“Words, words, words. All I hear is words!” sings Liza in My Fair Lady. She has a valid point; words make up a huge part of our daily activities. As I walk through the halls on the last few days of school, I’m exposed to many different languages: Korean, Spanish, German, Burmese, Japanese, Bengali, American Sign Language and English. Though I only can understand bits and pieces of what I hear, I’m able to grasp words and phrases of conversations. Still, entire topics and discussions are flying past my head without making any difference for me. If there is that much in the small world of my own high school that I’m missing out on, who knows how much else is passing me by. Language and communication is such an inherent part of human interaction, and for me is a huge part of how I describe myself. I’m a writer, a photographer, a friend, a sister. I can’t do anything without words.
The simple act of transitioning from thought to words has kept societies busy for centuries upon centuries. I love when I switch between English and American Sign Language, and get to express myself in a slightly different way. My time in Ecuador will be the perfect chance for my eyes to be opened to the beautiful nature of languages and cultures that I have never known before. I want to go exploring and be able to come back with a treasure trove of knowledge about the people, places and languages that I’ve spent my time growing accustomed to. Mostly, I want to open up this kind of experience to other students and give them a chance to explore and develop. Whether a knowledge of Spanish has any effect on my career or not, I’m planning on taking full advantage of the opportunities I’ll have.
I am so unbelievably psyched for this! There are things that I will miss (like the new Doctor Who season, and voting in the primaries) but everything in Ecuador will more than make up for that loss. I’ll get to meet new people, learn a new language and be a contributing member of my community. This blog is going to keep Ecuadorian Lydia connected to American Lydia’s friends and family. Simple type on a computer screen, and yet I’ll be able to share what’s going on. In my letter to the world I hope that you can see who I am.