Elena, my language teacher, has distributed a folder which we now know we will be filling with periodic diary entries … in Spanish … throughout our language learning experience (at least the formal one, as I’m sure, there will be much to learn even after these three months conclude).
Here’s what I wrote in English before beginning the not-so-plenty task of translating both words and concepts into a new language/culture:
On Wednesday, I hit the wall. I don’t say that often but when I do, I almost physically feel what I’m experiencing mentally.
— My head hurts.
— I want all the talking to stop.
— I need to breathe.
In many ways, I feel that my head is filled, maybe even overflowing. We are learning our families’ culture, the streets of the community, what is safe and what is not, how Peace Corps works, how our other trainees work, AND a new language!
I told my host that day — after a long walk with the sun and breeze and occasional silence to comfort me — that I know that I know now more than I knew before I came.
That knowledge is my reward (since completing a conversation from the heart without sounding like a robot does not seem to be on the immediate reward radar).
On Wednesday, we discussed many things that I will need in Costa Rica — descriptions, directions and more. But perhaps the greatest group of words I remember being uttered that day was a quote from a favorite movie — “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”:
“Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, then it’s not yet the end.”