met last week with a Portuguese language teacher in Marietta. I was elated when she handed me a colorful self-published book entitled “English for Housekeepers: and other professionals”. Housekeeping was one of the first trades we realized we could teach. The hotels and lodges in Pemba need them and have promised to hire our girls once trained. The book is full of pictures and translations. She uses a method called English for a Purpose. It circumvents sentence structure, conjugating, tenses, the subjective and all the other impossibly difficult rules of the English language that are not necessary when learning a second language for the workplace. These women will most likely never use English other than in these circumstance and it makes language for them very attainable
She told me about other ESL curriculum and what works best for her in the classroom. I am ecstatic to have this information and to see the school already taking shape.
I spoke this week at the Bible Study and stand amazed by these strong powerful women and how blessed I am to know them and to have them praying for me. I am honored to have their covering and intercession. God certainly knows all that we need. He is taking care of every detail and having these women covering me is among my greatest blessings. When they say they are praying for me, I can feel it. They mean it.
The weekend was possibly one of the most memorable and fun weekends of my life. I got to watch one of my best friends marry a great man who loves her deeply and another sit with big pink tissue paper filled presents around her feet. A wedding and a baby shower. It is beautiful to watch both of them and how they live their lives and how we have grown and changed and yet, not changed much at all since childhood. We have known each other all our lives. We dug up roly polies in the backyard and held hands on the way to Miss Melba’s Kiddie College. Now I am honored to have them in my life, their encouragment and find confidence in knowing that we all have each other’s backs, for life. I got to watch this little community throw fun parties and join in the fun. I loved watching this group of women who have raised children together, most celebrating 40 or more years of marriage, now elated to welcome grandchildren into the world and how well they know to entertain. They have a beautiful sisterhood of long lasting relationships. They laugh together, cry together, and play Bridge. Part of me wants to buy the old house on College Avenue, make a big stack of Ruth Skelton’s Pimento Cheese Sandwiches, and throw a party, Shag in the backyard to beach music and learn to play Bridge, of course. Having community and girlfriends and doing life together is crucial. Being able to grow up in a place like this is a great gift.
And yet, I have only a few days left in Western Culture. I guess I will have to teach the Mozambican girls and boys how to Shag and best get busy learning to play Bridge so that I can teach them that too. I will miss this world of mimosa’s and petit fours, draperies on windows and botanicals on walls, silver frames with babies in smocked dresses. And my girlfriends, who used to slide down carpeted stairs in sleeping bags, catch caterpillars, walk beside be with baby dolls on our hips. Yet, I am elated that I get to go and live this new life. It has been a long time coming and I cannot believe it is almost here.