Today, I’m just quieter in general, so I’m getting less Spanish intake; yesterday’s exhaustion and headache justify my taking a break. Today I am sitting next to Alejo, with the privilege of listening to his iPod with him. With his twinkle-eyes and long eyelashes, he is trying to practice his English because he hopes to go to USA for his final year in university. We all just stopped for a bottle of water and the bus driver is one of the people flirting with me. Geh. And yet it’s cool realizing that I’m sitting next to an Ecuadorian who I don’t think of as lower, third-world, or separate as a human being. I hope I take this with me for the rest of my life.
Now I am in the cutest little cottage for the night, and we are watching Paranormal Activity in Spanish while the three of
us take turns in the bathtub. There is a fridge, kitchen counter, stove, utensils, bunk-bed and double bed and a brick fireplace… and the bathtub is called a Jacuzzi. Quite a change from fiddling with hot water tap to alternately burn and freeze till I can rush to the coarse covers of my cot at night.
The morning wasn’t going so well, but it got better after a two-hour talk by a lady who thought very highly of the potential of women in the community, and was determined to talk directly to me. It at least held my attention and I was surprised at how much I understood: however, it would have been quite awkward if she had discovered I hardly speak any Spanish. Understanding it is different than speaking, but it’s alright because on different levels I am doing both. I use some words more than I hear them, and sometimes I use fewer words than I know. But I’ve adopted a universal phrase from a German friend who spoke no English: poco a poco.Every thing will happen ” little by little.”