Monday, 28 February 2011

Sometimes I wonder how the hell I got to be part of a Mormon Latino family. Moments like these happen when I am struggling to understand what they are saying.

It's liitle use to have conversations with me in Spanish as I may as well be partially deaf. I try to tune to my ear to conversations around me but try as I might I cannot hear much of what my adopted family say to me. The mere fragments of communication I can establish is pretty much built up of nods and gestures, and the reading of lips for those few words that I have been able to pick up on in my two years here. Words that by themselves may something but when put together mean very little because they very rarely come up in conversation all at once.  In fact in my experience, they don't.


  vamos.... chancho.... loco....  flaco.... hombre.... pechuga.... gracias.... gustas... carne.... malo.... tengo..... mucha.... y.... fresca.... gringo.... perdon.... sol.... pollo... grande.... amigo.... te vas.....casa  are all words that only come into fragments of conversations if at all.

I would like to understand more deeply what my newly extended family have to say  in the vague hope that it might lead to a better connection. When we have the family over for events like Thanksgiving or whatever I follow their gestures and their shouts and look into their eyes in the hope that finally by some miracle of the universe that something will just click and I will be able to pick up the conversation. Yet, though I think I have caught glimpses of their joy, despair or disadain, it seems in the end they must dance to a tune for themselves. I can never enter deeply enough into their experiences, can never penetrate behind the private mysteries of their eyes.

Sometimes I think I am expecting too much. I always sucked at learning languages, its a leftover curse from my dyslexia.

So why then did I find myself agreeing to be the photographer for my father in law's wedding at the turn of the year?  Anyone with any sense would realise I was setting myself up for a fall. Not only can I cannot keep up with conversations in Spanish which this wedding was obviously going to be recited in but I'm really not that familiar with how Mormon weddings go. As a result I was left wondering if the the couple were sitting down for their vows...and then when the realisation struck that they were my panic as I found myself in the wrong place.

Probably just as well I didn't know I few more Spanish swear words.









Being left with the responisibility for this might have been fun  but it was a relief when it was all over and I could go home to mi casa.

2 comments:

Sausage Fingers said...

Nice pics, I know what it's like to be a Scot in a foreign in-law situation, my wife's peoples took a wee while to understand what the hell I was talking about. Turned out alright after a year or two.
good luck...

Scotsman said...

Hmm its already been a 2 years, I might need that luck.