No hablo Espaniol? No Worries.

Maya ruins at Coba, Mexico
We’ve been almost a week in Mexico now. We are staying in a small hotel outside of Tulum, which is a couple hours down the coast from Cancun. The hotel is just outside of the small village of Macario Gomez and ten minutes out of Tulum. This area is not Mexican, actually, but Mayan. I am so happy that we chose to come to this rather isolated hotel. It is quiet, clean, and friendly. Jose seems to be the only one who works here and he is here day and night cleaning and taking care of things. We are getting a little better at trying to communicate with him. Last night he had some friends over to play cards and I was happy to see he also knew how to have fun!

I realized (finally) just two days ago that whether we speak Spanish or they speak English is not so important. It is whether we can communicate. There are many ways to communicate beyond words. The other evening I was in the dentist office waiting for my appointment. (Yes, I am taking the opportunity to have some affordable care—shame on the US systems.) Anyway, I was sitting there with a couple and their little boy. We all stayed in our own “space” which I recognize as the way around here. I happened to have some Bead People and the Spanish version of the little Wind book because I was planning to give the dentist and his assistant one. The boy (may 8 or 9) had music in his head. He was clapping his knees and snapping his fingers to a tune only he could hear. His parents were trying to quiet him—although he was not bothering me at all. I opened my little magic box and showed him The Bead People and indicated that he should pick one out. Quanto Cuesta? he asked. How much? His father spoke some English so I told him it was a gift. The parents got excited about my little peace people and we “talked”. It was so much fun and the little boy was smiling ear to ear as he picked out his new friend. You can imagine how surprised I was when the reserved space around us just disappeared instantly. When they left, the boy came and kissed my cheek. Then the mother came and kissed my cheek. Then the father came and kissed the back of my hand. I was so touched by their generous spirits. It was then that I realized I should not be afraid to try communicating—that there are many ways to connect without the correct words.

Since then I have been braver about trying to connect. I dislike feeling like just one more American who cares only about my own needs.

Yesterday was Milt’s birthday so we ventured outside of Tulum and went south along the coast. We saw an archeological site marking so we went in and saw the most amazing Mayan ruins. We were literally the only people there except for three men taking care of the place. We wandered and climbed and took pictures and totally enjoyed ourselves. I wish I could feel more of the spirit of the place. I think the ghosts have long since gone on

Later we picked up our laundry in Tulum and had a nice supper along the main drive. I let our waiter know that it was Milt’s Birthday (I had to sing Happy Birthday to you for him to understand.) After we had our meal he brought us two shots of Tequila and salt with limes. I had some instant flashbacks to early times of my life—crazy twenties in Juarez, etc.—but it was fun to throw back the tequila and bite into that lime. Muchos muy bien.

So, it is good to get thrown out of our comfort zones sometimes and be forced to risk getting to know people from other cultures. I’m having a great time and sleeping like a baby at night. I am not getting as much as a water fix as I had expected but the beaches are so crowded and I prefer our small villages, the ruins, and an occasional Cenote. I’ll have to post a cenote story later—think deep, crystalline, freshwater pools, fallen caves, stalactites (or are they stalagmites?) and images of underwater monsters. I do love my prescription goggles!

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No hablo Espaniol? No Worries. — 5 Comments

  1. Bead People have no ethnicity, do they. They are like Golden Retrievers…they just assume they will be loved wherever they go. I am enjoying your posts, Jamie.

    • Hi Leanne,
      We are back in the states. I loved your comment about Bead People being like Golden Retrievers. So true. Looking forward to being home soon and catching up.

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  2. Glad to hear you are having a good time. I as of yet do not have one of your bead persons. I have looked but have not found one that I feel suits me (whatever that is) but I will know it when I see it.

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