{12.6.14} Ocean Jumping

[Insert your favorite cliche here about going to another place and learning a bunch of new stuff about yourself.] As I write, I sit on the plane contemplating the vast expanse of the Gulf of Mexico below, and also, the fact that I am actually going to El Salvador right now.

Laura + Me Plane Selfie
Here is how I know that this is really happening: 
  • announcements at our gate in Houston were made in Spanish first with English tacked on at the end for good measure
  • I have bemoaned the fact that I neglected to memorize my passport number while filling out customs forms (I swear to you, I bring no firearms, not more than one camera and am not over the $11,428.57 limit in cash, not even close, my friends)
  • the plane ticket in my pocket indicates that San Salvador is my final destination

Facts established, I think we can move on while my brain continues to wrestle with the reality. 
At this point, I know next to nothing about what I’ll actually be doing in the schools or in our free time from teaching. This means that, in the absence of real content, all I can give you are feelings.
  • a tad on the nervous side — after all, I’ve never really taught English before, and my Spanish, while I’ve got the grammatical structure in place, is woefully lacking in basic vocabulary. While Glenda and Raul were here, much too often I would start a sentence, realize I didn’t know how to say it, and then trail off in “pues…. si” or something…
  • a bit on the apprehensive side — the internal conversation goes something like this: (1) What if I am bad at teaching English and don’t know how to explain things well? Don’t be silly dummy, you’ll learn more through your mistakes, and conversational practice is more your thing anyways, not grammar (2) What if they don’t like me? Um, be yourself, try to talk to the kids individually, stop worrying so darn much (3) What if…. ? Stop it! Just do the thing where you make friends and make the most of what happens. 
  • a pinch on the sniffly side — sorry, that’s not sentimentality, just a badly timed cold
  • gallons on the excited side — I absolutely loved the time I spent and the people I met in El Salvador the last time I was there. I love to teach people things, and I love Spanish. I am really excited to be given this opportunity and to get to do it with Laura. This is my jam. These are my people. 

El Salvador through my window in the morning
Lez do this!

P.S. Check out Laura’s blog at http://elsalvadormatanahhaugenym.blogspot.com/

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Soren Hauge says:

    I get those feelings of uncertainty about speaking Spanish every time I go to Central America. And every time, it gradually comes back. Like riding a bike. Just hagalo. Abrazos, Dad

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  2. Kat says:

    Take good care and shower hugs on all and sundry for me! –Mom
    Oh, and I'm kind of curious… I understand that the guy who was elected president is a former member of FMLN and I wonder how folks you encounter see him. Any sense of what he proposes to do about the gangs? I understand there is a record number of unaccompanied child migrants showing up at the US border, many of them fleeing Central American gang violence. I know this has nothing to do with while you're in El Salvador, but I'm curious to hear people's opinions about it all. –Cuidate!

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  3. When shall we go again?

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  4. Wonderful beginning, S! I appreciate and resonate with your feelings. Your words remind me of my own journey to E.S. a year ago with Isabel Elliot. I am confident that you and Laura will be good partners and become good friends as Isabella (what we called her in E.S.) and I did. I am excited for both of you and for our Friends with whom you will do some important work and forge deeper and lasting friendships. I can hardly wait for you next blog post! Blessings on the Way, my friend!

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  5. Isabel, I'd love to catch up with you maybe after the trip to compare experiences and/or talk about how much we love this place! Thanks, Anna 🙂

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  6. Loved reading this. So excited for you, Savannah!
    –Anna

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  7. oops accidentally deleted my comment….trying again…
    Best wishes on this journey! My momma (Leslie Davis from NYM) sent me a link to your blog so I can stay updated on your travels. This is bound to be a beautiful and challenging adventure for you two — this post already made me nostalgic!
    Dios te bendiga–
    Isabel

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