Cars, Verbs, and Antibiotics
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Posted by: Rich Rudowske 12/25/2013 5:56 PM

Let me begin this week's entry by relating a conversation I had with my colleague John Strasen when we were traveling together this week.  We were talking about how communcating with folks back home can start to get difficult because - really - the day in and day out work of Bible translation isn't terribly exciting and there is not a lot of stuff to share.  Sometimes we feel like we have to really dig to find something to talk about.  Imagine having a bunch of people that are somehow making it possible for you to do your job and so you need to communicate periodically with them about what you're doing at work.  Not necessarily the easiest thing, right?  This would be the 'ordinary' life that I was talking about last week.  The life that, while we are a long way away from home, is very much like your life. 

That's what this week was like.  We had sick kids - Matt and Josh both had different stuff going on.  Matt has problems periodically with his perotid gland, the gland that makes saliva.  Basically, if he doesn't stay hydrated enough or keep that gland active by sucking on a hard candy now and then, it gets clogged up.  If it stays clogged up it gets infected and periodically, if it is bad enough, he needs antibiotics to clear that up.  So, we got that and gave him a couple days off school.  We also arranged with the school to let him drink water more frequently while in school to avoid the problem as much as possible going forward.

Josh had a stomach bug that came out of nowhere.  The local doctor, who just recovered from something like it, ordered that he not eat any meat for the week and gave him antibiotics and some rehydrating, stomach strengthening deal that is not available in the USA but seems to work pretty nicely.  Both boys are on the mend and should be back at school next week.  That's the antibiotic part.

This is the verbs part.  With the Bible translation - we got to the bottom of some verb tense problems that we had been having in the discourse sections of Luke 19.  When telling a story in Shekgalagari, there is a way that the story is introduced in the past tense, and whenever a character is described or introduced, that is also done in past tense, but the action is all told in present tense - an interesting feature of the oral language that keeps the hearers' focus on the action.  There are some verbal markers in Shekgalagari that don't exist in neighboring Setswana and John and I had difficulty figuring them out.  But after extensive discussion with Pontsho (at a rate of about a verse an hour - oy!) and Dr. Monaka, we seem to have gotten to the bottom of it.  We shall see moving forward.  Next up, we get our first round of translation consultant checking when LBT's own Rev. Larry Johnson comes to work with us on May 10th to check through Luke 19 and Luke 15.  Which reminds me, I probably need to write some time explaining the steps in Bible translation so that you know why we have a translation consultant coming in the first place.  All in good time, grasshopper.

Last, but not least, the car part - John has not had his own vehicle since arriving in Botswana 13 months ago.  He used our car the eight months we were back in the USA and has continued to raise funds to buy his own vehicle.  Late last week I saw a car for sale by some folks who are leaving the town of Maun, three hours north of here and it was just what John had previously described that he was looking for and was well within his price range.  So, we drove up to Maun to have a look at it and he decided to buy it!  So, after a little work to get funds in the right place, John should have the car by the end of May when those folks leave Botswana!  This has been a prayer concern of mine, so I am thrilled to report that the Lord has generously answered this request in a better way than we could have imagined.

I hope that you all had a great week - that spring is coming to you and is just as refreshing as the autumn weather is here for us.  Thanks for your prayer and support.

Love, Rich, Maya & the Crew



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