Swinging into the Turkish Language

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Learning any new language has its challenges.  From the fall of 2017 to the summer of 2019, our family of six had been submerged in the Chinese language of Mandarin and doing our best to learn a language with a completely different alphabet structure and way of speaking.  Stephen and I did not have the advantage of going to a formal class the way our four children did.  At least 4 or 5 times a week, they would take an hour long class to learn how to read, write and speak in Mandarin.  Our oldest son was most successful in picking up the basics of the language.  I learned how to say a few basic phrases and I learned how to count.  But I could never read more than a few general symbols in Chinese and I wasn’t able to carry on any kind of conversation in that language.

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After that huge struggle, I have been pleasantly surprised as the ease in which I am learning how to speak basic words in Turkish.  It does help that the alphabet is very similar to English, except for a few letters having accents and “embellishments” that change the sound of the letter from the way we pronounce it in English.  Being able to recognize letters, read the words and pronounce them correctly makes a huge difference in the learning curve of a language.

Before you start to be impressed, I will confess that I still don’t even know how to say “you’re welcome” in response to “Thank you” and I can’t ask the simple question, “How are you?” and answer it.  However, I have learned about 20-30 words in the past fifteen days.  So, I’m proud of myself at the moment.

One thing I am very glad to have learned fairly early are the words for “yes” and “no.” For “yes,” you say, “evet” and for “no” you say, “hayir.”

The word for “no” literally sounds like the word “higher.” Now, one might not realize immediately the circumstances in which this word is used in English that might cause confusion in the mind of a Turkish person who doesn’t speak your language.

So, let me take you to the Turkish playground where a small child who speaks English has just asked you to push him or her on the swing.  You give the child a firm push and you watch as their swinging feet move higher off the ground.  The moment of confusion would come when the child requests a firmer push on the swing with the most common command we would hear in English: “Higher!”

So, you push the child even more firmly so the swing continues its course further up and away from the ground.  As the child continues to plead to be pushed “higher!” try to imagine what it must sound like to the ear of a Turkish person.  Soon, you might have several alarmed people in the park thinking you are torturing a child who keeps yelling “No! No!” to you.

swing

But have no fear.  I have come up with a perfect solution.  Before causing any need for Turkish child services to hunt me down, I communicate to that child that if he or she wants to be pushed “higher” on a swing, they should simply request, “Up! Up!” And to get off the swing, they should say, “Stop!”

That will work for now, until I can remember the much longer phrase in Turkish that actually is “push me higher, please.” Yeah, it’s not in my 20-30 word Turkish vocabulary yet.

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A Day Late and A Dollar Short

In case you didn’t hear about it on someone’s Instagram, SnapChat or FB post, this past Saturday (August 10) was “National S’mores Day.” I didn’t think about it too much at the beginning of the year when I was creating cute little calendars for my four children to hold onto for the 2019 year.  I was just trying to add as many fun and interesting “celebrations” as I could find for my kids to enjoy.

It wasn’t until the beginning of August as we finished settling into our new home in Ankara, Turkey, that it hit me that there might be groups of people celebrating this gooey and sticky tradition who might be interested in playing a card game to go along with their sweet tooth (as soon as they wash the melted marshmallow and chocolate smears off their hands).

Now, this isn’t a card game that you will find in your traditional stores.  Stephen created the game with the help of a computer art designer, and he bought the copyright so that he could sell the game through the on-line game site known as “www.gamecrafter.com” at the following site:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/classic-smashin-s-mores
smashinsmores_deck

First, picture yourselves playing this game as your stomach digests graham cracker mixed with chocolate and marshmallow.  As you and your fellow card holders flick cards into a middle pile, you wait patiently for a graham cracker card to be laid down, followed by a marshmallow card and a chocolate card and then finally another graham cracker so that you can slap the deck before anyone else does.  You either hope to win by collecting all the cards in the deck or gaining three coins (one for every s’more that you smash).  It’s a fast pace and fun game for everyone.
smashinsmores_cardssmashinsmores_frontcard(the cost for one deck of cards is less than $7 dollars USD!)
https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/classic-smashin-s-mores

Secondly, remember that every deck of cards that is purchased is helping our family to regain our financial foothold as we transition into our new jobs as Christian workers in an international school in Ankara, Turkey.

I know I am a few days late to be advertising for National S’mores Day.  We are most definitely more than a few dollars short of living “in the black” when it comes to our financial situation.  We are amazed at the ways in which God has supplied our needs over and over again. Several people have stepped up and given us generous donations to help us with our big international move from Far East Asia to the Middle East.  But we are struggling with debt and the gap in our salary between our jobs that ended in early June and this new one that technically does not begin until the beginning of September.

If you cannot support us on a monthly basis, consider purchasing this fun game that you can play with family and friends, knowing that the money you used to make your purchase is helping us with our moving costs and getting started in this new adventure of learning a new culture and language.

Take a moment to visit the site to find out how to make this fantastic game your own:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/classic-smashin-s-mores

If you are interested in helping us out beyond purchasing our game, you can click here to find out how to help us on a one time basis or a monthly basis.

 

 

 

Urgent Need for MK Meier Supporters

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June 2019: MK Meier Kids Preparing for our big move from the Far East to the Middle East

UPDATE FOR AUGUST 2019: We need prayers for financial support.  We are so grateful for those who are praying for us already.  We have seen God work in amazing ways to provide the money that we need to move to Turkey.  However, we are still struggling to get back into the black.  We have had to borrow money that we need to pay back as soon as possible.

PRAY THAT GOD WILL PROVIDE THE ADDITIONAL FUNDS WE NEED BEFORE THE END OF THE MONTH TO COVER THE MOVING AND SETTLING COSTS WE HAVE ALREADY SPENT AND THE MONEY WE HAVE HAD TO BORROW FROM OTHERS.

Please read below to become a financial supporter:

1) WRITE A CHECK AND MAIL IT.

How? Do NOT put our names anywhere on the check! The money is processed through the organization in a tax deductible format by the U.S. government.  Although we will receive 100% of the money you sent this way, it cannot have our name on the check.

Write “OASIS” on the “To” line.  On the bottom of the check write our project number so that they will know who the money is for.  Do not put the staff member’s name on the check (per IRS requirements).  Our project number is 004250.  Mail the check to the OASIS office in the United States. Mail the check to:  OASIS, Finance Dept., 3790 Goodman Rd E, Southaven, MS 38672.  Donors are mailed a receipt after they make a donation.  This receipt has a tear-off portion (and a return envelope) if they wish to make another donation.  

2. DONATE ONLINE: http://oasisis.org/donate

 How? Choose the “Donate Now” button.  When the new page opens, you can choose a specific amount of money.  If you are interested in a monthly recurring gift, you can choose “Monthly” and the money can be pulled out at a designated day of the month for you.  

Under the word, Designation, choose “Staff Support.”   A box will pop up that says “Staff Name or Project Number.”  This is where you can type in our names and project number #004250.  Complete the billing information.  Donors can use either a debit/credit card or a checking account. After you complete the donation information, select “Preview.”  Review the donation and choose “Donate.”

3. MAKE A PHONE CALL.

How? Call the OASIS Finance Department, any time between 8 -5 (Central Standard Time), Monday through Friday, to make one-time donations or to set up a recurring donation over the phone. Make sure to have our project number on hand: #004250.   The direct number for Kim Ponder is 662-892-4332.

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