After one year of study, laughter, tears, and sweat we made it through a year of language training. This group went to eat at Chili’s to celebrate the evening of the day of graduation. It was also the night before we left to come back to the United States (yes, crazy when you are packing everything you own for an early morning departure the next day). And yes, it does seem a bit crazy to eat at Chili’s the day before returning to the US, but over half of this group was moving on to their field of mission, and not returning home. We had a great night, and as I have been too busy back in the States to sit down and think through a graduation post, I thought I could share a picture of a group of people that I will not ever forget. These people have been with us through a lot of ups and downs, and their friendships anchored in the love of God have carried us a great year of learning Spanish. They have inspired us. They are headed all over Latin America, and I cannot wait to see how God uses all of them.
I had a really good class this last trimester that was focused on translation. I was easily the worst student in the class. I like to tell myself that I had a disadvantage of Spanish language experience in comparison with the other students, but that is only because I like to hide from the truth of my own inadequacies. It is always good to be humbled, right? Ana Meneses was the teacher. She has a lot of English language experience, has worked as a translator and lived in the U.S. for a period of time. As a service to God she has come to teach at our missionary language school, and although I am sure the pay is less she consistently talked about how much she loved her work. Ana is friends with Allison, and her kids enjoy playing with out kids. She saw me sitting on the Terraza at the school without much to do early in the trimester because of some scheduling conflicts, and she invited me to join them. I had been wanting to join (I needed more opportunities to practice), so I was glad she was generous to offer to include me although I was not speaking at the same level as the others. She is a good teacher, and we worked through some really tricky grammar structures that are often used when speaking that helped improve my speaking language skills. I learned a lot, enjoyed my classmates and my teacher, and improved my Spanish. There is not much better to say about a class than that.