Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Honeymoon is over. I have sun poisoning and the age spots are appearing at an alarming rate. La Mama de Hans (poor, unsuspecting house guest) has been puking all night. I didn’t do my homework and I am behind on ReWA work. My blog is neglected.

Challenges of working here – Monday for instance, it was a national holiday, but I had business meetings on the phone. There have been constant brass bands and fireworks going on in the street and I have to sit in my chair and speak with my work colleagues in the US over a somewhat crackly Skype line.

Historic events are happening; I haven’t written about them for the blog. What a wonderful opportunity to be in Cuba for the 50th Anniversary of the Revolution and the 30th Anniversary of the Revolution here. I watched them both on TV.

This is just like being at home, except that things get so much more complicated and messed up due to my lack of understanding, both the language and the culture. There are two decipherings going on whenever I speak. The listener is trying to bring some meaning into my very short and garbled utterances, and they necessarily use their own experience to inform their guessing. But I am using my experience to telegraph my meaning. It is like the game of telephone. I know this is the basics of cross cultural communication, but now I really know who it feels like.

Rodolfo dropped the tables off when I wasn’t here. They were unpainted. Jose showed up a couple days later to paint them. He splashed and dripped paint all over the floor despite no less than 8 requests not to. Jonathan in frustration told him to just stop. Sylvia suggested he take the tables to another place to paint them. Which he did. He said he would be back in the afternoon. He wasn’t. But when we got back from the Masaya night tour at 7:15, Jose was sitting with our tables on our front step waiting for us. I felt awful. He said it wasn’t a problem, he was just relaxing.

The tables are sort of like the ones in the Central Park.

1 comment:

  1. I love the blue tables. They look sturdy and cheerful, warmer than basic blue in your photos. It sounds as if Sylvia's observations/suggestions are welcomed as you're mastering cross culture communication!

    Will your write of the Revolution? I'd like to hear about the 30th Anniversary you saw.

    T, it is hotter in Seattle than ever before. You must have heard, 103 degrees yesterday. So hot that many people are not sleeping. Seems people are more dopey than crabby. Runners can be found jogging at 4:30 am and midnight! Who told me yesterday that Secret Beach was filled w/swimmers, naked of course, past midnight? So hot, that my computer quit at 3pm yesterday up here in my office at 99 degrees. It's 89 degrees up here now, so expect I have only a short time left before it shuts down again.

    Being w/the Cooley clan was as chaotic, odd and pleasant as I expected. The whole of us is made of city and country folk, Democrats, Republicans and care nots,babies to 98 year-olds, well-off and poor, so many readers, sturdy people due to athletics, hard work and child-raising--although a back-sliding drug addict cousin caused sadness and confusion-- varieties of Christians--some notably devout and studied, some simply spiritual or not, and the Stroums. A gathering of mostly good people who get along spendidly when weddings and deaths bring us all together-- so much laughing. We return early September for another celebration, a late wedding celebration for a sweet couple of young, artsy liberals who had two babies before tying the knot.

    T, I miss you very much. I miss you in your house. We all do! But look, a month has already passed and 11 more will go by just as quickly, yes?

    I ran w/Lisa two days ago and several times independently, during the family reuntion,too. There, I ran along along a road w/homes overlooking the Wilamette River onto a country highway with nothing but farmland as far as my eyes could see and nothing but hay for the nose.

    Relax mi amiga, enjoy Nicaragua. Can you give up ReWA for just a little while? They will survive w/o you, barely, perhaps, but imagine a life w/o biz phone calls to the the U.S.!

    lots of love,