Last night I spent some time talking to an amazing couple in a somewhat similiar-to-ours multi-cultural relationship. Well, even more interesting was observing the dynamics of the bilingual aspect of their relationship. Both speak Spanish and English very well, and I’m guessing the husband also has a third language under his belt. As I started the conversation in English, they continued. Though I speak and understand Spanish fine, the English teacher in me kept speaking in English to keep the wife practicing. But under normal circumstances they communicate to each other in Spanish.

I make Daniel speak English here in the States, and I spoke in Spanish in Peru. Eventually I’m sure we’ll go back to Spanish when I start slipping there or need to brush up on my expressions. But let’s be honest, no bilingual couple stays 100% in any language. And I noticed this even in our conversation last night. Certain sentences were in Spanish, sometimes out of excitement, sometimes because the topic just didn’t feel as natural in English.

A photo posted by Daniel Taipe (@inz) on Sep 6, 2015 at 4:56am PDT

// the one thing I loved watching was what happened every time she was trying to think of a word in English or say a word she didn’t know. Even though I would have understood even if she said the word in Spanish, she turned to him and asked “how do you say… in English?” In those brief moments when she felt lost and didn’t know the answer, her very first instinct was to look to her husband. Sure, she could get the word from anyone, but naturally, without thinking, she turned to him.

This instinct amazes me. Without thinking, we know who we trust the most. And it really is a relationship being built over time that brings you to lean on each other for more than just the basic needs of life. I hope my marriage is learning some of these same lessons.

But more than anything, I hope my relationship with God is building the same way. We often say that we know we should ask God for help even for the little things, but don’t think to do it. I think a lot of this is built on relationship, not even our typical “oh, He came through for me this time, I guess I’ll ask again” or “I know I should ask Him first, so I really just have to remember.” Maybe, just by talking to Him daily, sharing our hopes and fears, we’ll get to the point that without even realizing it, we lean over and ask “hey, how do I say this?”

Gone Fishin’

“So, you’re having a conversation with the Great Spirit, the Creator of All Things, 
and you’re doing the talking?” – Dharma and Greg, TV show


Ok, so this post actually has nothing at all to do with “Gone Fishin’” but I like the thought of just disappearing for a bit into complete solitude. So for this week, which is spiritual emphasis week here at the university, I’m doing (more or less) just that (again). I’ve logged off my facebook, have a schedule to check my non-work emails only twice a day, keep my phones on during the day just for emergencies, am resisting the temptation to run to time-wasting websites, leaving my computer in my office and limiting my social plans this week as well. I promise my break from reality is only temporary and we will soon talk again (that is, if you ever talk to me). But mentally, emotionally and spiritually I need to take a step back from the mindless and find a bit of purpose in my thinking and actions.

Because well, the reality of life is that living in a different country does not necessarily mean that you leave “normal” problems behind and just trade them in for new ones such as adjusting to a new culture.  Unfortunately “normal” problems stick with you too and you are really just adding on some new ones. So you still have to deal with things like bills, irritability, lethargy, heartache and sleep deprivation, but the only difference is that you deal with them in a completely new environment which often includes never-ending miscommunications and the lack of an established emotional support system. What hurts in the US also hurts in Peru.

So I’m taking full advantage of the spiritual programing here this week and coupling it with prayer, meditation and fasting. So here’s to having a bit of time alone with my thoughts but more importantly my God. Whatever your view of spirituality, I feel we all have these moments when we want to reach out and understand something greater than our current problems and insignificant thoughts. I guess it’s our way of putting our life into perspective and seeing it in the larger context of the world around us. So now is my time to stop complaining, stop deciding what I need and start listening to how I need to grow, where my focus should be, what I really need in my life and how to fully trust God.

I know that those of you who visit my blog from time to time truly care about me, and I appreciate all your love and support. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the next week and a half or so while I battle my mental, emotional and spiritual giants.