Becoming bilingual

Since coming to El Paso, I’ve had many good experiences with speaking Spanish, contrary to my expectations. So far at work I’ve had two conferences with parents who don’t know English very well, and I’ve taken some inquiries, too. One time last week, someone called while my boss and one of our assistants was in the room. The person on the other line said “Buenos días” and I started talking to them. The assistant left the room with her mouth hanging open… she thought I would need her help translating. I asked her later how I did.. she said I spoke slowly but very well and that I was easy to understand. I was elated.

In our care group (small group) we have a family from Juárez who moved to El Paso about ten years ago. I’ve been able to talk with them weekly and it’s been great for both of us; they’re trying to learn English, which is why they started coming to our church.

I’ve learned two new words that are used quite often…

-Huera or huero means “blonde”.. I’ve been called this affectionately by friends here.

Mande is a phrase used when politely asking someone to repeat themselves or when asking them to tell you something.

I love the mix of cultures here… it’s much more seamless than I thought it would be. Oftentimes people go between Spanish and English without even realizing it.

I think I’ve (finally) realized what I want to do when I go back to school, if I go back… I want to get my bilingual certification. The psychology of second language acquisition eludes and fascinates me.

I apologize for not having posted in awhile.. our life is busy but still wonderful! We really like it here.. much more than I thought we would!