Cultivating perfection

September 3, 2016 (Kampala): It's been a year since I've even thought about starting a school in Ikland. But for some reason on this morning, after waking up miserably at 5:00, the vision came back to me. It was sparked by what I read from David Fideler this morning, that "humanity has a special role …

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No breastfast

A journal entry from February 8, 2016, recounting our move out of Ikland: Thursday morning, February 5, I intended to have one last glorious quiet time in pristine Timu nature. But just after sitting down on my boulder, G padded up behind me and sat down beside me. My heart sank. Without asking, he picked …

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Spark of recognition

February 2, 2016 (Timu): I woke up before 3:00 a.m. this morning, and thoughts flooded my mind. My body is tired, my gut wracked with pain. I feel like shit. One of the things that came to mind was what I want to say to my three old men - Iuda, Gabriel, and Simon - …

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Wishful thinking

People with narcissistic tendencies often have what's called a poor 'reality test'. A reality test is the ability to accurately assess actual entities and events outside one's private inner world. In well-adjusted individuals, this testing is done continuously as a way to ensure that our  inner world of experience and outer environment are calibrated and …

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The Listener

January 27, 2016 (Timu): Yesterday was quite a day. My dictionary guys came, and we had a good session. I got some lovely new words: technical, culturally highly significant, and likely very ancient. For example, /b'ej'ékù-/, 'white ants that fly late in the season', or /wàsò-/, 'the stick that's bent over as the spring in …

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Big Man

November 27, 2015: Can I really describe the craziness of this week? On Monday, the CNN crew came back to our home to video me working with the Ik guys on the dictionary. Just as their vehicle crested the hill, a helicopter camera drone appeared over our heads. It descended to about fifty feet and …

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The present day

October 15, 2015 (Timu, northeast Uganda): Yesterday, as I was walking up the hill from my quiet time, I said out loud: "I never know what the present day may bring." Even as I said that, I expected a more or less mundane day. That, however, was not to be. About mid-morning, an NGO [non-governmental …

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Timu Forest Academy

I'm not entirely sure what I thought our mission work among the Ik people would do for them. Probably I assumed that if we did X, Y, and Z, God would take care of the details. Providing them a translation of the New Testament in their mother tongue would, I believed, enable them to know …

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5 MB miracle

Part of my job as a linguist in the Ik project in northeast Uganda was to write a scientific description of Ik grammar. In order to cover most important topics, I knew I'd have to write at least 200 pages. In light of this, it occurred to me that I could write the grammar as …

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