Carmen is looking for a German husband…day 4

Post Columbian Artifact

Post Columbian Artifact...a self portrait

Went to the Mercado in San Jose today with Carmen.  She wants to find a German husband, or at least a German-American husband.  I’ve been given the task of finding one for her, which reminds me of Gus’s parents.  His father answered an ad put in the paper by her father.  Well, their marriage lasted over 50 years.  Gus and Carol answered some other call and look at how bad their marriage was.

Back to the Mercado. Carmen bought a huge bag of fish heads which she then told me were for juice, fresh juice.  I was horrified as I pictured her putting the whole mess in a blender and serving it up raw…mmmm, fish head juice.  Turns out that it’s a Panamanian expression for soup—still, I hope I have some other place to be on the day she makes that.

Tomorrow William’s son will come and get me to visit him and his wife and two children, ah, that would be William’s grandchildren.  I have no idea how I am managing to communicate with everyone. My Spanish really sucks.  William’s father keeps correcting the others so they don’t teach me bad Spanish.  David (14 years) took me to the post office today, then I got out the paints and we painted together.  I may not be able to say much, but the kids love me because of my art supplies.

We shook all the ripe guyabas out of the tree today to make something – jams, I think.  Patricia (aged 45+ and wearing a short dress and high heels) climbed a rickety old ladder leaning against a rickety old shed and pulled the fruit off the tree with a long pole, while her father pointed out the ripe ones.  I really love this family.

We gave William’s father several puzzles which he had requested.  He asked me to translate the back of the one he started because he thought it said it should take 20-30 minutes and they take him five days to do.  He was pretty worried.  Turns out there was a recipe for corn muffins on the back of the puzzle for some unknown reason.

 

Dear Charlie (email),

Am having a great, but exhausting time.  My Spanish is worse than even I thought it was.  Williams family is taking this business of teaching me Spanish very seriously and they make me pronounce every word 400 times.  This doesn´t seem to help me remember the word, by the way, so my journey to fluency may be long and arduous for all of us.  However, I have actually improved my ability to understand even if I can´t remember the words to say them myself.  My dictionary is attached to my hand.  I´m thinking of drilling a hole in it so I can wear it around my neck.

Dear Mary (email), 

 All of Williams brothers and sisters have already been over to visit, some of them several times, except one who has an eye infection which is being mysteriously (to me) blamed on Nicaraguans….

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