Birthday Party (3)
RUTH: Hello, my name is Ruth and I'm happy to welcome you to another
programme in the series 'Say It Again'. Each week I have a student here with me.
BELA: Thank you, Ruth! It's good to be here. You said in our last programme
that we'll be practising more polite phrases to use at a party. What else are we
looking at today?
RUTH: There's always a true story and today it's the story of Vera Torintina. Vera
lives in a town in Russia. For many years, all Russian people were told that there
was no God. Vera was 34 years old before she heard for the first time about the
Christian God. She wanted to find out more about Him and had to save a lot of
money before she could buy a Bible. Bela, as you listen to Vera's true story, you
can hear how she found out more about what the Bible has to say about the living
God. Vera's story is being read by Mary.
I live in one of the cities in Russia, with my husband and two young children. Home
life takes up much of my time but whenever it's possible, I love to read. I find all
kinds of literature interesting; it doesn't matter whether it's a newspaper, journal or
a book. One day, when I was about 34 years old, I heard for the first time about the
living God and I learnt that I could read about Him in the Christian's Holy Book -
the Bible. But where could I get one? There was no shop that I knew of that I could
buy one, even if I could afford it.
One day I was passing by a bookstore and the lady who was selling the books told
me that she had a Bible. At that time, it wasn't acceptable to have a Bible, so she
told me to come back later when there would be fewer people around. I put together
all the money I had to meet the price she was asking. It was one of the most
expensive things to buy - almost a month's salary. Then at lunchtime, I went to see
the stallholder, hoping that she hasn't sold it to someone else. Again the lady told
me to wait. She seemed to be afraid that someone might see it. She hasn't sold it. I
handed over my money and she gave me my longed-for book.
I was overjoyed to have a Bible for myself at last and I love to read it. Often I felt
alone and thought that I was the only person who believed in God. Eventually I
found others and we became firm friends. I was also able to start doing a bible
correspondence course to help me learn more about this God that the Bible talks
about. I'd thrown away all the things I used to read; now I have only the Bible and
it brings me great joy and comfort. I treasured it more than anything else I owned.
BELA: Vera's story was very interesting. Near the end, she said that she began a
Bible correspondence course. Isn't this learning more about the Bible by writing
answers to questions and sending them to someone who reads your answers and
replies to your letters?
RUTH: Yes, corresponding with someone is writing letters to them. Vera found
out about a correspondence course that would help her learn more about the Bible
and the Christian God.
RUTH: Do you remember hearing this conversation between Grace and her brother
Paul from our last programme?
RUTH: It's Grace's birthday party! In our last 'Say It Again' programme, we
looked at some polite phrases we could use at a party. Let me remind you of them.
'Come in! Come in!' Paul gave Bill this very warm greeting. Maybe they'd not
seen each other for a long time. Bela, can you remember another phrase that Paul
used. We heard it earlier.
BELA: He said, 'It's good to see you!'
RUTH: That's right. He also said, 'You look great!'
RUTH: Grace's party wasn't a banquet. It was an informal party. Bela, do you
know what 'informal' means?
BELA: Does it mean more relaxed? Maybe Grace had a more simple party?
RUTH: Yes! The guests didn't sit down at a table for a big meal. Paul and Grace
prepared food that they could eat standing around talking to their friends. Can you
remember any of the food they had to eat?
BELA: Yes! There were pizzas, sausage rolls, open sandwiches and cans of coca
RUTH: Grace said, 'Take a plate everyone, and help yourself. There's plenty.'
She was really saying - take what food you like, there's plenty of food for everyone.
As we hear this drama again, listen out for all the polite phrases Grace and Paul
used. Listen for the food that's mentioned. Also listen to Grace encouraging her
guests to help themselves to the food.
RUTH: Grace said, 'Don't be shy!' Bela, do you know why she said that?
BELA: I would think it was because her guests didn't know each other. Or maybe
as it was a party, everyone was being very polite and not eating the food.
RUTH: Parties can be good fun, but it can take a lot of work from the host Paul and
hostess Grace to make the guests at the party enjoy themselves. Greeting people at
the door helps. It makes people feel comfortable. A party is a happy time.
Grace keeps the party going by talking to people. Can you remember what she
said to Bill?
BELA: She asked Bill, 'How are you?' Also, 'When did you get home?'
GRACE: Those questions need an answer. I imagine that Bill had been away for a
while and Grace and Paul would have been interested in what he'd been doing.
BELA: It sounded a super party. What a surprise for Grace at the end. Paul had
brought her a beautiful birthday cake.
RUTH: Yes, it's a custom here in England to put tiny candles onto a birthday cake.
After people have sung 'Happy Birthday', the tradition is to blow the candles out
with one big blow.
RUTH: Bela, do you remember Grace asked Bill, 'How are you?' I'll repeat that
question. Will you say it after me, Bela? 'How are you?'
BELA: 'How are you?'
RUTH: I'll now ask you that question. This time, you'll answer it for me. 'How
are you, Bela?
BELA: I am very well, thank you, Ruth.
RUTH: If Bela had a cold or sore throat, she could say, 'I'm not feeling very well
today, thank you.'
RUTH: Another question Grace could have asked Bill was, 'Did you enjoy your
trip?' I'll repeat this question then you can say it after me with Bela. 'Did you
enjoy your trip?'
BELA: 'Did you enjoy your trip?'
RUTH: Bela, will you answer that question for us? Firstly, answer it as if you did
enjoy your trip. Then as if you didn't. 'Bela, did you enjoy your trip?'
BELA: 'Yes thank you, I did enjoy my trip.' If I didn't enjoy my trip, I would say,
'No! I didn't enjoy my trip. It was awful.'
RUTH: The last question Grace asked was 'When did you get home?' I'll repeat
that question again, why don't you say it after me with Bela? 'When did you get
BELA: 'When did you get home?'
RUTH: Maybe Bill could've answered. 'I arrived home yesterday.' Or he
could've said, 'I arrived home two days ago.' Bela, will you repeat my two
BELA: 'I arrived home yesterday.' 'I arrived home two days ago.'
RUTH: It can be fun making up answers to questions. You could make it into a
game with your friends. One of you could ask the questions while the others think
up different answers. Why don't you try it? That's all we've time for today.
Bela and I hope that you've enjoyed today's 'Say It Again' programme.