Friday, August 29, 2008

Language Learning in Canada

I returned last night from a two week school in Toronto that teaches how to learn a language. There were 7 other students all going to various countries needing different languages and we spent our days learning techniques for quickly learning and retaining our target language. We were paired with a language helper from the country we are going to- so I and two guys had an Arabic tutor in the afternoons and we applied what we learned in class in the time with our tutor. I am so thankful for this great instruction, and am not as fearful of the language learning process that I will go through in the Middle East!

One of the highlights was that on our time off, Marie (my roommate) and I were able to visit an Iraqi family that is related to my neighbors in Dallas.

This is my small group and our Arabic language helper.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Our instructor told me today that my pronunciation of the "ng" sound was perfect, along with a few other oriental phonetic sounds. But apparently my arabic sounds are unrecognizable. So... if I go to China instead of the Middle East, I am all set!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Fam

I thought it was about time to introduce you to my family. After all, why write a blog without spot-lighting them in a cheesy fashion?! They are the ones I love most and will miss most in the Middle East.

In Birth Order:

Meet my dad- Russell Mathis. During a vacation when we all shared one hotel room, it was discovered he is a Rod Stewart fan, particularly "Rythym of My Heart." He also pretended to only like big dogs until he met Laura's dog Polly. Others facts of interest- he met my mom in 9th grade, is my old soccer coach, only let me call him Daddy growing up, and is the person I usually call for wisdom and advice. He has taught me what it is to be a person of integrity.

Then there is Wendy my mom, or mama. She loves people. And musicals- Fiddler on the Roof, Wicked, Sound of Music... and probably wonders why her oldest daughter is as un-musical as one can be. We just got back on a trip to Israel together, one of the greatest memories I'll ever have. I'm thankful for her friendship, faith in the Lord, and sacrificial love for me and my sisters! If I am a mom, I hope to be like her.

Next there is Laura Michele Ferguson. We were referred to as the "Mathis Girls" growing up and in college until she married a "Ferguson." In all of my life, never have I run into a person who did not instantly love my kind, calm, beautiful, and peace-making sister. She is a solid rock and blesses me everytime we talk or see each other!

I pride myself on introducing Dillon to Laura, which is true, but I am confident he would have found her without me. I am thankful for his addition to our family! The only possible problem is his 5 point Calvinism. Otherwise, he is a loving, fun, and weird brother-in-law who treasures the Lord and his wife.

Sweet Mollie Ann. I remember Laura and I begging for another sibling. I am glad my parents obliged! Although they may not see it that way. Mollie always makes us laugh with her silliness and sarcasism (2 years old "Sawaro cactus. Excitment!"). Mollie teaches me what it looks like to share and give freely. What a faithful friend and sister- I can depend on her loyalty through anything! I can't wait for her to visit me wherever I am. Until one day I can visit her at college!

Well, not exactly. But she is the cutest baby I've ever seen and has the same color hair.