Life in Spanish is Complicatedly Simple

I am addicted to speaking spanish. I’ve learned a ton, but I have a really really long way to go. Erin is always laughing at my crazy attempts to speak in spanish, especially when I try to explain something complicated or with many layers.

Erin and I have been reflecting this week about how different some of our relationships are down here purely because of a huge language barrier. The casual conversation is out the window sometimes and all we can pull off is the essential communication. “Is the dryer fixed?” “Did the water pump stop leaking?” “When are you coming back?” “I like chicken more than fish” “Yes, I like to ride horses.” “We’re going to go get lunch” “No, I’m not Catholic” etc.

With people like Ingris, I want to know more about them, I’m interested, but it’s hard to go much beyond the basics without breaking out the iphone to do some translations. “How was your weekend?” “How many kids do you have?” “How old are they?” “Are you from Costa Rica?”

Just this week Ingris came over and was clearly in a great mood. We started chatting and then she said something with quite a lot of excitement that I knew was important to her.

“Tengo buenas noticias! Mis matrimoniales están en el 05 de mayo”

Erin was there too and we had her repeat what she said at least 4 times before we finally understood what she was saying. She said “I have great news! I’m getting married on the 5th of May!” Our first three attempts at understanding were not followed by the excitement we had on the 4th delivery with full comprehension.. it was rather amusing and we all got a good laugh out of it.

We’ve had to dumb down our communication to use words we know and thus have had to dumb down relationships to the most simplistic, raw forms. It’s kind of nice in a way, but being connected people, it also tends to leave us wanting more. Especially from ourselves. We want to connect and share and express our gratitude, excitement, feelings and thoughts and at the moment we’re limited to “Thanks so much” “That’s great” “How nice” “Of course” and “I understand”.

The good news is that we learn more every day. Today I learned “Smells great” “Replacement Part” and “Bring me the receipt.” Amazing how something so simple can be so complicated.

Poco a Poco – Little by Little.

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