Breaking through the language Barrier

Kimberly Reed-Hyman - Ecuador

April 7, 2013

Working around a lot of little kids you only understand half of the time is a difficult thing to do. When I first started working at the day care and the older women would try to talk to me, I never understood them. Having that happen did get frustrating at times but it didn’t compare to the feelingI felt when the little kids tried to talk to me and I didn’t understand.

Ever since I could remember I loved helping little kids. While my peers were going home studying after school I was going to a elementary school not to far from where I live to help tutor. So when I made the decision to take a Gap year and saw that I could enjoy what i do best while experiencing a new culture, it was a dream come true. I just didn’t realize it would be hard as it wasFirst time I started working at Lupi, I had mixed emotions. Some kids hadn’t quite gotten used to me yet so when they wouldn’t greet me when I greeted them I tried my best to not let it get to me. But I kept trying to think of ways I could try I speeding the process up. Everyday I went and let them throw stuff at me, pull and play in my hair . I might have gone home with an aching body and sore scalp but I just kept thinking anything to get them comfortable. But as months went by after they got comfortable another problem had appeared, they were trying to communicate with me. I never thought about the possibility that my Spanish would be a problem at work after a certain amount of time in Ecuador. so when I realized it was a problem I had to figure out how to not let get in the way of me gaining a relationship with the kids. I started to study even harder and listening really closely to what they would say. I now understand 80% of what they say and I spend time playing with them to make up for the 20% I don’t understand. Now I feel like I have the closest relationships with these little kids who even though sometimes I don’t understand have made a great impact in my life and my goal everyday is to make as much of an impact in theirs as I can before I leave.

Kimberly Reed-Hyman