Dreaming in Spanish

Wednesday 6.2.10

I think I’ve hit a landmark in my Spanish speaking abilities. For the past five nights in a row I’ve dreamed in Spanish. Now, it’s rather unusual for me to remember my dreams five nights in a row; if I’m lucky, every other night. But this is strange. The first night I was trying to cut down plantains and bananas out of incredibly tall trees from a 5 or 6 story building using only my machete. Another night I dreamed that this community I’m in now wasn’t actually my permanent site, but rather another 3 month training period. I was really upset and worried because I’m really happy where I am and don’t want to leave. I should have written all the dreams down the mornings after because now I don’t remember them all, but I do remember thinking each morning when I woke up, wow, I spoke a lot of Spanish in that dream.

I’ve heard that this is really the mark when you begin to feel really comfortable with speaking the foreign language, when it stops being so foreign and starts becoming more natural. I’ve been waiting for this day since I landed in Guatemala almost exactly five months ago. I’m going to try to avoid sounding cliché here but it may be unavoidable: I can hardly believe I’ve been here five months already. They say something like “the minutes pass like days, and the months like seconds”, meaning of course that the day-to-day can sometimes seem slow and uneventful, but before you know it your two years are up and you’re back to the states in major tortilla withdrawal. Now, it is way too soon to even think about what’s going to happen two years from now, but after saying “five months” it suddenly doesn’t seem so impossible to live in a foreign place for that period of time.


JBrown said...

Way to go, Kate! It´s awesome to hear that you are doing so well. One time I had a dream in Spanish and Qeqchi. It was bizarre. I woke up saying the words¨bar wankat?¨Where are you? Where are you? hahahhaha

ducky said...

Hey Kate! I'm really glad you like your site so much. It is hard to believe it's been 5 months - though it makes the next 22 seem somewhat do-able, right?

And I totally get what you said in your last post about the challenges in learning Quiche! There's one sound in Mam that I just totally cannot produce, and it boggles my mind to try to tell the difference just from hearing it, instead of knowing exactly how you pronounce it (tx´ vs. ch´ that is). Still waiting on that one! Interesting the different learning/teaching styles, eh?

Kate said...

Jordan, that's hilarious. It's going to be a while before I start dreaming in K'iche' though. Speaking of dreams, you, Chad, and Trent were in my Peace Corps dream the other night. I wrote about it, it's funny.

Steph, the next 22 months seem so doable. I have had my doubts, not that I wouldn't be able to last, but that it would not be as enjoyable as my fairy tale picture was the months before I left. I'm pretty sure now that, though it isn't always easy, the fun and happy moments so far outweight the hard and frustrating ones.

Can't wait to hear everyone's stories at the 4th party.

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