It's Throwback Thursday.... you know what to do!
Last week something incredible happened. While watching t.v., something came on the screen about Peru.
(you know, the country in South America!) I started to think about a dear friend of mine who lives there. We lost contact many years ago. I decided just to see what would pop up if I typed his name in the search box on Facebook. (I mean, everyone uses facebook, right?) To my surprise, my friend had a facebook account! We've spent the past couple of days exchanging emails and catching up. So, today's Throwback Thursday post is dedicated to my Long Lost Amigo de Peru!
|imgae credit: worldatlas.com|
Remember when I decided I wanted to learn Spanish? Remember the friend who told me to do EVERYTHING in Spanish? Well one of the things I did was look for a pen pal. If my memory serves me correct, I posted on a message board that I was trying to learn Spanish and was looking for a pen pal. I received a response from a girl who had a friend who was interested in learning English and she forwarded his information.
My new friend was from Peru! (a country I knew little about...)
|image credit: wikipedia.org|
My friend and I started exchanging emails. I had been practicing speaking Spanish but had little experience writing in Spanish. This was great practice! I remember making many mistakes and learning tons. I remember one mistake in particular.
My Spanish was very limited. My emails reflected that; they were simple and basic. I remember writing a list of things I had plans to do. Wash clothes, go to the park, etc... My "to do list" also included *paint my nails* which I translated literally and wrote *pintar mis clavos* (I had written *paint my "nails" the "nails" you use with a hammer!) HAHAHA! My friend sent me a reply email asking, "why I was painting nails?".... as in the "nails" you use with a hammer.... I eventually figured out I had used the word "clavos" (nails you use with a hammer) not uñas (actual finger nails). That is what learning a 2nd language is all about! Mistakes! This is just one small example of the growth I experienced while communicating with my friend.
We were both curious about each other's cultures and countries. I asked my friend if he had a VCR because I wanted to record my family and sights where I lived. The 1st package I sent to Peru was very expensive. I had to find a cheaper way if we were going to do our video exchange. After talking with another friend of mine here in the states, I found a taxi company whose owners made frequent trips to Peru. They agreed to take items I wanted to send to my friend back to Peru with them and he would go to their place of business in Peru and pick them up. This arrangement worked out great!
My video footage included:
Where I worked. Mi amiga de Colombia translated and took my new friend on a tour of our office and explained our many duties.
A family party we had in Alabama, celebrating my grandfather's birthday.
My apartment, my town, my friends.
Stone Mountain park
He in return sent me a video back of where he lived, a party at his house and his friends. It was really cool!
We also exchanged gifts. I sent a couple of things including some "Barbies" for his nieces. He in return sent me an alpaca sweater! How awesome was that!
We also talked some on the phone. My Spanish wasn't that great but I was learning. I had to have my amiga de Colombia translate once..... I eventually bought a phone card (1st time I bought a phone card to call another country) and we ended up being able to communicate pretty good despite the language barrier.
This was an awesome experience and I credit this friendship with providing me with tons of knowledge. I'm happy we have reconnected on Facebook and are able to pick up where we left off. A lot has happened in 10+ years. I'm now married and have a child. He is now a professor and has traveled a lot! He even traveled to the U.S. and was in my home state of Georgia. Unfortunately, he could not contact me because I had moved. My number changed and I was not in the phone book. Hopefully one day we will have the chance to meet in person and I can introduce him to my family...
Until then, he is in Peru and I am in the states but our friendship continues on!