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When in Pakistan for the First Time

by Anonymous last modified Mar 20, 2020 07:01 AM

One of the initial challenges I encountered was learning their national language, Urdu, which I found difficult because of the many rules to follow. As a student, I have to keep in mind the correct usage of male and female nouns and to learn how to pronounce words with nasal sounds.

When in Pakistan for the First Time

by Hazel Angwani

Hazel is a Filipina Columban lay missionary assigned to Pakistan who is presently learning the Urdu language as part of her first mission.

 

It has been eight months since I arrived in Pakistan as a lay missionary.  If I were to describe the experience so far, I would have to say that it has been equally challenging and fun.

One of the initial challenges I encountered was learning their national language, Urdu, which I found difficult because of the many rules to follow. As a student, I have to keep in mind the correct usage of male and female nouns and to learn how to pronounce words with nasal sounds. On top of that, is learning to spell the words in script. To address those, I have to listen well and be patient. However, even by knowing just the basics, I can manage to go from one place to another, buy food, ask the tailor when we can pick up our clothes, and greet the locals in the compound. At the end of the day, all the stress gets relieved because we get to laugh at our experiences.

 

mona

(L-R) Monalisa Esteban, Hazel Angwani & Columban Sister Hasuk Shin

 

Learning Urdu is difficult but it’s the gateway to know more about their culture. In studying the language, I got to see the northern part of Pakistan, a memorable part of my journey. In my opinion, it is by far the most beautiful place here. I was excited to visit these places because they looked so nice based on the pictures and videos from the internet. When I saw them with my own eyes, I could not help but take pictures of the scenery from various angles. It was breathtaking to see the snowcapped mountains up close after only ever seeing them from afar in Murree. The sight of the tall trees was amazingly beautiful. The rough roads and the long travel were all worth it because they lead to another side of Pakistan.

 

trees

Scenery in Pakistan

 

Another thing that amazes me is the diversity of the people and culture. I have only heard bits and pieces about them from my language teachers and from some of the locals we became acquainted with. As I continue with my language studies here in Karachi, I am continuously learning more and more about the diversity of the country. I get overwhelmed at times with the realities surrounding its people, but it helps me reflect on what my mission. People don’t always have a good image of Pakistan. But just like any other country in the world, it has its own problems to deal with and most importantly, a plethora of good things to offer, its beautiful and natural scenery, and the diverse people and culture, just to name a few. I have yet to see and experience more in the “Land of the Pure” and I am very much looking forward to that.

  

mission

Columban Missionaries (Priests, Lay & Sisters) in Pakistan

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