Baja Lessons…10 Days, 10 People, 10 Lessons…Lesson 1: Antonio
CANDACE STEVENS BOEHM
THE BAJA POST/STAFF WRITER
He asked me questions in broken English. I answered in English and broken Spanish. It wasn’t the most profound conversation, but he was trying. That is what I noticed. He was a 17-year old kid trying to get a middle aged woman up on a surfboard. Trying to engage. Trying to have a conversation. Trying to make sure I had the experience I wanted.
Later that night, Antonio and his friends from the surf shop joined my family for a barbeque. At one point he asked my son to use the washroom. My son somehow took this to mean he wanted to wash his clothes and asked me if we had a washer because Antonio wanted to do laundry! We all cracked up at what had been lost in translation. I’m not sure anyone else paid attention to what happened next, but I did.
Antonio returned to the party, not embarrassed about the struggle to communicate. He pulled himself right up to the table and tried again. He was talking to me and talking with my two teenage sons. I watched 4 teenagers, 2 from America who spoke very little Spanish and 2 from Mexico who spoke a little English, carry on a conversation for quite some time. I don’t know what they were saying, but they were figuring it out. They were trying.
I think that’s what I learned that night. Try. Find a way. Communicate. Put yourself out there. Meet new people. Meet different types of people. Laugh when it doesn’t work out. But don’t stop. Keep trying.
So it was from Antonio that I decided I would try. I would spend the next 10 days meeting new people and learning more lessons about life and myself. I would not worry about barriers and differences, but I would do just what he did. I would try.