All The Sounds

Hispanic families love the airport. I came out of the terminal and there were hundreds of people lined up on either side of the gate, waiting for their loved ones to get off the plane. I would have felt like a rock star … but none of them were there for me. So I just awkwardly smiled as I felt hundred of eyes looking at me. I instantly became aware of how white I was. I started searching the crowd for someone who would be holding a sign with my name on it. I found Antonio, who gave me a warm smile and started talking to me in Spanish. It only took him one sentence to realize I wasn’t fully understanding what he was saying. Also, I’m sure my face turned red, because it never fails to do that.  So then I got into this grown man’s car who could understand me. Praying to God for protection and saying sorry to my guardian angel, because I am constantly making him work. Anyway, off I was, heading to the place I would call home for the next month. We arrived at the home (I will have another blog later where I show you the home). It is kinda hard to describe…and I have never been great with words. So I will make a video and just show you 🙂  As I was saying, I got dropped off at the house, I rang the doorbell and a man answered the door and welcomed me in. Again, I was praying and apologizing. Oscar instantly calmed any of my fears as he was extremely welcoming. He started off speaking Spanish, but then started speaking English. His wife, Iris, and his mother live in the home. They are all very welcoming and pleasant! The place I am now calling home is very beautiful, it has rooftop access and two other floors. It is long and narrow. But the best part of the whole place is the balcony that looks out to the street. The balcony has four comfy chairs and a table, along with a lot of plants along the ridge. It is beautiful and constantly has the perfect breeze.

My ears haven’t been this happy in a long time. During the first day is was pouring rain and not very many people out. But the rain sounded so beautiful and it didn’t stop the birds from singing. There is a girl across the street who plays the piano beautifully and is constantly playing. Later that night I went back out to the balcony and just sat and listened. The rain stopped, everyone was out talking to one another, and there was a constant strand of Hispanic music coming from the tienda on the corner. Since this language is not my own their words stream together and sound like music instead of talking. Through the whole first day I found myself smiling and giggling to myself. Life is such a beautiful thing, and I’m so thankful for the one I have.

Monday morning, first day of school.  Oscar makes me breakfast, a sweet bread that has chicken inside…it was kinda like ravioli, but the outside is like a sweet crust and then it has shredded chicken and randomly two dried cranberries inside, haha. OH, AND THE COFFEE! BRILLIANT! Then I walked the 12 blocks to school, it takes me about 20 minutes. Yes, I do feel safe on my walk. Although, having said that, I am constantly aware of my surroundings. My class consists of me and one other student, Mark, an older man from California, and the teacher. Although, this can change because it is a week by week basis so someone new could join us next week. Immediately we start learning. Grammar for the first two hours, then a 30 minute break, which I used to explore part of the colonial region. Then it was back to class for conversation for another two hours. My brain hurt. So many new things…but with practice and repetition I will get there! After class another student and I (one from a more advanced class), toured around the city. If you look below you can see some photos!

I am so tired of talking, haha…there is so much more that I want to tell you, but it will just have to wait. My brain is done for the day.  Thank you for all the prayers! I will continue to keep you all in mine!

One challenge I want to leave you with…so there are only cold showers at the house…or maybe I just can’t figure out how to turn on the hot water, haha…but anyway – I challenge you all to take one cold shower this week. It doesn’t have to be freezing, but just enough to where it isn’t comfortable. Think about all the people in the world who have never and will never take a hot or even warm shower. Take some time and pray for them. Prayer and compassion are the way to a changed heart and a changed world.

Pax Christi!

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5 responses to “All The Sounds”

  1. Angela O'D Avatar
    Angela O’D

    Thank you for the beautiful blog post! I’m glad you’re documenting your adventures because you’ll definitely enjoy being able to read them later when everything that’s new now is comfortable and familiar. Praying for you! /\ <3

  2. Christy Avatar

    I am one very blessed mom, to be able to read such a joyful blog, filled with such appreciation of the special gifts from God! And making sacrifices, suffering ( cold showers) and selflessness such an admirable thing to do to make this world we live in a better place, one step closer to heaven! You are such an amazing inspiration to me Nicole! You live life, and you live it to the fullest! I love you! Mom

  3. Pat wynn brown Avatar
    Pat wynn brown

    It is wonderful reading your post, Nicole, and seeing you are safe and sound and housed with a nice family. Your balcony sounds dreamy and birds singing in the rain is nearly an MGM movie musical!!! You share a trait that Wynn and I have…blushing at the mere thought of being self conscious…think of it as an instant tan!!!! Ha! You will pick up your needed language skills so quickly being surrounded by the language as you are. We are happy for you for pursuing your dream. That takes much courage. And baby…you got it!!! Love, Aunt Patti

  4. Shanna Avatar

    Fantastic photos! And your words aren’t too shabby either! 🙂 Thank you for documenting the adventure, and you are in our prayers. Love!

  5. Mary Roberts Avatar
    Mary Roberts


    I am enjoying your blog and your pictures. You are an inspiration to so many people. May God continue to bless you and may you enjoy His journey.