I don’t speak Spanish. I have some Spanish vocabulary, probably equal to a 4 or 5 year old. So throughout our journey I have had to search my limited vocabulary for enough words to obtain necessary information, such as what time a meal would be. I was assisted by very forgiving Spaniards who were polite when I was butchering their language and very well educated Spaniards who spoke some English. The group found when we were in the countryside English was more scarce and gestures became language. But as more and more people gathered we entered into a search for a common language. We stood in a line with people from South Africa, Germany, Czech Republic all conversing in a common Spanglish.
When we got turned around a bit we asked for directions in Spanish only to have the reply in perfect English “I don’t know what you are asking!” And it was truly a delight to hear the young adults from University of Alabama Birmingham conversing in their southern drawl. It was a place with loads of people from all over the world with a common purpose. A lot like every day — we are all working to get through. Let’s have a little compassion for those a bit different from us, for whatever reason, let’s be the like the forgiving and educated people we have depended on these past days.
let’s make it a thin place.
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