Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Unexpected Conversations

I had an "ah-ha" moment today as I was picking up trash with the kids at St. Dominic's Orphanage. As I was hiking back up the hill with a young boy, full trash bags in hand, I decided to make my typical (and very much rehearsed) attempt at communication. "Bonjou, koman ou ye?" and "Kijan ou rele?" are essentially the only phrases I know in Creole, so as you can imagine conversation didn't last long before silence took over. The boy asked me if I spoke French and when I said no, as a last ditch effort, he mentioned that he knew a little Spanish. Bingo! Once we discovered that we had this common knowledge we were able to communicate beyond "How are you?" and "What is your name?" Although this exchange was also brief due to our broken Spanish, it reaffirmed my passion and desire to learn a second language. I am confident that I'll be able to use such a skill to help build meaningful relationships in the future. Language opens doors. It's funny how I wasn't sure of this until I was able to carry a conversation in Haiti, not in the native tongue or my first language, but in Spanish.


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