Tag Archives: babies

Sneaky blog post 3

Aceh has a new baby. Her name is Nadifah and she’s miniature!

Sleepy Nadifah. I know where you're coming from girl.

Sleepy Nadifah. I know where you're coming from girl.

We bonded for a few seconds...before Nadifah was so overwhelmed by her love for me that she started crying. I know Nadifah, these emotions are powerful...

We bonded for a few seconds...before Nadifah was so overwhelmed by her love for me that she started crying. I know Nadifah, these emotions are powerful...

How babies and language collide

Photos of babies have begun to filter through and I can’t wait to see them in real life.

But I must wait two weeks (12 days to be exact) until I go back to Australia for a short visit. This could very well be the longest 12 days of waiting (especially because work is busy with many laborious and pretty dull tasks before then). But two things this morning are making it OK to wait.

1. Beck has duly informed me of the madness at the hospital when 20 big and small people all try to fit into one hospital room. I don’t mind the idea of arriving when the storm has passed.

2. This morning I am finally enjoying Bahasa Indonesia.

I’ve learned one interesting thing about myself this year. I don’t like learning new languages. I can hear the gasps around the world as I admit this (especially damning for someone who is all about international relations). It seems that everyone, especially Australians who often haven’t learned a second language to fluency, longs for the opportunity to learn a new language, or relishes the opportunities they have. I’d assumed that I was the same…that hanging out in Paris, practicing ordering a croissant for 12 months sounded fun. But I’ve realised that I’d love eating the croissant but that I will learn the minimum language required to get it.

I thought I was just bad at learning languages, and I think it’s true to a point, because I always want to translate the English thoughts in my head, even if those thoughts include idioms that no one will understand, and I struggle if I can’t directly translate a sentence from the other language into English. But the truth is that I haven’t been too bad with Bahasa (although if I’d studied I would probably be fluent by now). No, the most limiting factor to my success with languages is laziness. At any given moment I would much rather convey my thoughts precisely rather than practice using a language I still don’t understand well. So if there is an English option I take it.

But this morning something was different. I was reading an email in Bahasa Indonesia which usually I would skim, or even copy and paste it into an online translator if it especially important and I was being especially lazy. But this morning I was feeling diligent and persisted with every word in an email that wasn’t even directly written to me. And I understood! I learned new words, clarified the meaning of few others and genuinely understood a reasonably complex discussion between two people! But the real breakthrough was this: I enjoyed reading and deciphering and understanding it! This has been the missing (crucial) link to my language study.

How does this make the wait to see babies easier? It means that the daily struggle of working in a second language is eased, and moments of frustration that inevitably lead to “I don’t want to be here I want be home playing with babies” are fewer and farther between.

And so the family grows

Yay for Jess, the babies are here! And in two weeks I get to see them!

The babies are commonly known as Oliver Benjamin and Liam Peter. I congratulate Jess and Mark on coming up with four good boy names all at once.

But here’s the bad news…Someone has already secured http://www.oliverbenjamin.net/

Liam’s internet career is safe for now, but someone better get onto securing that domain quickly.

I don’t want to accuse Jess and Mark of bad parenting before the children are even a day old, but could you argue that not googling your child’s name before the name is formally assigned to said child is negligent?

Just in case someone reading this blog is weird, I don’t really believe you should google your child’s name before they are born. I mean, if you want to go right ahead.