Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cross-Cultural Encounters

Everyday, our last hour of class is conversation. Yesterday was our first day of classes and during the final hour, my conversation professor and I went for a walk by the lake to talk. It is pretty difficult after three hours of one on one classes with teachers drilling you to be able to have a nice conversation in broken Spanish, but as we walked by the lake yesterday, we talked almost non-stop for the entire hour. Literally, my teacher that I had just met minutes before told me her deepest darkest secret, which I can’t write about here of course, because I promised her I wouldn’t tell anyone. We talked about everything from personal beliefs to politics. We even ended up on the subject of gay marriage, which is a topic I am very passionate about. I told her about the people I knew who were gay and fighting with their families and friends to have their relationships recognized by the law, how progress had been made and eighteen thousand people were married in California, how the constitution was changed by voters to no longer allow gay marriage, but how the marriages that took place are still recognized. It was pretty exciting to be able to communicate with a young Nicaraguan woman who is the same age as me about the fight for equal marriage rights in California. As I met again with her today, she told me that she hadn’t known about the people in California and other states standing up for equal rights for homosexuals and that hearing about it gave her hope. It’s kind of amazing what can come out of cross-cultural exchanges.

P.S. This evening Matt and I took salsa classes at our school that are taught weekly for free. If you know how I feel about dancing, you may find it a bit amusing to picture me shaking my hips to music in a Spanish school. I found out, once again, that I am lacking in the rhythm department. No surprise there.


  1. I am so glad you guys got there safe, and can't wait to read and hear all of your fun stories. When you come back will have to have a party and you guys have to show us some dance move. Have fun!

  2. I love hearing about your adventures. It sounds like you time has already been amazing and I can't wait to read more about it.
    Kara Vizzini Murano

  3. family, love, acceptance, opinions, truth, secrets, faith, trust. great pics. amazing and challenging experiences. ENJOY

  4. Loving the photos Brooke! I'm so happy for you and Matt being able to experience those things, and be able to converse with Nicaraguans in their native tongue.

    The world needs more people to do that!

  5. Awesome shots! Very cool to hear about your cross-cultural experience and your dancing adventures. Hi to Mateo