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.