it’s no secret. spanish is incredibly new to me. luckily, my community and friends here have so much patience with my language level and don’t let it discount my ability to work. i have received so much support, but unfortunately, there have still been a couple of cases where my lack in language has left me out of the loop.
for instance, though the colegio is quite supportive and welcoming, i am constantly preparing for charlas and presentations only to have the plans changed. in fact, while discussing my program goals and diagnostic plans with the director of the school, i found myself being committed to give a presentation to the entire school and their parents (almost 600 students and their parents). i quickly corrected this, and as an agreement that i get to do my diagnostic in all the classes, but i will have to give one nutrition charla to all the grade levels (there is about 120 in each grade level plus their parents). though, 120 is much better than 600 in one setting, it is still more than i would prefer to work with. luckily, i have a great health post who is eager to help me with it.
another point of miscommunication came with a group of women in my community. they have a group much like the junior league in the states. where their purpose is to provide service and support to the community. i happened upon them through one of the members who owns a tienda in town that i frequent. i guess they had invited me to march with them in the parade last week for tucume’s anniversary, but unfortunately since i didn’t understand, i didn’t show. luckily, these women were able to laugh it off with me, and understand that if i don’t repeat back a follow-up detail with them, then it means that i didn’t understand it and that it won’t get done.
another more cultural point of miscommunication, was that the director asked me to return this morning to do more diagnostic charlas, but when i arrived, i was told that he wasn’t there and won’t be until monday…there is a national huelga (strike) with the teachers. the way that i see it, i am stubborn enough, i will get into all 28 classes eventually…just hopefully sooner rather than later.