1 // Who is Miriam?
Miriam is our wonderful teacher for our Spanish language classes and she's had lots of teaching experience before us. She's one busy lady, and we love just talking with her & hearing her stories. She's also become one of our best friends here in Choluteca as we've gotten to know her even more!
2 // Can you tell us more about her?
Sure! Miriam is 64 years old and has been teaching for a long time, including previously teaching English at the CDI Nutrition Clinic here in Choluteca, being a private tutor in English for families, and more. Through tutoring, Miriam realized that she loves this teaching format, rather than full classroom teaching, much more in order to personally have conversations with each of her students and be able to constantly check their grammar and pronunciation personally. Miriam is a widow, and has five grown children, and seven grandchildren. We're blessed to know some of them too!
3 // She's a busy lady, huh? What makes you say that?
We're amazed at how much our dear friend Miriam gets done in a day. She's very busy with a full home of family members, taking care of the woman who served as her nanny growing up full time (who is now 95 years old and has no family of her own to care for her), and working with our church, Iglesia Gran Comision Choluteca, in reaching out to individuals who have HIV or who have been affected by family members who do. Miriam is also involved in other ministries that the church does, including acting in some of the drama plays and skits whenever there is a part for her! She loves it. And this is ALL on top of teaching us three hours a day!
Miriam told us the story of her coming to learn English, and she told us that when she was seventeen, and growing up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, she made the decision to go to a special school to learn English. A few friends of hers decided to go too, and the program took about two years to complete. We asked her if she was glad that she decided to learn English, and she said to us that she is glad because she has been able to help other people learn English, but she doesn't always have people to practice her English with to keep it well in her mind. (The "if you don't use it, you lose it" idea.) We told her very early that she would get plenty of practice with using her English by teaching us, because when we first arrived we knew very, very little Spanish. We relied on Miriam being able to explain things to us, and receive instruction for lessons, in English!
|Quick snapshot of Jamey & Miriam in class together at our apartment!|
5 // What is your favorite thing about Miriam?
Our favorite thing about Miriam is how comfortable she feels talking with us about anything. She is willing to answer any question we have for her, whether it is about Spanish grammar, phrases that are used common, or even just questions about the Honduran culture. Miriam has been the one to tell us where we can find things here, given Lesley advice for working with the children at the church's projects, and even helped give us advice on selecting, using, and cooking new produce and foods that we aren't used to. She has been a wonderful blessing to our lives every day!
6 // What is her favorite thing about you guys?
Miriam tells us constantly that her very favorite thing about us is that we are able to laugh so much together, even while we are having classes with her. She loves to laugh about stories we tell each other, about our mispronunciations in Spanish that have us saying different words than what we intended, and even about the funny relationship Jamey & I have while being classmates. We have our own private jokes that come out of this language learning sessions, and Miriam tells us that she tries to tell them to other people, and then she'll realize that it was simply a "you had to be there" kind of thing. Miriam will leave with an extra skip in her step on the days that we have laughed extra and says to us, "Okay! I will see you tomorrow! And we will laugh more!". She also regularly tells us that she is glad to have classes with us because it makes her use her brain very actively. She believes that we're helping her to not lose her memory when she is older.
7 // How can we be praying for Miriam personally?
Since Miriam is someone who is very near and dear to our hearts, we would like to ask that our ministry team and blog readers remember to lift Miriam and her family up in prayer. Miriam is a breast cancer survivor, who has been in remission for about a year now, but she has to continue to take chemo pills for five years. Her health is something that is constantly being monitored and we pray that she will remain in good health for many years to come. If her personality has anything to do with it though, she will be around for a very long time because we know that Miriam has so much more she still wants to do in this world. She's a go-getter! Also, several other members of Miriam's extended family have been suffering from cancer, including her 2-year-old granddaughter. Would you join us in prayer for this sweet little angel? She had surgery to remove the tumor in her kidney several weeks ago, and the doctors have been doing a lot to help her. They found out recently that she will not have to go through as much chemotherapy treatments as they had originally thought she would. We are so grateful for that! She starts chemotherapy treatments tomorrow, on her 3rd birthday.