I’ve made promises before, to myself, but had not been committed to them – so much, such as my harmonica playing. For years, I’ve been thinking that I wanted to learn a second language. Rather casually, and somewhat through necessity, I learned quite a bit of Portuguese. My ex-wife is Brazilian and when her parents would come to visit, I would have to speak to them in Portuguese, as they didn’t speak any English.

I really didn’t know how much Portuguese that I knew until I started taking Spanish classes earlier this year, then the Portuguese started rolling out, replacing the Spanish words. Now, some 7 or 8 months letter, I know the difference, though one of the ‘P’ words will slip out on occasion. The other night, I was taking a lesson with my teacher, Vidal, who lives in Guatemala (Skype is great tool). I had to say something with the number 80, which in Spanish is Ochenta, and I said: ‘Oitenta’. Vidal looked at me rather quizzically and said: Say that again, please. I repeated it, then stopped: “Damned Portuguese!”. We had a good laugh about it.

Last night, during my lesson, I could hear, quite clearly, chickens in the background. He said that it was from his neighbors house and that they start ‘singing’ at 4:00 AM, every morning, or cada manaña. The cool think about this whole exchange is that it took place in Spanish, with him doing most of the talking, me listening and asking a few ‘que significa la palabra _____’?, what does that word mean.

Of course, the reading comprehension comes much faster than the listening and talking. Listening, I find it difficult to find the spaces between the words, especially at normal speed. Thankfully, Vidal talks slowly to me.

As I seem to have a desire for travel, I’ve put his country on my list of places to go. Might as well have something to strive for!

¡Voy a volver a Mexico, San Miguel, en el octobre por Dia de Los Muertos! ¡Si, lo escribí sin la ayuda de Google¡

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