Back in 2006 I got to tell some stories about how I came to serve overseas at Cornerstone Music Festival. I'm getting ready to go to Audiofeed, a music festival born out of Cornerstone to tell some stories, if anybody comes to the Peniel Story Tent to listen. (Yes, I am worried about sitting all alone in my story circle talking to myself.)
If you'd lke to hear my story from 2006 click that grey (gray? I never know) bar up at the top of this post. If you'd like to save me from shame, embarassment, and an overabundance of skittles, come here.
Singing the Do It Yourself Messiah is my absolute favorite thing to do ever. I love going with my friends, but I have met really interesting people going by myself too.
The first year I went, a woman came by, looked at the empty seat next to me, and asked me if I knew what I was doing. I told her I'd sung Messiah every year for the last five years with a great choir, so she deigned to sit next to me.
I can't blame her, it's no fun sitting next to someone who isn't singing, especially as a soprano that sometimes screeches. Somehow it's ok if we're all screeching together, but if the person next to you isn't singing, not so much. There was a woman talking at intermission this year in the restroom. She said that she was sitting next to three people that weren't singing, and the guy next to her made a face and covered his ear when she hit a particularly high note. Kind of takes the fun out of it, you know?
One year I got a seat towards the front, but I was irritated because there was a young boy with an obviously brand new score sitting down the row from me. Great, someone who won't sing, and will grimace when I hit lovely notes. And where are his parents?! I fumed until we started to sing and the most glorious sound I've ever heard came from his direction. A boy soprano.
"...several different groups of bilinguals were more immune to common cognitive biases when making decisions in their second languages than in their native tongues."
I just read this blurb on one of my favorite languagenerdblogs, nerdily titled Language Log. There's more to it, which you can read here and here.
This certainly is my experience-I am much less likely to fly off the handle when I'm living in one of my other languages. I blogged about that a while back here. The time lag between brain and mouth in my other languages helps me self edit (and has made me think more than once that I should just give up speaking English and stick with Spanish or mmmbellymay or something.) More than that, though, words just don't get to my gut the same way if they're not in English.
"With the death, I'd become accustomed to seeing pieces of my father being taken away. But now, with a doorknob and a hand on my dad's shoulder, I had what I never thought I'd have again: a new piece of my father being given to me. ...
Those pieces are precious. Especially when you don't see them coming."
You can click the gray bar to hear the whole story.
Mary had a whole cabinet full of silk blouses that she'd bought at the market. She used to cut them up and use the cloth to make really beautiful things. She lived near mmmBELLYmay land, and was a friend.
Blogging about nothing and dogs and stuff is easy. The hard stuff, however, is not.
She was on a six-month course in Jerusalem studying ancient and modern Hebrew at the Hebrew University prior to returning to Togo to begin work on a translation of the Old Testament.
The 55-year-old had been staying in a dormitory in Yad Hasmona village, about six miles from Jerusalem, but had gone into the city on Wednesday to meet her oldest friend. She was fatally injured. Thirty others were wounded when a device weighing up to 2kg exploded near the busy central bus station.
The eldest of five children, Gardner was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved to Aberdeenshire when she was 15. Her parents Jean, 81 and Tony, 82, who live there, said they were "devastated by the sudden loss of our daughter in this tragic and unexpected way".
In a statement they said: "Mary was a very special person and we thought the world of her. She was devoted to her work and was well liked wherever she went. We are proud of her and all that she has achieved in her life and feel truly blessed to have had her in our lives."
She had been working for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Togo, living among the Ifé people for the past 20 years, learning the language, translating the bible ...
I love knowing exactly where I stand in mmmBELLYmay land-when I goof it up, when I get it right. That's the great thing about my mmmBELLY-friends, like Leon in the picture. He's so patient while I try and try again, and then when I finally get it, he doesn't leave me guessing. He gives me a big smile, and tells me "That's it!" It's great to have honest, instant feedback. I have a thing or two or a thousand to learn from my friends in Africa.