Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm Done.

Thats it. Just done...

The oven guy came today to "fix" the oven. Well no matter how many times I tell people that I don't speak spanish - they continue to speak to me in spanish. What else can they do? I don't think they understand how very little I speak.

I can say: 'Como estas?' I can answer with 'Muy Bien, Gracias'. I've learned that Mateo means Matthew. I kind of know how to greet people depending on the specific time of day. I know that it's either Buenos or Buenas. I know that morning is dias, afternoon is tardes, and evening is noches. I think the feminine buenas is for the afternoon and evening - but really, I'm not 100% sure.

I can say 'agua sin gas, pro favor' when I want to order water without carbonation at dinner. I know paulta is avocado and camarones are shrimp. I can say 'gracias' and even shake it up with a little 'muchas gracias'. Oh, and I've learned como - which means, please repeat.

Yep. That about sums it up. That is every single word that I know and understand.

I can pick out similar words like; perfecto (perfect), telephono (telephone)... but unless the sound resembles something I know already - forget it. I have no idea what you are saying. NONE!

I've also learned that there are many different words here. Their gracias sounds like gracia. Their buenos dias is more of a buen-di. Their words for things are different than the ones used by the Mexican people (thus used by Greg, as he learned spanish in Mexico). They also talk about 40 million miles an hour. Combine that with the dropping of the ends of the words and my lack of knowledge and you've got a recipe for disaster.

Case in point: The oven repair guy today. Right out of the gate, I tell him "No hablo espanol". *Which, by the way, I always start out by saying 'habla' which means YOU don't speak spanish instead of I don't speak and have to correct myself.* He continues to explain things to me and I smile and nod. Which is probably a mistake, because that indicates that I am following along - which I am not. The sweet man slowed down his speaking - still doesn't help. Slow or fast, I don't know the words.

So I call Greg on his cell phone. Who, by the way, I begged to be here when this guy came - but that's another story. Greg talks to him, then his cell phone drops the call. So then the guy talks to me again. *Insert more of me smiling and nodding* I call Greg back. They talk. The guy works for a little while and then calls me in to talk again. You get the idea. It was an hour of him talking to me. Me smiling and nodding, then calling Greg who talked to him and would drop the call with his crappy cell phone (in his defense, he's on his way to a mine north of here and the reception is bad).... over and over. Finally, the guy tells Greg the oven works fine. WHAT!!!!?????!!!!

This oven doesn't hold a temperature. How can that mean it's working fine. Apparently, that is just how it works. From what I can gather, you turn it on max and wait for it to reach the temperature you want. Once it reaches that temperature, you adjust the knob to that temperature. The oven will SHUT OFF until the temp drops and then turn back on to get back up to the set temp. Then repeats. Oh - and you have to make sure the timer is on. It won't work unless the timer is wound. WHAT?? Whatever.

Back to the story with the oven guy. So he puts everything back in the slot, all the while explaining to me that it is all working fine (I think that is what he was trying to tell me). Then he wants me to pay him. I am not prepared for this. I thought the property manager would be billed for this service. Apparently I owe him $10.000.00 which is about $20 USD. I don't have one single peso in this joint. Not one. Not a single coin, not a bill. I check the safe. Nope. Only US money in there. I call Greg back. He talks to the guy and says that he will bill the homeowners. The guy is still standing there and pulls out pesos and indicates that he needs money.

I call Greg back. The cell phone isn't working. I try again. And again. Finally I get through and Greg talks to him again. Eventually they agree that he will take $20 USD.

... I don't think I am cut out for this. We all have our limits and I hit mine about 3 weeks ago.

I refuse to utter the words "I want to go home". I won't speak them out loud, but they run through my mind almost every single day. Then I stop and give myself the whole pep talk, wipe my tears and forge ahead.

They say the first 2 months are the hardest. We've officially crossed over into month 2. Halfway through the hardest part. I can do it. At least I can fake like I can do it, until I finally can.

My new motto: Fake it 'till you make it, baby!


  1. your story sounds a bit familiar. well except for the oven. :( I feel for you And totally impressed. Not only did I utter the words "I want to go home" I packed up my 2 kids and flew home after a week of being in puerto rico. But please keep venting through this blog. And thanks for letting this crazy read it.

    1. You're sweet Keline! I look around at all these people who have lived all over the world and am in awe. I don't know how they are so calm about it. The highs/lows are hard. I KNOW that once I can speak the language I will love it here.

  2. You can do hard things! You can. Keep a going. I hope things get better. My husband always wants to move our family to south america. I'm too much of a wimp. sigh... Take care and be brave!

    1. Heather! You are my cheerleader! Thank you for that :) I know that I will not regret this time here. I do love these people. It's crazy really - seeing as I don't REALLY know them. But I have genuine love for them already. It will get better. I know that attitude is a big factor and I'm trying to keep it positive. *SMILE!*

  3. Tammy, I'm crying for you just reading this . . .and for ME because I miss you guys!! You can do this. Already month two?! Are you kidding me? You're practically in the home stretch. By the time it's time to come home, you'll want to stay because you're finally figuring it all out. Keep it up. You can do it!

    1. We miss you guys too! You're right. By the time we head home, This crazy will be just a memory :)

  4. I'm reading this and crying. Too close to home and too near the bone. Going home was not an option. You can do it. Stay positive.

    1. It truly helps knowing others have been in my shoes. Love you Jen!