ALI – When we headed out here to Nigeria, we though i would get involved teaching at Hillcrest school. It turns out they don’t’ have need for a high school science teacher. So we took some time out and explored a few options in the Wycliffe office.
I have a title which is currently ‘data archivist’ and my current project is to gather and assimilate information on Nigerian languages (all 520+ of them!) in order to provide an update for the Ethnologue (if you don’t know what this is, which you check out www.ethnologue.org).
This is quite a mammoth undertaking as there are 3 pages of questions for each of the languages. For many of the language groups we have little or no information and no easy way of getting it. It is quite a shock coming from a culture where I am used to any information I require (and an awful lot that I don’t!) being available to me following a few clicks of a mouse. It has made me realise that the web isn’t actually as “world wide” as you might think, at least in its content.
I have also had the opportunity of dusting off my rather cobwebby database skills as we try to create a database that can enable us to keep track of what information we do have and show us the gaps of what we need to find out.
I have been working closely with one of our directors, as most of the work that I am taking on used to be done by him. However he and his wife have had to return to the US for a few months so we are now having to work by e-mail rather than face to face. Thankfully we are both quite happy working with this medium but please pray for continued clear communication.