At 5:00am, we arrived at the bus station in Concepción. “We” here is me and nine Chileans going to a training seminar. From there we walked down an unlit, pitch-black street to the city bus stop. As we walked, one of the kids at the front of the group shouted, “poza!” Then the girl behind him echoed, “poza!” After nine hours of traveling, I was in no mood for silly games; I ignored this meaningless talk. It continued until the girl right in front of me shouted, “poza!” Then, as I submerged my foot in a giant, three-inch deep puddle, I figured out what poza meant.
Some words you learn from dictionaries, others are burned into your memory through experience. Since it took several hours from my left shoe to dry, I don’t think I’ll forget that poza means puddle any time soon. Maybe next time I’ll even listen to the kids.