Teaching is not my spiritual gift, but I'm determined to learn to teach English as a second language. This Saturday and next, I'll be taking an all day class to be able to get certified throught the International Mission Board.
Being able to practice teaching before I go on my mission trip will help me refine and hone my skills, but there's another reason for going too. The country we're going to will more than likely require proof of the fact that we're teachers so, the teaching certificate we'll be presented at the end of our course, will provide necessary documentation just in case it's necessary.
This weekend, I had an opportunity to hear what being in another country might be like. I was having my hair done in a little salon very close to my home. I knew that I could go anytime of day, with no appointment and get a permanent. Now that's unheard of in most American salons because they usually require you call ahead and schedule to have one done; but since this was an oriental salon, I knew I didn't have to worry.
In the salon, the hairdresser spoke and understood just enough English to get by, and while she was working on me, I began to really listen to what was going on around me. There was Vietnamese music playing on the radio and though I couldn't understand a word of it, I listened for repetitious words and intonations. As I listened, I learned that their language is full of gutteral sounds and strong inflections. All of the hairdressers in this shop were Vietnamese, so they conversed freely with one another.
Sitting there for over an hour, during the process of my perm, many other nationalities came in to have their hair done. That's part of the beauty of living in Clarkston...it's an international city. I listened to people from Ethiopia, Iran, Bosnia, and Somalia speaking. All of their languages unique and different. While I couldn't understand them, I prayed and asked God to give me a genuine concern and love for each of the people represented in the shop that day.
When I was ready to leave, there were several people sitting in chairs waiting their turn to have their hair done. I realized as I left that a smile is the same in any language, so I smiled a big smile and walked out feeling blessed.