Nutella (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last week I talked a little bit about having a rendez-vous in a café with two Argentine girlfriends of mine and seeing them taste North American style fare for the first time. A week later, we were back at it again only this time in the house of one of them tasting a jar of Nutella that I had brought from Canada. All I can say is that one taste of Nutella, the girls lived as if they have never lived before.
But the joy we shared together went beyond just the taste of a hazelnut, cocoa, and skim milk spread. Genuine friendships were being forged and it is hard to believe that all of this came from one small moment that started in season 2. You may or may not be aware that last season, the school and I were having a struggle finding students for my english classes. At one point I had some ladies come in and learn from me for a few weeks.
One of them told me that her daughter loved learning english and perhaps wanted to take some classes with me. We exchange contact info and the girl wound up calling me to arrange a meeting. I mentioned to her that if she was truly serious about english, she would need a good dictionary and I could sell her one for 30 pesos. We ended up meeting at Starbucks where I met her for the very first time. We had a drink together, chatted in both languages for abit and I sold her my dictionary.
At that moment, she wasn't sure quite what she wanted for her career and her future. I encouraged her to keep learning english and one nite, me and another friend of hers (same friend who came with us to café crespin) went to a fun language exchange event called "The Spanglish Exchange" and had an absolute blast. Meeting her at that time felt like such a small ripple but little did I know that this small ripple would soon turn into a classic case of what we call "The Ripple Effect"
When I got back into the city March 2012, I wasted no time in forging connections which had been an important part of my world the last two seasons. Some of those connections still exists and are going strong. Other connections no longer exists as the person has changed or gone downhill and is not the person that I knew when I first met them. There are some connections that feel like they aren't present in my world the way they were last trip but I have a feeling that it's not over between me and them and they may be back in my life with another reason or purpose. Then there were those connections that I didn't think much of when I met them but turned out to be significant.
*** On this note, I wanna say that networking, social events, and time spent in peoples homes is gonna be a huge part of your success if you want to make it in BA. It is through those social events and little conversations that opens up huge doors for you and gets you where you want and need to be. The story I'm about to tell you is a classic case.
It was while out with the girls at Café Crespin that I discovered that my friend had finally settled on what she wanted to be. She is now pursuing a career as a translator. The moment that she told me her plans, there was no doubt my mind that this is the reason God has placed me back in the city at this time. When I went to visit her house, she showed me around and I saw the dictionary that I sold her. One look at it and you didn't need to convince me that she was in deed making good use of it on almost a daily basis.
As we got to know each other better this time around, it became clear that we had many things in common and one of those was our passion for languages. Finding a friend like her was like discovering the pearl of great price because most people in this country are not interested in speaking english or only know basic english. With her I can have a regular conversation and in addition to that, she loves american rock bands like Green Day and watches shows like "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a half men". Out of all the people i know, she is well immersed in the North American pop culture and that is a huge part of why she is able to understand english as well as she does. And not just text book english, she understands modern day english the way I talk with my native english friends.
Finding a friend in the middle of a foreign country who has the same passion as you is beyond priceless. Not only am I playing a strong role in this girls career and future but we literally light each other on fire not just faithwise but in our passion for languages as well. Her presence helped me alot too because finally getting back into the city and finding that some of those connections that I had hopes and dreams in were lost was a hard blow.
Neuroscience shows us that yes, it is hard when our brains lose a connection but at the same time, our brains are capable of forging new connections. And that became of upmost importance to me when I realized that some friendships that I had hopes for were now duds. I quickly began surrounding myself with strong, positive people. In life you cannot stop things from happening and people from changing. That part is out of your control. But you can choose to open your heart once again and form new connections. And in due time you'll be surrounded by laughter, great conversations and finding love in a jar of nutella :)
*** part of the bonding process of friendship was finding things that tickled our fancy. As passionate language learners, this video wound up with us laughing and having lively discussions