July 16, 2012
Yeah, I can't speak the dialect at all. Just a couple dozen words. And it's not really written, unless you go all out and learn Lao directly. Learning it is a bit tricky. Fortunately people speak Thai. Some of the younger generation doesn't speak it, because Thai is all they use in school. They still understand it, but can't hold up a conversation in it. On the other end, some old people can't speak Thai, but can largely
understand it spoken. They are closely related. The grammar is all the same, but a lot of the words and the accent are very different. It's not necessary to learn the dialect, but I think it is worth a bit of effort to learn some.
Being senior companion is odd. I've forgotten a couple times and we lost some time because I'm used to letting my companion do some things. I have to always be the one to take initiative. I'm fine with the language. Lopburi was good on me, I just talked a lot with everyone. I really missed the branch this last Sunday. However, that is where the language practice of writing letters comes in. It's really slow, but hey, I've not got mail in over a month, so maybe this will get me some. Plus it really is helpful in learning the language to write. I feel like I'm to a point where it is worth the time to write. I've sent off one letter to a recent convert, and have a couple others part way through. And, I really do love the people. If I didn't, I wouldn't be motivated to write them. Lots of good people.
So life is good. I've got a lot to learn and a lot to do. At least I love doing it all!
Elder Robert Buss