Gregory has a friend who is a bit older but is in the same class. The young boy’s father and Walter have connected – helping each other with the language differences. This is the same young gentleman who came to the school and translated for us, who showed Walter where to purchase the school uniform and soccer shoes, who has invited Gregory to a surprise birthday party for Gregory’s friend. We are so very grateful for all that he has done for us.
Walter invited him over today for coffee and a visit. We wish to be sensitive to the differences in culture here and asked what is typical for gift giving here. He explained the main gift is the one the parents provide and the party, with the gifts being given by the friends who arrive, more of a token rather than a something which is big. He explained the big part is having fun with his friends. We reiterated this is how it was back home for Gregory so we understand.
We also discussed electronics. He commented he prefers his children outside playing, exercising, rather than playing with electronics. We explained we have a similar philosophy and aim for balance – play time needs to be outside for at least 2 hours before having 1 hour of game time on the computer or Wii. We also encourage reading and there is time spent writing and sourcing phrases in Spanish to learn.
He shared a few of his dreams, his life here, his desires for his family. What I observed is while we come from different cultures, different countries, speak a different language – when it all boils down, we are very similar.
I look forward to learning the language more so I may converse with people such as this kind man – learning more about others dreams, their philosophies, their passions. I may find more similarities.