Friday, March 25, 2016

Saints in Nicaragua: La gente

Traveling is a popular pastime. In my lifetime I've been to two other continents and have enjoyed them thoroughly, yet the part that separates my experience of this trip is the people. Never before have I thoroughly engaged with the people of a different country. The experience is something larger than words.
I started off the trip terrified to confront native Spanish speakers with my broken Spanish. My expectations were not far fetched as it was difficult to communicate. Within 20 minutes of entering our new home, the frustration broke as one of our soon to be friends pulled out his iPad and quickly searched for google translate. After breaking the ice, it easier to speak in our disorganized, slow Spanish, and it worked. Hariel went from not knowing a single word in Spanish to having small conversations within three days. Isabelle and I couldn't stop speaking Spanish, even when talking to each other.
There are ten people currently living in our house, and each and every one of them is patient and willing to work to achieve communication. Though it was hard at first, immersing myself in my household caused a better flow of communication and opened more doors. The six kids in our house were so interested in spending time with us and knowing what we had to say that by the end of the first day, I was able to play soccer and later talk about my life with them. Not only did we three become close with our family, but our neighbors as well. It's crazy to go from one day, receiving glazed over and confused looks, to the next day, being greeted with a cheerful "Hola Maggie! Maggie! Maggie!" I can't explain how I can become so close with many families in only one week. I cannot put my experiences into better words, yet the feeling is much greater. Never before have I traveled to another country and felt so at home.

Maggie Bell

1 comment:

Matt Cook said...

Que linda reflección! It is so nice to read about how you were able to overcome the difficulty of speaking a foreign language and really be able to share with people. Big congratulations to you and all of the Saints students and staff who participated in the trip. Not only did the trip have an impact on you guys but you also had a big impact on the local community. Thanks for all of your hard work.