These few days have been spent trying to conjure up the weekly church bulletin - someone elses’ brainstorm of an idea trickled down through the masses and hitting me square between the eyes.
While more qualified people rejected the duty, they had reason to do so. They were either employed or in school. I, the unemployed bum (so aptly described by my sister-in-law in jest), have no such commitments nor the heart to reject doing God’s work.
Now many hours later, I find my sense of commitment waning. The church, being a bilingual church, requires a bilingual bulletin. Having figuratively forsaken rice for potato from childhood, on top of having spent the last three years in America, I consider myself monolingual at worst and one-and-a-third lingual at best. My level of reading and writing in Chinese rivals my grasp of French and Bahasa Indonesia, which is almost close to non-existent. It doesn’t help that the handwritten Chinese notes handed to me were scribbled rather quickly and alternate between simplified Chinese characters (used in China) and traditional Chinese characters (used in Hong Kong).
And to make things even harder, Microsoft decides to throw a few curveballs into the mix. While Mac OSX has a built in Chinese input, it refuses to cooperate with MS Word, leaving huge gaps due to the different unicode and western charset standards Microsoft decided to ignore. After hours of surfing the web for Mac users (a minority) who use Chinese character input (smaller minority) on MS Word (even smaller minority), I finally found a patch that solved my formatting woes.
So now it’s just me. The Chinese characters are slowly looking more familiar and I thankful for the practice. I’ve always wanted to work on my Chinese reading and writing. I just wish the training wasn’t this intensive.