"The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." - Lao Tse
It never seem to be too late to venture into something new as long as it gets started, I guess. For the last four years I've pondered and attempted doing a language study every now and then but bear no good result so far. There was enough excuses to put my language study on halt. I thought to myself that I didn't have enough resources to continue or to take it seriously. I knew that my excuses were just a way of running away from responsibility but I made them anyway!
Since I started my fifth year working here I thought more seriously about doing a language study. This thought was still not a good enough motivation to get my butt (sorry about the language :)) moving. So for one whole semester I thought about it and shared with friends that I would be taking up a course and before I could materialize what I shared with friends the semester ends. Friends gave me books, CDs, tapes, etc., that will help me in my study. I felt guilty because I kept saying that I would and never really started.
There's always a point when one has to make decisions in life and this came about from an unexpected source. I watched a movie "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness", a true story about a simple woman who is still the source of inspiration for many people today. Gladys Aylward felt a call to go to China but was rejected by the Society due to her lack of qualification. She knew her call was China so she worked hard as a maid and used all her savings to buy a Trans-Siberian Railway train ticket to China. Traveling by mules to reach her destination inside China. The part that moved me was when the station master told her that she didn't have enough money to buy the ticket; she was not discouraged by her lack of enough resources. She decided to put some seed money with the station master and then top them up whenever she earns more money. She faithfully worked till she could buy the ticket. What struck me then when I saw the scene was her determination to reach China by all means. Here I was making all the possible excuses, but there she was full of life with a look of confidence in the one who called her. I was moved and there was no more excuses to make!
That weekend I arranged to meet up with the lady who runs the language school and Pi Zomawii agreed to take me to the school. With the owner of the school I set up a time and then on 3rd March I started attending the class. My teacher's name is Lisa who doesn't speak much English. It was a challenging experience at the beginning with her level of English but I'm pleased to say that I managed to understand almost everything she said without having to use English!! I push myself hard to be able to be ahead of what we've learnt in the class and try to make use of all my spare time (if I have the strength) to practice writing.
Since I adopt this country as my home for now, the challenge of practicing what I've learnt come easy. I took a few pictures of people that I met from my last weekend away trip and I promised to the people that I would be sending them the pictures. I got them printed and wanted to write some encouraging words at the back of the photo. I asked my student who traveled with me to help me decide what captions to write at the back. We managed to come up with a few that we felt suited the picture. So here they are, the writing of a beginner student; they are not particularly nice but they are the first steps of a person who is just learning to take the journey of a thousand miles.