Spanish Miracle

I have absolutely no idea what happened but sometime over the last week, I started speaking Spanish. I completely abandoned all of my Spanish education when I went to Belmont. I was convinced that I would never again need to learn Spanish and I threw myself into my German class. Little did I know that four years later, those same German classes would lead me to Lima, Peru. It’s funny how things work like that.

When I arrived, I was able to understand some things, if the speaker spoke slowly. I have been able to read signs, contracts, the newspaper, you name it, which has significantly helped with my adjustment in Lima. The biggest challenge was getting my mind to recall of those Spanish structures and vocabulary words that I learned so long ago.

I have spent the last five months listening intently and attempting to speak my very, very butchered Spanish. About a week and a half ago, Alvaro and I went to a huge lunch at his parents house with most of his extended family from his dad’s side. Since we were indulging in a huge Peruvian meal, Pisco Sours flowed freely and there was a wide variety of wine choices. Somewhere between the pisco sour and white wine, I started speaking Spanish more than I ever had before. In an interesting turn of events, I started speaking Spanish on top of other conversations and yelling across the table. I was speaking animated Spanish in a way I had never done before.

Thanks to the pisco, everyone at lunch showered me with compliments about my Spanish. I think the compliments (and the pisco) was all I needed to show myself that I really can do this. Ever since then, I have had few worries going into a Spanish speaking situation without my dear translator, Alvaro.

I have been involved in a new job search and yesterday, all of the English speakers were out of the office. So I had an involved conversation regarding vacation policies, pay rate and benefits with one of the secretaries. I know it’s not perfect, but it is getting better little by little. Which is such a relief. And the best part is that now I actually wantto speak Spanish, I find myself trying to be in situations where I have no choice but to speak this crazy language.

In other news- I have been in Peru for five months. It’s official: I have now been here longer than I was in Germany. Who ever would have guessed that living in Germany would have brought me to Peru...