We are here, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma! Arrival was Saturday, August 29th, we rolled into Tahlequah at about 9:00pm a little later than we were expecting due to some vehicle trouble we had on our way down. Fortunately we were at the Missionary Training Center in Missouri when the problems occurred. Several of the staff were willing to help us locate parts and Pete was able to learn how to install a new crank shaft sensor and timing belt in the vehicle with the help of a friend who is very knowledgable and was willing to give up several hours of his time to help us. God is so faithful and truly blessed us in our time of need. Nothing that happened surprised Him and we are so grateful for all who gave of their time to get us back on the road.
Needless to say we made it to Tahlequah, set up our room quickly so we could get some sleep.
Now it is Monday, Sept. 7th and we have experienced our first week, Pete doing linguistics study of the Cherokee language and Liesl helping where needed with cleaning, cooking, errand running, etc. Things have gone well and we are adjusting to a new area and small living quarters.
Pete has been attending a two hour language session every week day, where he and his language learning partner Sam, meet with a Cherokee man and ask him about words, language patterns, and grammar in the Cherokee language. Pete also records his language helper saying the words, and then comes back after the session and works for anywhere from 2-4 hours on entering all of the language into his database and beginning analysis. It is a little harder for me, Liesl, to understand the whole process because I only hear Pete and the other students throwing around words and phrases when they all get back from their sessions. However, I do hope to come with Pete and Sam on one of their language sessions this week so I can meet their language helper and experience a bit of what they are doing.
Another important part of being here in Tahlequah, OK to study Cherokee is not only the language, but also the culture. Fortunately this last weekend was the Annual Cherokee Festival and we were able to attend many different cultural events and observe the Cherokee people celebrating some of their own heritage. Some of the events we were able to attend/learn about- a Cherokee Pow-Wow, traditional blow gun competition, cornstalk shoot, a stick ball game, and a traditional arts and crafts fair where the Cherokee sell alot of their homemade wares.
Pete also enjoyed his first Indian Taco, which was similar to a tradtional taco except instead of a tortilla it was served on a homemade round of fry bread.
We have been attending a Cherokee Baptist Church in the area on Sundays so Pete can try and pick up more of the language and so that we can build relationships and fellowship with some of the Cherokee believers here.
Tahlequah is an interesting town, and we are having a good time exploring when we have time on the evenings and weekends. Here are some other fun pictures for your enjoyment.
All in all we are enjoying our time and learning lots about the Cherokee language and culture, and about team work and love as sometimes it is challenging living in such close quarters with so many other people. We are trusting God that this time will be an intense learning experience and prepare us even further for what we will encounter in Mexico.
Thank you all for your prayers for us, and encouraging emails, we are so blessed to have you partnering with us. Hope you enjoy the update and we hope to post more about our Cherokee adventure soon!