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Communicating in a Foreign Country

Working your brain is certainly important in retirement. If I were still back in Orlando, life would be calmer, perhaps even more serene…but I would not necessarily be giving my brain a workout. So Anita is spending 3 months working on her German. It will come back to her, and she is laying the groundwork for our World Expat program. Meanwhile, I am feeling motivated to hit the studying Espanol, again. We have taken a conversational Spanish course, once a year. But I know I will get so much more out of our time in Mexico if I work harder. And that will also build more foundation for the World Expat program – for Latin America and Spain. Costa Rica is on the list for next year, and Spain is on our near term “wish list.”

In the meantime, knowing some Spanish has made a huge difference. My last post addressed the confusion learning the ropes, not in just another country, but a different major city. I cannot imagine how I could have found my way through that with even just a basic grasp for Spanish. I recall being a bit skeptical of the “Contextual Approach” for learning a language built into Rosetta Stone, but keeping that tool handy has made a huge difference. I have also gained some insight into how immigrants can get by with minimal knowledge of a new language of a host country. But I can also see how challenging it is and how important language skills and training are.

Of course I am so impressed with my “host family.” Alison and Carlos are both gifted when it comes to learning language. I am always so proud when they wield these skills so effectively. Their girls, Mila and Zaha have at least the same skill, and it is hard to believe they are four and two, respectively, when moving back and forth between Spanish and English. I have some catching up to do.

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