¡Hola guapos! I feel as though my entire time here has been one long and continued conversation about language, occasionally directly concerning the topic but most of the time only carefully sprinkled throughout the discourse. Of course, I have learned Spanish in my Grammar and Written and Spoken Spanish classes, but I learned so much just by eavesdropping on other people conversations and by actually speaking with people myself. I would be willing to bet that I acquired at least a word each day for my list of Spanish vocabulary words by only bothering my family every few minutes with questions like, “How do you say this is Spanish?” Their ever patient answers do these numerous intrigues were really such a blessing and I am not sure how I may even begin to thank them. This dialogue, however, was not concerning the theme, “How do you say…?” but also included countless conversations about origins of words, verb conjugations, the differences between Spanish Spanish and Latin American Spanish, explanations of seemingly strange and metaphorical phrases, and the irregular explanations of English words to those learning my native language.
So, how far has this brought me? Where do I stand with my proficiency level of Spanish? Much to my disappointment, I am nowhere near the status of bilingual, but I have arrived at the point that if the individual with whom I am speaking speaks slowly enough- I can understand and respond. I speak the language better with people my own age, or when I am explaining topics that I am very passionate about. Also, I am pleased to say that I can almost understand everything when I watch television in Spanish- something that I was initially only slightly skilled at.
At this point, I only have about sixteen days left here in Granada. Many of you warned me, “We’re glad that you are enjoying yourself, but don’t like it too much that you don’t want to come home!” Where do I stand with this? I am ready to come home. My time here has been a dream, truly amazing, but I miss my parents, my brother, my aunties and their families, my neighbors, my friends, my school, and my life as I knew it before. Enriched and ready to share and use what I have learned here, I am excited to come back and force my parents to look at all of my photographs and to sit through all of my explanations of the adventures of this little lamb. However, at the same time I cannot help looking around at this place that I have called, “home” for so long and wonder how one can just leave after such a period of time that has flown right by, but has also felt so long. Also, it seems that I have been making more and more friends recently who I may never receive the chance to get to know better before I have to jet off to my own country. Like most amazing experiences like this where one is brought out of one’s usual environment, I have adapted to this world and it will be quite strange to go back to life in Massachusetts. I suppose the lucky thing is that I do not have to abandon all that I have encountered here; it is now a part of me and I will always hold Granada in my heart.
PS Pam left for Brussels today with Mark... I miss her!
PPS May your conversations about language be sprinkled with interesting themes, may your Spanish host family be patient, and may you always look forward to what is to come but fondly remember what has passed. After all, you're the only one who can.
PPPS I love you... so much!