Friday, July 29, 2011

Dando Sangre

 (English translation follows)
Ayer cuando fui de compras con Hermanita, vi una señal que indicaba que el "BloodMobile" estaba en nuestro pueblo para los que querían donar sangre.  Estamos pensando de irnos a un viaje en unos meses, y quizás después de visitar algunos ciudades, no podría donar sangre por un año después, porque en esas ciudades que podemos visitar a mejor posibilidad de tener malaria.  

La semana pasada intente dar sangre afuera de nuestro Wal-Mart cuando el "BloodMobile" estaba ahí, pero mi hierro estaba de un nivel demasiado bajo.  Hoy regrese a casa después de las compras, para que mi esposo cuidara a Hermanita y su hermano mientras intentaba dar.  Antes de llegar al lugar, pase a buscar mi mama porque ella quiso también. Entonces nosotras dos fuimos juntas para intentar.

Éramos los últimos del día y nos aceptaron a las dos. Estábamos felices que podríamos! Luego nos dieron un T-shirt cada una, y boletos para ir a un partido de beisbol en la gran cuidad cerca de nosotras.  Que emoción!  Fue tan lindo saber que podría hacer algo chiquito para ayudar a otro, quien no conozco.  Me siento bien sabiendo de que si puedo viajar, ahora por lo menos he podido donar sangre.  

English Translation:

Yesterday as I went grocery shopping with Little Sister, I saw a sign telling that the “BloodMobile” was in our town for those who wanted to donate blood.  We are thinking about going on a trip in a few months, and maybe after visiting some of the cities, I might not be able to give blood for a year afterwards, because the cities that we could visit have a higher risk for malaria. 

Last week I tried to give blood outside our Wal-Mart when the “BloodMobile” was there, but my iron level was just too low.  Yesterday I went back home after shopping so my husband could take care of Little Sister and Big Brother while I tried to give blood.  Before getting to the site, I stopped by and picked up my momma because she also wanted to give blood.  So, we both went to try.

We were the last ones of the day and they accepted us both. We were so happy that we could do it! Later they gave each of us a t-shirt, and tickets to go to a baseball game in the big city near us. How exciting! It was so good to be able to do a little something to help someone else, that I don’t even know.  I also felt good knowing that if we do travel, now I have at least given blood.

Check out other Spanish Friday posts too!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Updates from Lango Kids Language Camp

We enjoyed ourselves, in the "big city", where we stayed with my aunt and uncle as Big Brother attended Lango Kids day camp recently to gain some motivation/excitement/stronger foundation in Spanish.  It was an interesting week for sure.  Big Brother learned lots in the mornings, and in the evenings we made time for fun outings that we do not normally get to do all during one week, like putt-putt, bowling, Monkey Joe's, and a picnic in the park!

I was thrilled to learn that Big Brother's teacher was a native of El Salvador, and Señora Paty, I could soon tell had a love for sharing Spanish with the little ones.  She had the room set up to reflect the Ocean theme and each day Big Brother would share a bit of the fun they had together with his class.

Big Brother especially enjoyed the music.  On the second day, the director of the program gave me a copy of the cd they were using, and we have been playing it at home to follow up on his learning time at camp.  The catchy tunes are just the kind I like, with familiar family/home words, but even more vocabulary interjected than I expected.

When Señora Paty shared with me how Big Brother was participating and attentive in class, I was thrilled when she informed that he had the best pronunciation from the class.  She could tell that he already had some familiarity with Spanish. I was so excited that something is sticking in that head of his! At this point I am realizing he indeed has more receptive language than expressive, so it is just a matter of time until he can show me more! I must stick with it if I want to see more results, I know!

So that's what I intend to do, even as the summer is winding down, and the craziness of back-to-school times are quickly approaching, I am vowing to myself and to you blog stick with even more exposure to Spanish for him AND Little Sister, and to have more expectations for him to respond to me in Spanish.

As always, I am open to suggestions in this journey.  Thanks for reading and suggesting! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let the Truth be Known...on Los Herederos del Monte

I mentioned in a previous post that my kids and I are watching a novela, Los Herederos del Monte, as part of our "language learning" this year.  As the soap opera is drawing to a close, I have been reflecting on some things, other than Spanish, that we can learn from their story. It all comes down to telling la verdad and not hiding it. That's a good lesson for our lives too, right?

It seems to me that during Los Herederos del Monte, most of the characters have been hiding something from their friends or familia.  Many times, by simply sharing the information they were trying to disguise, the character could have avoided much of the angst and agony they endured...but then we would not have had a novela to see, would we?!?

It does seem a good rule for life though, "telling the truth and making life easier".  I thought it would be fun to post about the characters and their truths (though oftentimes hidden at first) as a way to provide a summary for this intriguing "language learning tool" which has entertained so many these past few months.

(Warning....if you have not been keeping up with the storyline, details follow!)
Here goes...

Emilio: Although the father of the herederos was kidnapped and left for dead, he did not actually die.  He later had plastic surgery on purpose, to not appear as he once did, and with the help of his trusted Modesto, Emilio returned to his familia y pueblo as "Pablo".

Emilio also did not disclose until the end that he knew that Juan was his only biological son and that Paula was not his biological daughter.

It is difficult to keep up with how many amantes Emilio has had throughout his lifetime, but those were secrets too.

Juan: The eldest of the "adopted" sons refused to admit to the other characters at first and even to himself at times later that although at one time (in the beginning) he thought he loved Julieta, he later only stayed with her out of sense of obligation (because at one time she was carrying his child, which she later lost and then Julieta had a terminal medical condition). Juan really only loves Paula.

Julieta:  The eldest daughter of Rosa and Miguel hides her true medical condition and tries numerous methods to make Paula (the supposed biological daughter of Emilio) leave "La Arboleda" and Juan's sight.  (Remember the scorpions, the shot to make the horse throw Paula, and those chickens let loose in the bedroom?) Julieta has been very sneaky and conniving and there appears to be more coming at the end from her too.

Jose: One of the adopted sons of Emilio finds out early in the show about Paula maybe not being a real "del Monte" AND that Pablo is really Emilio.  Jose also later kidnaps Emilio, Adela, and Paula because he wants Emilio to change the paperwork to say Paula does not get any of the inheritance, to leave more for Jose himself!

Pedro: Another of the adopted sons of Emilio refused to admit for quite a while that he had a serious problem with alcohol.  It is admirable of this character however that he goes after what he wants whether it be Julieta or Berta!

Gaspar: Yet another of Emilio's adopted sons, who hides for a while that he was the one that left Emilio for dead after the accident (because Gaspar was angry with his father for not having been faithful to Gaspar's mother). Gaspar has an "attraction" for Adela, whom he later blatantly persues meanwhile he abuses his sweet wife Lupe.

Lucas:  The youngest adopted son of Emilio refuses to admit to himself that Nacho is a bad guy.  He also has trouble accepting that he has a biological family that desires a relationship with him, including Amador. 

Consuelo y Rosario:  Julieta's younger sisters, the daughters of Rosa and Miguel, do not want to admit that they were each raped by Nacho. Consuelo also does not want to admit to her husband Johnny that the baby she is now carrying could possibly be a result of the rape.

Sofia:  Paula's mother and an amante of Emilio, refuses to share with Paula in the beginning that there may be a possibility that she is not actually a "del Monte".  Sofia also hides her affair with Miguel for a while.

Lupe:  At first, Guadalupe hides her relationship with her then-boyfriend Gaspar from her father, Eluterio.  Next she hides details about her mom, (who abandoned her at an early age but later returns) from her father. Finally Lupe hides the abuse that she is receiving from her now-husband, Gaspar.'s hoping for resolution on the story with Lupe's mom Ines, who disappeared from the pueblo again after reuniting with Lupe.

Beatriz: In the beginning she hides that she suspects that her son Simon's actual father isJose del Monte and not her husband Efrain.  Later she refuses to admit to even herself that Jose is abusive.

Miguel:  This father of three daughters and husband of Rosa does not admit his affair with Sofia in the beginning. He also hides that he and Rosa later decide to hide medicine in their daughter Rosario's food, at the request of her boyfriend Lucas, who got the pills from the evil Nacho.

If they could just tell the truth.....

Of course there are more characters who were important to the novela and also hid things from the other personajes.  Who else would you add to the list? Which story is the most intriguing for you?

Who says language learning can just teach you a language? I say it can teach you life lessons in the process as well!

Here's hoping for a happy resolution in the Gran Finale on Telemundo at 9pm, this Friday night!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Great Expectations

This week Big Brother is going to attend a LangoKids Camp for more practice with Spanish, with kids of his same age.  He is not quite sure what to expect, nor am I, but I am hopeful.

Big Brother did not have the advantage that Little Sister has had of spending time with me from an early age and with access to Spanish programming on TV as well.  When Big Brother was little, I went back to school to get a master's degree to complete my teaching certification. My mom (YaYa) kept Big Brother while I was at work, and an aunt of mine kept him while I attended graduate courses in the evenings.  He was exposed to much more English than I realized he would be. 

Due to all this English exposure, from my **wonderful** fellow caregivers, he has become a very special little fellow with a great vocabulary.  He has at times however, when with a group of Spanish speakers, covered his ears and pleaded, "Not so loud, you're hurting my ears!"  or "You're making my head hurt!" 

Big Brother likes to know what is going on around him at all times, and being that he is curious, he cannot stand not understanding folks around him.  This has led to several frustrating times. 

He has finally become more open to Spanish, and I am running with it! We speak much more Spanish in our casa than before, watch some cartoons (especially through Discovery Kids) and even watch those novelas I mentioned in a previous post.  He is often exposed to friends and family members coming to visit and speaking only Spanish and has started to respond with greetings in Spanish.

I am hoping this week, even though it is only a half-day, day camp, that Big Brother has more excitement about Spanish than he had before he started, and that he begins to have more of a desire for it as well.  It will be so much easier for him to learn it now, than it was for me to do, after college. 

Here's hoping for a great week of language learning!