While some people in a foreign country might call you names, give you a hard time, or stare you down for no reason, the wonderful folks of San Miguel are completely the opposite. They are so incredibly tolerant of my inability to speak Spanish. After spending a bit of time in the city surrounded by people who don’t speak English, I’ll admit, it is a little disheartening. There is however, always that one person that gives you hope. Whether it be a guy saying, “buenos dias” in a friendly tone, or a woman sitting down with you, trying to start up a conversation. Even our cleaning lady, Aura, in San Miguel puts up with my horrible Spanish. Recently, she tried talking to me and I told her that I didn’t speak much Spanish, only a little. Then I said, “vaca, caballo, gato, perro…” That made her laugh, but she still tried to help me understand what she was saying.
The farmers and locals that come to the Kalu Yala valley to help us with building projects are even more wonderful. Ramon, his brother Dario, and Jorge, one of of our dear friends from San Miguel, have been such a huge help to us. Some people give them a hard time for associating with us Americans, but according to them we’re their family. It’s men like these that make me look at the world and wonder why there aren’t more like them. I am now beginning to understand what it’s like being in the minority. I have been truly humbled by this experience, and will be taking Spanish lessons when I return to the states.
In conclusion, I want to be that one person back in the states that gives others hope. I only wish that those who read this blog will want to do the same.