Stanleys in September

You may have noticed not much blogging activity from us recently. That’s because we don’t want our ReachKovol blog to be filled with our adventures here in the UK. We know people are praying for us though so we want to start posting a little more frequently now we’re out of the hectic newborn phase.

When we arrived back in the UK in January we entered during a national lockdown and got a taste of what life has been like. Even the libraries were closed! In April our twins were born, queue exhaustion and sleep deprivation for the next 4 months.
We’re pulling out of that level of intensity (though twin babies at 6 months old are still tough!), and covid restrictions have mostly lifted so we’re able to start enjoying the UK.

If only we could do both…

What do you want to be when you grow up? a young child was asked. “A missionary on Home assignment” he replied 🙂 I can’t remember where and when I heard that little anecdote, but it springs to mind often as we’ve now been back in the UK for 7 months.

Puzzling over verbs

Learning language in Kovol is like trying to drink form a fire hose. There’s always so much and you feel completely overwhelmed with it all. It’s kind of nice to have time to sit and pick over language data in a way you never have time for in the bush. It’s not a productive way of learning language. The fire hose of immersion is a much better way to learn to speak, but it certainly satisfies my sense of completion to be able to spend weeks poring over the data I elicited previously without a stack more arriving in my inbox.

Life with twins – it’s going to take a little longer to return to PNG

Regarding the future, we’ve decided to extend our home assignment 6 months and are now aiming to return to PNG in Feb 2021. Right in the middle of our exhausting newborn phase was the deadline for deciding what to do with our rental with our choices being to move to the Netherlands in July or extend our rental for 6 months. Since we don’t have a fixed, predictable income we need to pay for our rent in advance and agree with the landlord on the duration and the minimum we could extend was 5 months. Exhausted and just about coping we couldn’t face attempting to move our family to the Netherlands navigating both the Covid restrictions and the new Brexit restrictions on me traveling to Europe.
So now the plan is to head to the Netherlands in December instead. We’re very much looking forward to spending some time there; Oscar’s grandparents haven’t seen him for about 3 years!

Double trouble

We’re very happy to welcome Alice and Millie into the world. Born on April 6th, they’re a handful! Double the baby is triple the work it seems 🙂 We received a card saying “It’s twins! Double the snuggles.”, which in theory is correct but we’re finding the practice to be very different. We’re so busy changing nappies and feeding them the number of cuddles is actually substantially reduced compared to a single baby!
How do I feel about being the father of twins? Not much, I’m too tired to feel anything! 😀

Designing a Kovol alphabet part 4

At this point of the process we’ve found our phonemes and allophones. Phonemes are the significant sounds that will need to be represented by a symbol in the alphabet and allophones are little variations of our phonemes that the alphabet doesn’t need to worry about.