Another way that we are ill-prepared for this trip is my complete lack of ability to remember how to string together more than a few basic words together in Spanish to make a simple sentence. I had one year of Spanish in college almost 40 years ago where I recall more about the recipe for paella than I do about the language. Last year, before our most recent camino, Melanie & I took a short class in beginners Spanish and I worked on improving it with a great, free on-line program called Duolingo. It worked pretty well and we rarely had trouble communicating but I have lost it all again. I’ve tried to brush up again using Duolingo and speaking with Spanish guests on the boat but everything comes out very slowly, mostly in Indonesian with a little French and less Spanish with a sprinkling of Portuguese thrown in for good measure. We’re in trouble.
Not to be morbid but every now and then I wonder what will do me in first: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, a floppy heart valve or maybe something less mundane such as being unable to comprehend when a Spaniard yells to me “¡Cuidado! Aquí viene el tren!”.
St. Ignatius, pray for us…. en inglés, por favor.