Our orthography survey project seems to have run out of steam. We were asking literate Kovol speakers to answer a multiple-choice survey to indicate their preferences for spelling and symbol choices where we have multiple options. Ideally, we’d have 50 or so returns, but the 12 we have will need to make do as the momentum for finding people to fill it out has petered out. Those 12 were mostly group efforts though, so I guess more people were involved!
The last month has been a little frustrating. For the last 4 weeks we’ve had at least one sick day a week where we’re taking half a day or more off to rest and recuperate. We feel frustrated both because it means time out of language learning, and also that despite taking the time off when we need it we don’t seem to be resting very well.
Today I went to see a mum that just gave birth this morning. I went there with Gerdine and our kids. I was so happy to have gotten the news so quickly about a newborn baby. Turns out, she was even just finishing her hole birthing process. The mother was still sitting on the leaves where she has given birth to her baby.
Oscar spent the whole year we were home looking forward to seeing Louis again. Finally we were able to return and there’s been 2 months of the two boys haning out, but now the Hansen’s are off. They left this week to start their 10 month home assignment.
We are going for a home assignment to our home countries in a few days. And my emotions are a roller coaster. I am even struggeling how to title this blog post. ‘how I feeling about going home’? or how I feel about leaving home’?. Don’t get me wrong. Germany is in a way a home, there are people I love, family friends… but Kovol has become also our home.
Seeing as now my interest is in how to join these sentences together better I decided it was time to write a story.
I took my fence building photo book I’d been working on and I wrote a 100 word story telling how I went down, didn’t know the way so got a guide, got to the garden, ate sugar cane, did the work and then came back in the rain with the kids.
He died two days ago. We heard the wailing starting in the night and we knew it was him. Yesterday was a day of mourning and sitting with the family. They dressed him in a nice white shirt and black long pants. Today was the burial. Nothing fancy. Very simple. They built the coffin, dug the hole, put him in there and filled the hole. No ‘last will’ to take care off as far as we know, no fancy meal or decoration, no program, today there was not even much crying from what we saw. Just sad blank looks. But it took all day from morning until almost 6pm to burry him.
Our first 2 months in Kovol are coming to an end, we’re definitely back into it now!
Much of the Kovol people’s work is out in their gardens and so we should often be making the hike out to see them. Well that’s ideally. In reality because the hike takes an hour and i’s tough to make an appointment we only get out there occasionally.