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Hard Slogging (Mucho Trabajo!)

September 11, 2006

It’s late Sunday night, and I’m working wirelessly from my neighbor’s back porch after another fun filled weekend working on the house.  Time is running short, and the house is reluctantly coming together.   The painters are still working inside, and it’s kind of fun working alongside them, dodging one another as we install bathroom cabinets and counters while they are taping and covering behind us.  A few closets, the upstairs guest bath, touch ups and trim are all that remain for painting.

We installed perhaps 50% of the light fixtures, switches and outlets, taking advantage of the areas that were already painted.  I’ve got to tile 3 bathrooms this week, and set up to install the laminate wood flooring this coming weekend, along with the balance of the baseboard for all the non-carpeted areas. 

The painters all speak Spanish, and smile and seem amused by my attempts to speak to them in it.  I suspect their command of English surpasses my clumsy attempts to hablo espanol.   Today, I spent about 30 minutes talking with the husband (it’s a big extended family networked company, everyone is an hermano, an hijo, or hija, an esposo or esposa) who oversaw the painting.  He is studying English, and his ability to speak it was on par with my Spanish.  I really had a good time, as we tried to help each other with the appropriate phrases.  If Mike is reading this in China, I can only begin to imagine moving somewhere AND trying to learn a very difficult language.   Trying to speak another language here, with the security of being able to nod, smile, and return to my own world at any time is a real luxury.  Going to another country for an immersion experience is a whole ‘nother ball game.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 19, 2006 2:28 am

    Mark…yes, I am a loyal reader! 🙂 … indeed it is a completely different experience. In the US, when you try to pick up some phrases or words in another language, it is more for fun, don’t HAVE to use it. But it is fun to try, especially if you can remember what you learned and use it again. Here, some things I learn just for fun…but for the most part, I’m trying to learn so that I can communicate better with my team/co-workers and also so I can navigate my way around the city…o yeah, for the ladies too 🙂 It does help that I can practice/use it everyday as well. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

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