A lot has happened since my last blog. My first week was amazing and crazy and super eventful. So far everyone has been super nice, including everyone on the trip and locals. Highlights of the week include going to celestun and seeing the flamingos, crocodiles and other wildlife; swimming in the agua dulce; collecting sea shells on the beach; and definitely all the delicious food. So far the only bad thing has been the mosquitos… I have about 20 bites, and they itch like crazy.
All of a sudden this trip became really real. Yesterday I moved into my homestay and today I started classes. My host mom is really nice, and patient which is probably the most important quality. So far we’ve had mostly awkward conversation which involve me constantly saying, “no entiendo,” “Repite por favor,” “Que?,” y “Lo siento.” I’m really hoping conversation becomes easier soon. My problem isn’t usually getting my point across, but rather understanding what others say to me. I definitely thought it would be the other way around.
Being here makes me really appreciate how easy it is to hold a conversation in English back home. It’s really amazing that I can so effortlessly communicate with others, talk without thinking, and listen without focusing. Here, it takes so much more energy, and holding a conversation is so taxing. It’s definitely amazes me and saddens me that I’ve taken it for granted my whole life. It makes me even more excited to get into the carreer of speech pathology because I think the ability to communicate with others is priceless, and I know from firsthand experience how frustrating and embarrassing it is not to be able to speak correctly. Needless to say, I am frustrated right now. But I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, and I know there’s no quick fix or shortcut to becoming fluent, so until then I will be diligently studying, learning new vocabulary, and attempting to converse with the locals. Hopefully one day it will pay off and I will be able to communicate with many people and give back to others the gifts I’ve been given.
I’m not giving up yet!