Portoviejo Ecuador – A friend is studying for her formal certification as a guide, which requires passing an English exam. She is a guard at the museum, and I happened to walk into the empty room while she was practicing phrases in English – and trying to decipher what she was reading.
I shared with her some of my blunders from the past; the ‘most famous’ one was when I declared – instead of being hungry – that I was a man. Hambre/Hombre. For one who stumbles with the nuances of sound, I instantly learned that lesson!
Since no one else was in the museum, I pretended to be a lost tourist and asked her questions like, “I’m lost. Where is Parque las Vegas?” or “I’m hungry (!) – where is a good restaurant?” and “What time do you close?”
Most anyone learns – by rote memory – to count to twelve, but those ‘teen’ words can be extra tricky to master. Thirteen/Thirty – Fourteen/Forty – Fifteen/Fifty, etc. We practiced the difference, stressing the importance of pronouncing the final ‘n.’ Six-teen and Six-tee.
With a folder of Spanish-English quotes at home, I offered to print some for her and am now back at the museum.
The museum, when open, provides the best ‘anti-covid’ internet option for me, but oh my, sometimes the connection seems as slow as in the ‘old days’ of dialup! Poco a poco I make a little progress, and today’s was to share this with you.
The museo closes today at 3:30, so I’d best scram! Enjoy the quotes!
Nuestras vidas empiezan a terminar el día en que guardamos silencio acerca de las cosas que importan.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
¿Cómo es que la criatura más intelecta que jamás haya caminado por la tierra está destruyendo su unico hogar?”(Jane Goodall)
“How come the most intellectural creature to ever walk earth is destroying its ony home?”(Jane Goodall)
“Una persona que nunca ha cometido un error nunca ha intentado nada nuevo.”
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein.
“Las personas amorosas viven en un mundo amoroso. Las personas hostiles viven en un mundo hostil. El mismo mundo”.
“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. The same world”. – Wayne Dyer.
“Ningún acto de bondad, por pequeño que sea, es en vano.” – Esopo.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop.
This poem by Pablo Neruda makes a perfect closing. His vision is timeless.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Extravagaria : A Bilingual Edition – by Pablo Neruda (Author), Alastair Reid (Translator)
Noonday Press; Bilingual edition (January 2001) ISBN: 0374512388 -page 26
Tiene hambre for more eloquent examples of the written word? This week’s Brain Pickings provides a lovely dose of nature writings. Go HERE.