Saturday, April 7, 2012
Day 78 - Breaking the Language Barrier
Friday night I went to FHE, where we played "Psychiatrist" (and had SUCH a blast at it too!), then I went and played the piano for a while. When I was heading out, I somehow got into this conversation with this lady, her name is Ana. She speaks such little English, and I speak such little Russian that the whole conversation took a super long time to figure out. Basically what I got after about ten minutes of talking is that her name is Ana, she’s Maxim’s mom, she teaches piano (and loves it!), and had some music for me if I want to have it. There was a lot more between, like how I absolutely love music - Ya (I) OCHEN (VERY) lyoublyou (love) musik! (music!), or how Maxim learned piano for three years, but then didn’t like it so quit. I really loved talking to Ana, I could tell she enjoyed the conversation too. Eventually someone came and asked if we needed a translator. I asked Ana, and I think she said that she didn’t; It was too fun trying to talk to her and recall the oh-so-few words that I even know in Russian. He translated a little anyways, saying that Ana didn’t know when she could get the music to me because she hardly ever sees me. We figured next Friday at FHE would work perfectly. We all headed out together and Ana and Maxim ended up walking me almost all the way home. Maxim didn't talk much, but Ana talked enough for the both of them :) We talked and laughed and learned words the whole way. My perception of the “gift of tongues” has definitely changed after my conversation with her. I in no way was able to fluently talk to her, but the “language barrier” between us seemed to be quite broken as I forged this new friendship even without understanding hardly a thing being said. That night, I had some great conversations with Lena and Sasha and George-o. We talked about how sometimes you can say something and people don’t understand it, but when you let them see what you mean, it sticks so much better. Recalling back to my experience talking with Ana, I didn’t understand a majority of the words she was saying, but after she explained in many ways, I would figure it out. I’m not sure she ever actually said, “I am so glad to have talked with you this night, thank you for letting us walk with you.” But I really felt it in the way she talked and smiled and laughed with me. Oh, and Friday night? That was her Birthday :) What an awesome thing that I was able to be a little part of it! I feel truly blessed for that absolutely amazing experience!