I had the opportunity to do some more traveling! I went to the southern part of the country for the first time. This island is so interesting! The majority of the country is tropical with lots of green jungle and rain. However, the southwestern part as you get closer to Haiti is extremely arid. I was shocked to see dry mountains (see the picture below) and desert landscapes. I thought I had seen poverty here in the capital, but things are even worse down there. Water and food shortages and almost no rain to grow anything. Interesting how on such a small island, the climate can differ so much!
However, the south does also have its beauty! We visited a really beautiful, secluded villa with like 20 waterfalls! We had a great time, and I was able to see a part of the country I had never seen before.
The Bible translation project is going really well! It is a lot of work and very tedious, but also a lot of fun! We are starting with some of Jesus' teachings from Luke. Our team (two Deaf and two hearing) currently average about two verses an hour. But that's without filming, editing, etc. The interesting part will be when we show our work to Deaf communities in different provinces for revision of the signs used and the clarity and comprehensibility of the signs. Many Biblical names and terms do not have established signs here. Each community, and sometimes each Deaf church within that community, has come up with their own signs. Some match up and some don't. So, once our team translates a passage, it will then be passed on to a Biblical consultant for revision, then a linguist, and then various provinces. Any necessary changes come back to us, and we rework it. Then, once each level has approved the passage, on to final recording and editing. It is going to be a lengthy process! But I am beyond excited to be involved.
The annual Book Fair took place last week. This is not your average school book fair. This is a huge book fair that attracts people from the whole country with countless stands from numerous institutions giving workshops and conferences. Oh, and they also sell books, I suppose haha. I was asked to interpret three workshops, which was a cool opportunity.
Every day is a new adventure. Sometimes, I think I have my day planned out and then I get a call and have to change everything to go do something else. I never get the chance to be bored!
Church and Bible study are going very well! We keep growing, some want to be baptized, and some are interested in becoming Christian leaders! We will soon have to start collecting funds to find a bigger church and to buy a new church van (I think we have spent more fixing all of the problems our current van presents than it would cost to buy a new one). We are getting more children (Deaf and hearing children of Deaf adults), and I am really hoping to get a kids' program started!
We are making more progress on the mystery project! But it is not ready to announce yet...Soon!