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Spanish to our ears! April 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — AshleyNDavis @ 3:55 pm
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So in our efforts to learn as much Spanish as we can before leaving for CR, Andrew and I have become engulfed in Univision…

Now I’m no linguistics expert, but I think foreign languages can be overwhelming if you don’t acclimate yourself to consistently hearing something other than English. You’ll never know what you don’t understand and what you do understand until you expose yourself to it. If you hear an entire sentence and can pick out the few words you understood, you’re making progress in my book!

We began watching what I call the Spanish channel (though apparently our cable package has muchos Spanish channels) at random and as you can imagine, came across some wildly entertaining soap operas. You can be easily amused whether you understand a lick of the language or not with the unbelievably dramatic and sensational theatrics taking place. Nevertheless, not so much meant for me…

But then we stumbled across what appears to be a Spanish version of America’s Next Top Model or some sort of beauty contest but with competition. I’m not sure how many started in this thing but they’re down to about a dozen remaining. The first episode we watched was a goodie! The girls had to go through a small obstacle course set up like a battle field and report along the way. Some of them were really good! Others, not so much. Andrew and I started watching together but he then decided to read instead. Meanwhile, I am engrossed in the competition… cheering, booing at the judges scores, coaching them from the couch… At one point Andrew turned to me and said “how can you be so into this? You have no idea what they are saying!” That’s hardly true, I’m learning!

Apparently the Spanish America’s Next Top Model show (we still don’t know the real name, so this remains to be our nickname for it) is not Andrew’s cup of tea.

But we have found a show we both are good with, and quite educational/informative too! The nightly news!! News anchors speak such clear and crisp words, albeit fast at times. And the neat part is some of the stories we are already familiar with. Last night they covered the prostitution scandal of Colombia for example. As a sidenote, it’s somewhat funny to me to hear a slew of Spanish and all of a sudden hear a perfectly pronounced proper noun like Wal-Mart thrown in there.

It’s always a good sign to me when one of us understands something completely and rewinds to explain to the other, even better if we both understand! Last night they closed with a one minute bit about a boy who wrote a message on a soccer ball at the time of the tsunamis last year in Asia and the ball made it all the way to the shores of Alaska. At the end of the whole Spanish part, we both just turned to each other and said “oh, that’s really cool!” without even needing to translate piece by piece what was said.


…and a permanent place on the DVR for the nightly news, in espaƱol of course!


How the news was spread… April 7, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — AshleyNDavis @ 4:48 pm
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So as I told a good friend throughout this whole process of telling people about moving to Costa Rica, next time I choose to move to a foreign country I will go about it differently… like perhaps with a legitimate plan. But really, where’s the how-to guide on sharing that information with the world?

As it turns out, there are many great laughs on the whole situation looking back. The very first people to hear about us potentially moving to Costa Rica were our adult small groups. They are truly the people who prayed us through this process. A friend in my small group recently told me that they watched us receive this calling from God, watched us struggle with the calling, then watched us accept this calling and begin to carry it out… and what an amazing ride it’s been!

We struggled with telling a few people in our lives for a variety of reasons- how sad they’d be to see us leave for a year or perhaps how disappointed they’d be to see us leave great jobs… Whatever the case may be, there was anxiety involved.

In an interesting twist of fate, Les Miles (head coach of the LSU football team) was staying at the PV Lodge and began talking to Andrew one day. In that conversation Andrew boldly took the opportunity to tell him about FSM and our plans to move there for a year. Les was on board! The funniest part about that story was the LSU coach knew about our plans before Andrew’s dad did, and he’s the biggest Alabama fan I have ever come across. It’s all fun and games until you start sharing secrets with your rivals! :)

I went to a missions conference in February to one of my favorite churches, Chapin UMC. This was of course prior to some very important people in our lives finding out. Before I knew it, I was being introduced to the congregation and our plans to move to Costa Rica quickly followed. We just added a few hundred strangers to the list of people that already knew in no time at all.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to pray for Pastor Maiko and FSM as part of our ‘Dear Church’ series. After I finished praying and went back to my seat, Pastor Jerry announced to our home congregation that Andrew and I were moving. By this time, it was already announced on Facebook meaning most of everyone I knew had already found out… except perhaps one person who has no idea what Facebook even is…

The last major person to find out is my 90 year old grandma from the Ukraine. I visit her every week and we normally go to lunch so she can get out of the house. She’s easily one of my favorite people on this earth and I was terrified to tell her that our weekly meetings were going to come to an end for a year or so while I was away for fear that she’d be so sad to see me go. So over lunch yesterday, she asked when I was going to Puerto Rico next (as she consistently confuses the two countries). As I tell her the plans, I explain that some people will never get the chance to live in another country or perhaps never take the chance. She’s lived in the Ukraine, Germany, and the United States. She proceeds to tell me that out of the three, this one is her favorite and adds “make sure you come back to this one!”

And that’s the way it was!