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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mixed Married Life

  So, today is the day I write my first post about my crazy, fantastic, confusing, blessed marriage!
 First, I'd like to start by saying that, for those who didn't know, I fell in love and married a wonderful Dominican man. God has truly blessed us and brought us through many trials early in our marriage. One of those was plain, all out culture shock to each others' way of life.
  I look back now and laugh, but it was pretty jolting then. I think the first time I realized I was in deep was the first time I went to visit him and his family in New York City. We'd been dating long distance for a couple of months, we decided it was time I came down to see him instead of only him making the trips. Imagine, if you can, me: a petite, white, country girl coming to a big city I was not very comfortable in to meet them: loud, dark, island strangers from a far away land (so it seemed). It was like I stepped into an entirely different country, let alone a different area. Very little English (read: NO English) was spoken in his mom's home. Although she made an effort for me, her husband spoke nada but Espanol!  Which was really fun for me, a student of french for years in high school and college. Come to think of it, I studied lots of languages: French, Italian, Hebrew, even dabbled in sign language. Why did it not once cross my mind to take a Spanish class? At least not until I visited hubby's fam... kicking myself for that.

 I had started teaching myself basic phrases with the help of my sister (a Spanish teacher now). I started to listen to every piece of Latin music I could get my hands on, just to decode a line of chorus or anything. I desperately wanted to be able to keep up with their rapid tongues and hold a little of my own in conversation. It took a lot of time and frustration, but 7 years later I can speak Spanish like a Kindergartner. As you can see, my very first obstacle was a language barrier, and that continues to confuse full understanding to this day. Even with my hubs, who is well educated in both languages, the meaning sometimes gets lost or misinterpreted.  I resolve to warn anyone who decides to join their life with a person of a very different background, Be Prepared! And please, if there's a different language or dialect involved in communicating with their family, TRY to learn it. As difficult and impossible as it may seem, the effort is worth it. To gain even just tiny grasps of connection with your new family, every painstaking measure and drop of energy poured into learning how to talk to them is 100% worth it.

We visited this waterfall (el Limon)
 on our honey moon ------->
It was magical. :)

A question for you all:
Have you ever traveled to another country or at least another part of this country and gone through a moment of not being able to understand or communicate? What did you do to get through it?

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