Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I lift my Eyes to the Hills

Good morning...I just returned from being on the roof of the house with morning coffee and looking up to the hills that surround the colonia where I have been staying. I couldn´t help but think about a song we sing at the parish I attend in NYC...I lift my eyes to the hills...Jerusalem, my destiny...though I can not see the end for me, I cannot turn away...this journey is my destiny...no one walks alone...the journey makes us one.

The day looks to dawn clear and sunny...a good sign. The bishop is coming to the house for a visit today so we will return from the camp where we teach, do a quick change of clothes, and be prepared to receive him in the living room for a half hour. Should be another sort of adventure, that.

Some of us spent the day in Guanajuato the other day...a city about an hour from here, very colonial, in the mountains, beautiful beautiful beautiful...fresh air, colorful, happy...it was a mining town for gold and silver both. We walked around a lot, had popsicles, got something to eat, laughed a lot amongst the group of us who were together. It was fun.

I have been able to eat... carefully but without issue lately...especially since discovering creamy peanut butter in the pantry! Peanut butter on a flour tortilla, food of the gods, I am telling you...my body was in need of protien!

I helped do the grocery shopping two days ago and had a funny thing happen. I was asked to go pick out half a dozen mangoes and I realized, I have no idea what a ready to eat mango looks like! I had to ask what color it should be. The other thing was papaya. I thought, wow, who would have thought fruit would be a point of cultural learning?

Also, thanks to some of the boys I am teaching, I can now throw a top and have it spin! It was ridiculously satisfying when I finally got it. That continues to go well...we have been working with them on the idea of civic responsibility, the rights and coincident obligations of children ( a right to be clothed and the obligation to care for their clothes, pick them up, etc), and the traits of a community that works together.

The translation thing is tiring...being one in the house who understands nearly everything in both languages. I can understand it for myself without problem, but when it comes to having to think about how to explain it to someone else...wow, tricky. I find that much of the time I understand the Spanish without intentionally translating it in my head, which is significant growth to me, but in a strange way that I can not completely explain, it also makes it more difficult to translate. I have to intentionally think about how to say what I just understood clearly in Spanish, in English, because I wasn´t thinking about it in English! I hope there is some sense to be found in there somewhere. Going the other direction is tricky too... I have to really think...almost consciously convert my mind into the necessary language...because I spend a lot of time in the land of mental linguistic limbo...like my mind has become either a neutral mix of Spanish and English that floats here or there or it is simply still and quiet, nearly without language, and it adjusts depending on what it hears. But sometimes...you know how you can hear yourself think? Sometimes I hear myself thinking in English and Spanish at the same time...certain words in English, certain in Spanish. Mental Spanglish, I suppose. It is all rather interesting...because I am at the same time weary and grateful for the gift of being able to straddle languages.

Hoping all is well with everyone...this brings a smile and the glory of the rainbow that I saw from the roof yesterday morning while I was drinking my coffee.

2 comments:

Processing Counselor said...

It sounds like you are adjusting to the country, should have taken a supply of Lomotil, something that, due to my disability, is a constant companion.
I want to learn that top trick!

MperiodPress said...

Thanks for the comment! Always nice to hear from someone. Yes, my stomach is doing much better...thank goodness.

The top was quite fun...somewhere at home I have my grandfather´s from when he was a boy. I´ll try to dig it out.

See you in a week and a half : )