Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 83: Ahora

When you find yourself not writing, it is because you are too busy living. Too busy learning. At day 83, I am far from being a tourist in Bariloche. I am half Argentinean and I am beginning to start reflecting on my time spent in South America.

I am reflecting on where I am right now. Ahora.

Many of you know that I came to Argentine because I won a Rotary Scholarship. But my professor asked me yesterday not only WHY I picked Bariloche, but WHY Spanish?

It really is simple: I respect everything about the Latin American culture and I do so because of my hometown. Yes. Dalton.

For so many, Dalton is a town of carpet mills. Don't get me wrong, it is full of carpet, but what I have always seen is the diversity of people. The Hispanic population in Dalton is the reason why I love the Spanish culture. People. Customs. Food. Lifestyle. The language. Everything.

I would consider myself lucky to have experienced so much diversity growing up. I have never told my mom this, but if I did not grow up in the church that I did (St. Joseph's Catholic Church), then I may not have had the chance to learn about the Hispanic culture like I have. Thanks Mom.

Where I am right now is reflecting on how this diversity that I experienced can be spread amongst others in Dalton. Because sadly, not everyone in Dalton appreciates the learning and culture differences that the people in Dalton have to offer.

This honesty that I expressed to my teacher is where she became very interested.
There are two types of people in the world:

1) People who do not want to change their personal views but appreciate others, and 2) people who don't want to change, but also do not want to accept or learn more about others.

This is what I see in a lot of Dalton. Sadly.

But my time in Bariloche has changed me and I want to give Dalton another chance to change me too. I want to give it another opportunity. There is so much I can learn and I hope that I can get others to feel the same about the amazing culture and learning opportunities that Dalton has to offer. Not merely textile. :-)

The best part about this conversation yesterday, is it was all in spanish. A moment of victory. My roommate and I talked yesterday about how the progress of Spanish hits you one day. For example: you can pass along people on the street and understand what they are saying; or in a cafe or restaurant you have to start blocking out other people's Spanish conversations; in class, you can actually understand ALL the jokes; and the best-- you begin making your own puns in Spanish that everyone also understands. PLUS, you can talk to all the locals in their shops while looking for gifts.

All of these make me feel accomplished. Yes.

With only 8 days left in Argentina, I am beginning to sort and shuffle all my belongings. Mentally getting ready for my new excursions that wait for me when I get home.

Which for the first time, in a long time-- I am excited about coming home to Dalton. Excited about living back home in the place where my love for the Hispanic culture first began.

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