Hola all people who are joining us yet again for the latest edition of The Adventures of Guat-Squad! Your beloved writer Ada Krahn is back again for my first post in country! Hope you enjoy!
Language is such an interesting thing. To be able to make certain sounds and have what’s happening in your mind be understood by someone else. It has already been a full week of living with our host families and taking Spanish classes, and so many of us are being faced with the brutal challenge of not being understood, and further not even knowing where to begin with trying to make ourselves understood. This can be a very scary situation for many people to be in and people react to it in different ways. Some wouldn’t care and would try to live as their own independently functioning identity, others would care a lot and feel like they’re doing something wrong, and still some might find peace knowing that their understanding will come in time. Of course, those aren’t every way to react, but I hope you understand what I’m getting at.
At the beginning of the first semester we were all plucked from our own very different lives and put together with such little understanding of each other. I feel like those first few weeks were very similar to our experiences with learning Spanish. We spoke in very simple terms about some fairly generic things. We all spoke different languages, and it took time and energy to be able to speak to each other. Further on in the year, as we experienced things together and saw each other at highs and lows, we were able to understand each other in ways that just weren’t possible before. Now I’m seeing extravagant conversations that twist and twirl and dance like I’ve never seen before.
I find it interesting to see how the fact that we all sleep in different houses has significantly affected our community. I’ve been watching how conversation changes when you’re in a group of 3 or 4 instead of 7 to 23. I think this dynamic is very rewarding so long as we all navigate it as a whole. Our current independence has allowed for smaller groups spending time together, going for coffee and walks together. Spending time with who we choose has allowed for much more significant conversations, and us each putting more value in the time that we are together. It changes how we care for each other because we are all experiencing a lot of different things day to day. It is easy to leave people behind even when you don’t mean to. I think that the way we’ll be living while we stay in San Juan del Obispo can do amazing things nurturing the connections we already have with each other, but I can also see how it could be easy to push some friends aside and have a great time with a few other friends while cheating some of us out of an incredible experience. I do believe though that our community is self-aware enough to be able to care for all its parts in the unique ways we need. I believe that the love we have for each other runs very deep. And I believe that each one of us will have an incredible experience here, uniquely together.