New Year New Things

So, when I studied abroad in Argentina (I can’t believe that was 6 years ago now!), I decided to take a Portuguese class.  No, I wasn’t thinking clearly.  And after one semester of a class that met once a week for three hours at a time, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.  Not that I didn’t like the language, as a matter of fact, I loved it.  But taking a third language in your second language isn’t such a bright idea.  

I don’t ever remember being so tired.  After those classes my brain would be fried.  If I didn’t know a word in Spanish, then I couldn’t learn what it was in Portuguese….what I needed was a English/Spanish/Portuguese dictionary.  I remember taking the oral exam at the end of the semester.  My best friend was my partner and near the end of the exam, we didn’t know if the professor was speaking Portuguese or Spanish….but we made it through and did well.

Now, six years later I’ve decided to give Portuguese another chance.  And I’ve learned that I can really understand it pretty well, but the pronunciation is very different from Spanish and has a very nasal sound at times.  I’ve really enjoyed it so far and hope to practice it a lot this year!

What new things have you started in 2014?



¡Feliz cumple!

Hay dos cumpleaños en nuestra ‘familia’ esta semana, por eso quiero compartir un poema de cumpleaños 🙂


Yo quiero que en tu vida reine la felicidad,
que el éxito esté presente en todos tus proyectos
y que tus anhelos se conviertan en realidad,
¡feliz cumpleaños!



fresca como una lechuga

Let’s start off the week all ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’!  It will be great, we’ll get so much done, and you will feel awesome!

Now I have to explain the saying that is my title.  My freshman year of college I took this great seminar class where we explored the political history of Latin America through its authors.  It was such a wonderful class taught by a very interesting man, Juan Allende.  Name sound familiar?  Anyone out there who is a Isabel Allende fan (you may freak out….or not, but I really did) will be excited to know that this man was (is) her brother.

I will tell you right now that this intimate (we only had about 8 people in the class) little seminar was the best class of my college career.  Being a freshman, I only knew two things:  1. I wanted to study Spanish and 2.  I wanted to learn about Latin America.  Sorry U.S., but we’re seriously lacking in the history education department.  In my experience, the only history you learn (secondary education) is U.S. History and Western European History.  What about Asia? Nope. Latin America? Nope. Africa? Nope.  The Middle East? Nope.

So, you can see that this seminar class was an exciting eye opener!  Near the end of the semester the professor (who we grew to really love and tried to convince him to show up one day to class in his pajamas…he refused and that is another long story) told us to write our own pieces of poetry, about whatever we wanted, and present them to the class.  The day before presentations he said to us, “I want you to be as fresh as lettuce!”.  And we all gave him that ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look.  What??  Lettuce??

Yes, and now that is an expression I’ve heard many times: ‘fresca como una lechuga’ a.k.a ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’.  So, here’s to hoping you have a fresh week!

What you hear on vacation

dotted-world-mapLast week I was up in Maine visiting my family and while in Moody’s Gifts (browsing around and wanting to buy everything) I heard Italian.  There were some tourists there, browsing just like me and speaking Italian.  Okay, a lot of people would say “that’s nothing to write (home) about.” But when you’re in a small town in Maine, I’d say it is.

Not that I was eavesdropping, but I was so excited that I could pick up a word here and there.  I don’t know about them, but I enjoyed my stay (and I hope they did too!) and it just goes to show you and the world isn’t as small as you think!

I saw the sign

While studying abroad in Córdoba, Argentina, we had the opportunity to travel around the country during our free time.  As we traveled, I began to notice the signage; bus stops, cross walks, graffiti, and translated signs.  In highly trafficked tourist areas there were many signs in various languages.  In these places I noticed that the signs translated from Spanish to English, were not always translated correctly, which made me wonder, how often do we also make those mistakes?  However, although some words were missing, one could understand the message!

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Inspiración de Paulo Coelho

el alquimista


La semana pasada marcó el vigésimo aniversario de la historia, El Alquimista.  Esta historia es el cuento de un pastor, Santiago quien tiene un sueño recurrente sobre el descubrimiento de tesoro debajo de las piramides egipcias.  En su jornada, Santiago tiene varios encuentros pero quiere continuar su leyenda personal a descubrir el tesoro en las piramides.

Déspues de viajar un poco, Santiago se encontró con un alquimista inglés quien se aprendió mucho sobre el alma del mundo y los elementos. Los dos detuvieron al Al-Fayoum para evitar las guerras tribales y allí Santiago se enamoró con Fatima.  Santiago también tiene una visión sobre un ataque al Al-Fayoum, y por eso salvó la ciudad de destrucción. Déspues, se abandonó Fatima allí y continuye su jornada a las piramides.  La alquimista habla con él sobre su práctica y cuando llegan a las piramdes tienen varios encuentros con los arabes.  Cuando un arabe describe el mismo sueño a Santiago (que él está cerca de una iglesia debajo de un sicómoro, Santiago le da cuenta que el tesoro real está allí.

Cuando él regresa a España descubre un cofre de tesoro debajo de árbol y tiene planes a regresar a Al-Fayoum y a Fatima.!/paulocoelho el Facebook de Paulo Coelho