January 28, 2013
Cracking the Whip
I realized, yet again today, the value of learning. I regretted, yet again today, that I wasn't a bit more focused in my high school years. I wished, yet again today, that I had a dollar for every time I've said, "If I only knew then what I know now!"
Today, an older gentleman and his mother visited the prison, and I had the privilege of translating his testimony for the men there. I generally prefer to be the person listening to Spanish and translating what I hear for those who only speak English. But this time, the guy spoke in French and English, and I needed to translate that into the language of the prisoners listening. How I wished I could have went straight into Guaraní, but my skills just aren't there yet. It was tough enough without adding that extra step, but I sure hope to be able to do it one day.
Truth is, my Spanish is pretty ugly. I do just fine at the grocery store, I chat with friends, I teach the Bible, and I can almost hold an entire conversation on a cell phone without major misunderstandings. But I am well aware that being understood and being correct are two different things. "You give food me, I pay money you." Okay, you got that, but improvement is in order. I'm not quite THAT bad, but who wants to sound like the foreigner in the group, right?
I guess it's time to put language learning back in the daily schedule. I'd gotten to a "good enough" point, where other things took priority over advancing my language skills--you know, surgeries, learning to walk again, homeschooling, mopping, that sort of thing.
I figured if I was fluent enough to survive here, I was okay. But since when is good enough really good enough? Nah, I gotta get back on this thing. After next week's surgery and the next week's start of the school year.... ;)