There is a gathering of friends. One person has a word. He talks weird so the friends can say what word he is thinking. But it is more official than what I am saying. Do you know?… This is my life right now. This is what I sound like. My vocabulary in Spanish is so small, almost every sentence requires piecing together a definition of an unknown phrase or word. Using motions and words and sounds, I attempt to convey meaning to my Spanish friends. During one of these (comical) sessions, I had a sense of deja vu. It was like remembering a puzzle I had put together before. But it wasn’t a puzzle, it was a game. Taboo. Or if I am lucky with the vocabulary, Catch Phrase. Like a far less dangerous version of Jumangi, the game has become my life. I hurt my knee playing soccer. People ask, are you feeling better? “Yes, but it’s (how do you say stiff?) I can’t (what is the verb for to bend?) no it has no pain. It’s not walking well…No, no pain…” And so it goes. The puzzle is slow to come together. I want to express my life, but I’m not sure of the conjugation or the correct tense, so I figure out new avenues to get the point across. In English, I treat  grammar as a guideline, a tool to accomplish my true objective: understanding. In Spanish, I am stumbling in the dark. Grammar is a phantom I seek in the hope it will grant me clarity in speaking and listening to others. One day my life here will be more than a game, keeping only the laughter.


One thought on “Games/Juegos

  1. Dear Katie Ruth,
    So good to hear from you! I can hear your voice in my head as I read. You sound good, despite the language barriers. I remember Sam in Guatemala, got so tired of not being able to express who she was, show a sense of humor, or some depth to her conversation. But it will come. Remember to laugh at yourself! I am remembering you in prayer. Thanks for the update. with Joy, Tricia Sale

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