First, some anecdotes. 1) Sunday was pretty relejado. Recovering from the baile. Monday was also pretty chill, because I had no obligations until our weekly meeting at 6. So that was great. I lumped around and played a ton of music and ya. Our meeting was less boring the usual, I think because I could understand the spanish more, hurray! 2) Linet is the most hilarious and awesome person ever. I really hope she's doing okay, because she is often in great mood, but sometimes seems homesick or is just not having it. Obviously we're all going to have ups and downs, and I just want to make sure she knows she has support here, as well as from her fam bam at homesies. 3) Yesterday was a día larrrrrrrgo, but I always feel pretty much great and satisfied after a legit day's work. So I worked the first shift at reception, which I totally love. It's, yeah, a little painful getting out of bed al principio, but then I really love knowing what's going on and seeing everyone and cuidar-ing for the Casa. Also, I seem to be friends with Giovanni now, which I can tell because he pretty consistently was just messing with me all day, which obviously was SO much fun so. Hurray new frienddddd.
4) Excerpt from an e-mail to my mommers: "Edgar and Erick visited yesterday to talk with Joey and Brenda about their roles this summer, and it was soooo great to see them. They were waiting in reception, and I went in with a big grin and said, "Hola, amigos!!" I still can't understand them all the time, but now I don't feel the slightest bit embarassed about asking, "Como?" which means "What?" and they also know means, "Sorry, I totally did not understand that. Slower please?" It was just so comfortable seeing them, giving them besos and abrazos (Mexican greetings seem to work as follows: men always shake hands; when women and men meet, they clasp hands and give one beso; when women and men see each other and already know each other, they give a beso and then a little or a big hug. YAY), and talking with them in a casual and fun and happy way. They are, in short, the best."
5) Went to a mercado with Molly to buy supplied for the dinner that Linet and I cooked (Molly served as total support and did little cosas here and there). It was really great to spend some more time with her, and play in the mercado, and talk to people in Spanish, and find all the thingggsss we needed to make minestrone and salad and Linet's mango deliciousness. Got back just in time to start making everything, which was only a little stressful once we realized that way more people were coming to din dins than we thought. But in retrospect, I feel pretty good about it. Yummy yummy foods. Linet and I cleaned up the mountain of dishes, which was also satisfying, then a group of us went out for a beer because Greta (awesome awesome long-term guest) is leaving tomorrow :/ But whatever, that was funsies. Got back to hang out with a new friend for a whiiiillleee. Which was pretty pretty cool.
6) Today I'm going to teach my first English class-type deal at Barrio. I'm little nervous, but I think I'm prepared-ish. Just hard to know because I think there's a pretty wide range of proficiency, but we'll just see who shows up and how it goes. Yay.
And some thoughts I've been saving:
1) I realized at least one reason that the Spanish was so overwhelming there for a minute. Like my dad pointed out, I'm speaking mostly English in the Casa. The little Spanish I do speak I still get nervous about and do pretty clumsily. But so the biggest different between Spain and here is the kind of spaces in which I used/am using Spanish. There, the scary/vulnerable-making experience of trying to communicate in a language I'm not fluent in happened primarily in the safety of my Spanish home, or in the structured timeframe of IES classes with professors I genuinely loved and trusted. Here, English happens in what is already a safe space, the Casa, and Spanish happens rapidly and out in the world where people don't know who I am or my level of proficiency. So it's just that this inredibly vulnerable-making experence was happening so intensely in spaces that didn't feel as safe as the lunch-time table in 13 Cochera de Santa Paula. But it's okay, because those spaces are rapidly becoming not only safe, but beloved.
2) Excerpt from a conversation a couple of nights ago: "I feel like if I've learned anything from the past year, it's that sometimes (always?) the things that are the hardest and scariest before you do them end up being the moments you grow, and hopefully love, the most. And once you take the plunge you'll be so glad you did, and you'll realize that you were perfect for the job all along."