Meet the Relatives
I’ve been waiting for this moment for two months now: the day that I would play translator for my birth parents and my Chilean parents. And honestly, I couldn’t have envisioned a better night.
My mom and dad flew in to Santiago yesterday morning, so we thought today would be a better day to meet the family, that way they could rest up and recuperate from the long flight between the USA and Chile. Mamá had been seeing pictures and telling me how excited she was to finally meet my parents. And I was excited to introduce my parents to her, papá, and Carolina too!
After playing hooky from class, in order to spend more time with my parents, we headed to my host family’s house a little before 7:00 pm to show my parents the house and then depart for dinner. We walk in to see fresh flowers on all the tables and mamá is soon offering us drinks and Chilean cookies. I was so happy to see her so happy.
My parents came bearing gifts too: a state picture book of Kentucky to add to mamá’s collection and mini bottles to add to papá’s collection. Needless to say, they were both pleased and the picture book definitely helped to create more conversation between our families.
After 30 minutes of talking and sharing a few welcome stories, we headed out to a traditional Chilean restaurant for dinner. I played translator the entire night, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Every time I translate, I come to appreciate the beauty of language more and more. With both of my families looking at me to help communicate each phrase to each other, I realized how wonderful it was that I could to bring us together. It’s amazing to me that two families with two different languages can actually communicate and share their lives with one another.
This ability to communicate in two languages is something that I will cherish for my entire life. The feeling of unifying two families with two distinct stories is so hard to explain, yet so easy to feel in my heart.
The world is full of people with different cultures, lifestyles, and languages. Think about it. If we only know one language, we miss out on getting to know over half the people in the world.
In my mind, there is nothing more beautiful than communication. It’s so important to integrate with those who are different than us in order to grow. I am thankful today, and every day, that I can begin to experience a life, full of love and appreciation, for those who communicate in Spanish. The world truly is a beautiful place, and how wonderful is the feeling of having two families from two different sides of the world, now united.