Friday, June 12, 2009

Just Nod

I have been doing a lot of nodding today. My host mom Kattia picked me up at the hotel this morning and greeted me in English. I was silently thrilled that I wouldn´t be lost with my crappy Spanish. About a block away from the hotel she told me that once we finished introductions and a tour of the house it would be Spanish only from this point out. I silently swore.

Kattia´s padre and I (I haven´t figured out his name yet) have been getting along great. He takes care of the kids during the afternoons here at Kattia´s house. Today while Kattia left for the airport we had tea and I showed him a book of pictures from Minneapolis and Saint Paul. I wanted to explain that in Minnesota there is lots of snow and ask him if in La Paz there is snow. I couldn´t think of the word for snow, so I said ¨blanco en la [wave arms around and point to air]¨. It didn´t work. He nodded, I nodded, we both couldn´t understand one another.

We did have one success. Through my broken Spanish I managed to tell him that I have two grandmothers and also a great-grandmother (bisabuela). He said it was admirable and that I must have a familia fuerte (strong family). I like that, hell yeah I have a familia fuerte.

Tonight another volunteer arrives bringing the total to three. It will be nice to have a diversion from the constant Spanish. I find myself spacing out while people are talking to me. I think it is my brain slowly shutting down in protest. Monday I start at the School for the Deaf.


  1. Familia fuerte you betcha!

    You could try using the Lithuanian word for snow....sneargas. It's not English so I'm sure he'll be able to understand it.

    Remember how all the exchange students would sit there for the first couple days (and especially at dinner the first night)with this glazed look just nodding there heads? I'm sure what you have is a classic symptom of Exchangestudentitis.

    The Bacher women totally rocked the Bellin today just like you predicted. Thanks for the well wishes!

    Love you and miss you Kari-oso.

  2. la nieve (in case you need it for future ref)

    Tu madre told me about this before I read it. Way to circumloute, Kari! I am sure your host family is LOVING you!