We would love to have those who have stood behind us, who have partnered with us in prayer and finances, to experience Tumu, our home. Thanks to your efforts we have now been in Tumu almost a year! Thank you for making this possible. One of the interesting things that we have enjoyed this past year is the changing seasons of this part of the world. We arrived here last May at the onset of the regular rainy season. During this time period we observed the labor intensive agricultural practices of the Sisalli and their work ethic. You farm because that is what you do to provide for school fees, food on the table, pocket-money, to provide for your extended family, etc. Most people farm even if they already have steady employment. The weather when we arrived wasn't oppressively hot but a bit on the muggy side as the soil had been saturated with moisture. The rains slowly let up and suddenly you woke up to the fact that they were over and the dry season was starting. Just around Christmas time, when the weather was becoming quite hot the Harmattan blew in from the north. This dust from the Sahara desert can hang around in the atmosphere for weeks, sometimes months. This past year it was quite heavy and lasted longer than usual. It dried out the air...humidity dropped to the teens. The temperatures fell in the daytime as the sunlight was muted and the nights got cold. In short, the weather was pleasant. The Harmattan lifted a few months ago and the hot season settled in along with intense sunlight. When we left Tumu, the signs were showing that the rains were about to start again. People were starting to prepare their fields for plowing and there were cloud formations and small rain events every few weeks.
We feel we are making some progress in learning the language. People actually understand us when we find those who speak the dialect we are studying. Greetings are very important here and when we arrived we thought the Sissala had an endless supply of them. Now we are discovering that as the seasons change, so do some of the greetings. In our limited exposure to the language we have not found a word for “visit”, instead we have been told to use the verb “to greet” for that. The vocabulary of Sissali is noticeably smaller than that of English. Some words sound that same in Sisalli but are used for different meanings - the meaning must be taken from the context or subject of the conversation. Tone and inflection also change meanings.
Your partners in Christ,
Steve & Cyndie
Eric and Lydia - their upcoming wedding Language learning – that we be diligent in it.
Kristina, our eldest - as she seeks God's guidance in many areas of her life. Pray for wisdom in her decisions. Ben - our oldest son, is attending college in CA. Pray for diligence in his studies. Jeremy, our youngest, recently started a new job at a small manufacturing company. Keep him in your prayers.
SIM USA: Box 7900 Charlotte, NC 26241 Tel: 800.521.6449
Local mail: Box 79, Tumu, Upper West Region, Ghana