Thursday, July 3, 2008

Learning to Communicate Caring, without Language

Much of our day today looked like the bottom picture—pointing to things in the dictionary. We actually did fine, and were able to do cross stitch and other crafts with them via sign language and the little vocabulary we have. One woman brought a scarf she had made and gave it to Cindy. Another woman sold one to Susan. (See photo of Susan being taught how to tie the scarf). They crochet the edges of the scarves and put beautiful beadwork on them. Today pushed us out of our comfort zone, but God was faithful and somehow, even without words, these women knew we cared. We had one frustrating moment when a woman didn’t understand why she would have to sew this butterfly for these foreign women. I said “It’s a gift!” and the women in the room still didn’t understand. They were handing the kits back to us. So I called Linda to translate over the phone. Then the women got it and were excitedly talking and learning. Blogs, digital cameras, and now the the cell phone. I love how technology is making cross-cultural communication clearer.

By the way, in the foreground of the second picture is the bag of silk worm cocoons that we are STILL filling up with cleaned-off cocoons to sell to make money for the school. And if I NEVER see another cocoon, it will be too soon! When we finish one big tub, the owner produces another.

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