Automatic Stop

I just finished my last day of Spanish classes, maybe ever. It feels great, this last week stopped being fun and just felt hard. I sort of miss making the silly mistakes I used to when I first started studying, it always gave me something to laugh about at the end of the day. Thinking that someone was saying ‘I love you, stupid’ instead of ‘I love you a lot,’ telling people I was pregnant instead of embarrassed, saying I wanted to ride a ‘caballero’ instead of a ‘caballo’… those were the good old days. Luckily, I’ll be staying with Tatiana and her family for another three weeks, so I will still have an opportunity to practice, which is what I need the most at this point. When people speak Spanish quickly, to me  it still sounds like they’re speaking in tongues, need to work on that…

Tatiana has gone above and beyond with helping me organize everything for the group of volunteers coming in July. I have been blow away by how kind she has been to someone she hardly knows. It seems like I always have these experiences in the Latin American countries I’ve visited, and I still remember them often, and still feel just so overwhelmed and grateful. When I was in Buenos Aires a woman took a bus way out of her normal route to help the two American girls who barely knew a word of Spanish find their destination… In Costa Rica an older man basically adopted my friend and I into his family, giving us a tour of the town, introducing us to everyone, showing us his farm, feeding us… This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen in California, at least not in my experience. I will do my best to pay it forward, because its amazing how something that barely inconveniences you can make such a huge difference in someone else’s life.

Really I don’t have too much to report from the equator. Whatever strange mixture of Guatemalan and Ecuadorian bacteria I have in my stomach is not working very well, so I’ve mostly been taking it easy and trying my best to get healthier.  Probably the most exciting thing that happened this week was when I was trying to do my homework at a cafe, and instead ended up talking to group of Ecuadorians and a Norweigan for hours, about politics, relationships, music, movies… it was really fun, and a good excuse to try out my Spanish. I head off to the Galapagos tomorrow for a week, I’m really excited about seeing Darwin’s land, and also about getting a break from the British people from my school that I’ve been hanging out with. They say things like ‘take the mick out of it’, and half the time I actually have no idea what we’re talking about. I’ll do my best to bring back a blue-footed boobie, or a giant turtle… probably that’s allowed.

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