No Hablo Espanol- a major regret

I’m not sure how old I was when “no regrets” became one of my life goals, but I set out to seize every opportunity for what it’s worth. I wasn’t going to look back at days gone past and think “if only I had taken that opportunity” I was going to walk through open doors with confidence.

Ah ambitious youth.

In the month of February I spent one entire week of it regretting.

I followed my brave sister Deb all over the land that she loves watching as she flew up and down the streets of Leòn, Nicaragua.

I waited patiently while she bartered for every single purchase I made at the charming Central Cathedral.

I love all the culture that happens in Central…
We came across this street show different times. Who says men can’t multitask? 🤷🏻‍♀️😘

Or at market:

Anybody interested in lightly chewed onions?
Can you spy the guard of the Plantain booth?

Or at the umpteen unique cultural things we came across that I wasn’t sure if a pic was ok or not. And so she’d ask politely, while I stood there mute.

The local leather shop
Fresh Tortillas coming up

I sat through hours of visiting, chugging bottle after bottle of Coke. Sometimes following a bit of the conversation, sometimes not. Sometimes pretending that I understood was was going on with the “Kendra” followed by a stream of words. Sometimes ignoring my name in the conversation and entertaining myself by counting the geckos living on the ceiling.

The walk to visit our friends was super scenic

Sometimes I hid behind my phone and pretended not to hear that my name was being tossed back and forth frantically inside the van as we traveled along.

Or I studied the delicious fried Buñuelos (Yuca thats been grated and fried and drowned in a sweet syrup) while the conversation flowed as I regretted again and again.

Today as I relived our recent travels, my regret surfaced again and I found myself consoling me.

“It’s ok,” I said “everyone has things they wish they could do differently. If you regret that you didn’t study Spanish enough, it is what it is. You know enough to follow a bit of conversation. Quit overthinking it, accept the facts and move on.”

My Spanish journey (or the lack of it) started my freshman year. Somehow I came down with Mono partway through the year and missed 78 days of school. Because Spanish was a classroom credit, I had to drop out halfway through.

The next stop of my Spanish lament was in Guatemala where I was privileged to spend several months in the beautiful Petén. I had the option of arriving a week early and attending language school with them, but opted instead to stay home and milk cows for a week longer- horrible mistake.

So here I am, with a passport full of stamps from Latino countries and barely a one year old’s grasp of the language. Not cool.

And then as I consoled myself with my lecture, I remembered that not only is my brave little Deborah darling being my patient translator/tour guide during our latest adventure; she’s also a teacher at Berea. A SPANISH Teacher. And if I’m truly as regretful about my lack of vocabulary as I claim to be, I’m gonna apply myself to kicking this regret out of the park.

So I don’t know, Deb, can you teach an old dog new tricks and an old brain a new language?

Maybe we should try, but if it’s gonna happen anymore this winter, we’re gonna have to speak quietly- cause we don’t wanna disturb the niños.

Con amor,

Kendra

Bonus Pics:

I didn’t need an interpreter for this part of our adventure:

Our little beachside getaway included air conditioning AND a hot shower
Tajadas con ensaladas

Breakfast with a view 💞

Nicaragua, our short but sweet visit inside your borders was truly delightful. Thank you. Or in my faltering, deeply accented way- “Gracias”

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