Today was my day to volunteer as an adult tutor at the library, and I spent my two hours making conversation with a retired lawyer from Kazakhstan who arrived in the US two months ago and speaks almost no English. It's really difficult to try to ask questions so that he can understand them, and then to try to rephrase and simplify whatever I say to make it understandable to him. He has a Russian/English translation program on his cell phone, and he spent a lot of his time typing in English words to find out what they meant, when I couldn't make them clear. The highlight of our session was when his wife, who speaks English and is still in Kazakhstan with their children, called via Skype and I was able to meet her and see their baby girl. I found myself using my hands a lot while we talked, something I don't usually do, and I started thinking about sign language. So I registered for an ASL class to start January 17, before I could talk myself out of it.
It was another gray and chilly day today, but dry so far. I was able to get this shot of a tree with feathery branches before I made it home. It was a relief to be able to get on Blip today, as the website was inaccessible all day yesterday. I will have to catch up on all the great blips I missed. Hope you are all keeping warm and cheery.