I started ExchangeALanguage.com for one reason – to bring people of different cultures together. (most people think I’m a language fanatic. I’m not.) The idea of 2 people coming together and teaching each other language and culture and discovering that we have more similarities than differences is what drives me to work on this community. The best part is when I get to experience this myself.
I got to meet my neighbor last week. His name is Cesar and he is from Ecuador. Although being new in my neighborhood, not many people have introduced themselves to me so I’ve taken the initiative to introduce myself when I see someone outside.
I met Cesar while raking. He seemed shy when I first said hello. I could tell he was a native Spanish speaker so I began speaking in Spanish. His eyes light up and he went into detail about his family, gave me a tour of his home and told him how I’d be invited to all the “fiestas” they are going to have. He was such a sweet man. I gave him a tour of my house too. Come to find out he moved in only a month before me. He was excited to have me as a new friend and to help him with his English. He also said his wife Alina would like to meet me and practice her English. Before we departed he showed me his orange tree he had planted in the back yard(good luck!).
After speaking to another neighbor about Cesar, she simply said, “I don’t remember his name. He didn’t really speak English.” I think about of our experiences with our new neighbor and think how different it would be if I didn’t speak his language.