I am not sure when I got entangled with you… Maybe it was all the telenovelas that I watched, growing up….Remember: No one but you, The rich also cry, La Usurpadora…. You closet-watcher could probably tell me which one showed before the other.
Maybe it was the moment that I first heard Il Divo (read Carlos Marin) singing Time of our lives (I later discovered it was the 2006 FIFA World Cup song, much later on. Yes, I am that anti-sport) while idly channel scanning the telly. For a moment in time, I was simply enthralled… These guys gave opera a new lease on life.
I have to mention that the women in my family are pretty multi-lingual. Apart from her native tongue, Kisii, my mum also speaks fluent Luo and teaches Swahili and English of course. My second born sister, Euginia speaks French while Rhoda studied German. So in my bid to be my own person, Spanish was the way to go.
As I was in between jobs, this was the perfect time for me to learn what exactly drives people crazy about salsa and flamenco. So that I could also finally understand Carlos Marin.
I enrolled at a multicultural language school, where I am made friends from all walks of life all driven by their employer or love for English, Swahili and of course Español. My learning experience was amazing.
My professora was wonderful and we became good friends. I enjoyed her classes and her patience with us. She always had a story or cultural tit-bit for every lesson. I could not believe that there are at least 12 different tenses in the Spanish language! Then I understood, why in the movies, kids always complained about the Spanish homework, totalmente! Did I mention that ‘r’ and “rr” are not similar in pronunciation….
I came to discover that English and Spanish are quite similar given that they both have Latin roots but Spanish has more depth ( for lack of a better word). For instance, my classmates and I found it quite amusing that “do not disturb me” translates to No me moleste. A word of caution: Be careful where you use the word coger especially if you have innocent intentions in Latin America.
I came to came to discover that Españoles and Latinos are passionate people from they way the speak, their choice of words, how they live their lives, how they treat others… the rich food they eat, to their music and dance. (I stand to be corrected)
Watching and reading Eat. Pray.Love was/is not easy for me. I envy Elizabeth Gilbert’s travels through Italy. I wish I had enough money saved up to take a one-year sabbatical, escape my somewhat routine life and just soak in a different exotic culture. You know, to experience il bel far niente, the beauty of doing nothing. It would be nice to marvel at something greater than myself. To know the history of a different people.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Motherland, our beautiful savannah and I have to mention the Maasai Morans but I love looking at old buildings and finding out what ran them down. I want to find out the back story and maybe even try get rid of my lack of rhythm by learning a couple of salsa moves…
But until, then I will keep on dreaming, keep on saving and keeping conjugating those verbos.