Spanglish

A trip like this inevitably sets off life changes in a person. It’s too early to tell what the full extent of those changes will be and whether they will be major course-alterers or just subtle shifts. Even so, already I sense that we are not the same people on the way back that we were on the way out — and we’ve still got more than a week left! A more subtle shift that has happened during our time in Central America is the growing desire we both have to continue to discover new cultures around the world. A major change to which we are both committed to pursuing when we arrive back home is really learning to speak, read, and write Spanish. One of the best parts of this trip has been talking and listening to so many interesting and different folks living in all the ports we’ve visited, and that interaction could have been so much deeper if we could have spoken the local language.

Our recent trip to León, Nicaragua proved that even a little Español can go a long way. We had a really fun time interacting with a couple of local ceramics artisans who were selling their wares on the town square. Our new friend Lisseth could speak a little English, and when we combined that with my stumbling recollection of a few Spanish terms here and there, we were able to make pretty good chit chat…slow and awkward though it was. Of course, Lisseth and Lazarro wanted us to buy some of their goods, and of course we did; it was beautiful stuff. But long after the transaction was over and done they stood there with us, smiling and struggling to understand and to be understood. The warm affection of these people and the excitement of bridging the communication gap made a lasting impression on us. Not only do we want to return to Nicaragua again–we want to make sure that next time we’re armed with decent linguistic abilities!

This man came up to Shannon and just kept talking and talking.  We didn't understand what he was saying, but then he started pointing at the camera.  Lisseth came over to help translate for him, and we found out that he just wanted to take a picture with a pretty lady.  ¡Qué Bonita!

This man came up to Shannon and just kept talking and talking. We didn't understand what he was saying, but then he started pointing at the camera. Lisseth came over to help translate for him, and we found out that he just wanted to take a picture with a pretty lady. ¡Qué Bonita!

From left to right, new amigos: Lisseth, Samuel, Lazarro, Shannon

From left to right, new amigos: Lisseth, Samuel, Lazarro, Shannon

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One Comment

  1. Eric
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Que bien! tendremos que continuar el club de espanol

SHANNON BLOOMQUIST
librarian, writer/editor, floundering guitarist, breakfast addict

SAM BLOOMQUIST
mobile software developer, dog owner, hiker, adventure racer, enemy of bureaucracy
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