New kids on the block

4 September 2006
6:03 PM

Last week we hosted the new Chile associates, Katie, Michelle, Natalie, and Patrick. As my group did last year, they visited Chile for a week to see the job sites and people before heading to Bolivia for language school. It was exciting to meet them finally after exchanging emails for a few months. It was also a nice reminder that there have been changes in the past year.

For example, though the new associates speak Spanish better than I did, they still had some difficulty navigating the Chilean dialect. I remember floundering and barely being able to speak with people at this time last year. In fact, even after studying Spanish in Bolivia, I still felt that I wasn’t able to really say what I wanted in Spanish many times. There is a lot of room between “communicating” and genuinely expressing yourself. But it turns out that after a year, I am, in fact, fluent in Spanish. Though I still encounter words I don’t know in Spanish, I know all the ones I need for daily use, plus a healthy share of less frequently used ones (including horseshoe, to stretch, basil, and lice comb).

The new associates will return to Chile in December. In the meantime, they’re off on their own enjoying Bolivia. If you want to hear more about them, you won’t find it here; for that, see Patrick’s, Michelle’s, and Natalie’s respective blogs. Blogs—they’re so hot right now.

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