Many people have no idea how I have struggled to live in my Paradise here in Colombia. I believe that I am meant to be here, but it has not been easy. I came with someone I totally trusted and had known for quite a long time before I made my decision to move to another country. He turned out to be an awful person. I wrote an essay about my conflicts and was given great feedback on it by a prestigious magazine. They encouraged me to submit the essay elsewhere as it was not right for their magazine, but I am using it as an outline for my book. I have started writing chapters and I am also continuing on with my blog, and how my past has intertwined with my present life. My last guest brought front and center what happened to me and why I am behind in actually speaking Spanish.
This latest guest here at Villa Migelita Ecolodge is a really wonderful person, so wise and a really commendable Spanish speaker. She wanted to get better at conversational Spanish and to talk with locals while enjoying the nature and beauty of Colombia. A world traveler, she has been all over the world to places I have never heard of. What a pleasure to have her at my Villa for two weeks. She made me realize my Spanish needs drastic improvement. One of the reasons my Spanish is not so great is because my immersion was not what it should have been for many years due to the person I moved here with. He became different when he returned to Colombia, and I found myself quite isolated much of the time. It was interesting because my guest noticed I understood quite well and had a good vocabulary, but I have trouble with tenses and putting sentences together correctly. I have never had real formal study and she has done formal study and has many Spanish-speaking friends in the United States. Fortunately for her I am never the teacher in my Spanish lesson classes. We do speak Spanish all day because my contratista only speaks Spanish, and so do all of the people who are my friends. I have just learned through computer programs and speaking with those I am surrounded by now. I have improved drastically since that person who I came here with is gone. I am independent and do everything with Jazmine, who works with me now. We only speak Spanish. However, after Susan came I knew I need more, and I set out to accomplish just that when she left. She also inspired me in another way. She had a knee replacement 6 months ago and is still in a lot of pain. Even with the pain she exercised and did so much even though it was hard for her. She walked to the top of Nirvana the natural reserve with me and it is not an easy climb.
Many of you know I am getting hip surgery soon. I have not wanted to think about the surgery or the therapy needed because I am an avid exerciser. She is too. I have many guests come to visit, and I make friends with all but I feel she was a miracle sent to me to help me deal with this surgery that is upcoming, and to inspire me to get better at my actual Spanish-speaking. As many of you know, when I make up my mind to do something I get right to work at doing what I feel is necessary. I mean if Susan can ride on a motorcycle when she just had knee replacement then I can get my mind made up to conquer the dread I have been feeling about the hip surgery.
The day after she left the perfect opportunity presented itself to me. My dear friend and partner of my hair stylist was at the salon I go to here in Colombia. He can speak some English and wants to learn to speak correctly, I can speak some Spanish and want to learn correctly. We made a deal. He will be coming twice a week and we will be working together to help each other. He will speak conversational English to me and I will correct him, and I will speak conversational Spanish to him and he will also do the same. It is a win/win situation. I am starting this afternoon. I can’t wait. As for Jazmine, she is also no longer going to let me say things wrong, she is also correcting me and she will be joining us for our two times a week to learn English.
I know everyone who follows my blog understands that I do believe the Universe provides us with what we need. This is another example of this. I was worried about my surgery and now I have a date, I have all the information I need and I am also telling my bi-lingual friends to speak Spanish with me and to correct me. It is not an easy process. However, I will be bedridden after my surgery and will have much time on my hands. I will use it to continue writing my book and elaborate on the struggles I have had here, learning Spanish, having to learn to navigate my life in a new country while not speaking Spanish correctly, but overcoming everything to live the best life I can live.
I have to mention that the surgery would have been incredibly expensive in the United States and I still believe the Universe directed me to live in Colombia, although it has not been an easy process. This doctor being only one of three in Colombia who actually performs the surgery I am having. That in and of itself makes me realize I am exactly where I should be living. Now to get on with my life, a life that is incredibly peaceful, even with the difficulties I have had. Opportunities present themselves to us and we need to use these opportunities to make our lives better if we can.
Susan came and visited and her influence on much in my mind was wonderful. I didn’t realize it, but I needed someone to just talk with. I will probably never see her again but I know we will remain in touch. I feel really blessed to have the good fortune to have people like her visit, and to have done what I have here in Colombia. It is not always perfect, but I doubt it would be perfect if I had stayed in the USA. Life is interesting here, I am determined to conquer my last phase of Spanish speaking, as I can read it pretty well, understand others, and have a good vocabulary. Now I just need to put it all together. I will, just like I will write the book I hope will explain much about why I live in Colombia.
When I start my journey with my hip surgery I will keep everyone updated with regular blogs on my recovery. I am sure it will be interesting because I have never had a surgery that has required me to stay in the hospital overnight. So look for my next blogs to be kind of a journal of my time in the hospital and the road to recovery.
9 thoughts on “Struggling Still”
Live life as it comes. You will notice it is a life time journey, and will see how wonderful life is in itself.
I came to live in USA, no friends, no family only with what I made it out to be. Few friends I can believe in, but love what I have become. Independent, and resourceful. Like you, I love Nature. Love plants, birds, and blessed to have the neighbors I have.
Of course. I came to live to USA marrying a wonderful man from a small town of Iowa. 48 years ago I Marry Him, and still do not look back what I left for I found my self looking ahead, and not a look through the view mirror.
You will succeed because you want it to be so.
Good luck in all your endeavors !!
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Thanks Olga, I love my journey here in Colombia. Life is certainly never boring. I will just keep moving forward and now make it a priority to speak Spanish better. xo
I often wondered what ever happen to that young man. Be glad he’s gone if he was a pain in the A//. Who needs it. You just take care of you. Stop looking backwards. Yesterday is history, today a gift and tomorrow is a mystery. Keep marching forward.
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I am Granny, I am finding myself more independent every single day. Now I need to get through my next hurdle of surgery. I will do it though. xo
Ah, grammar. Most people in the USA do not speak grammayically correct English. So when it comes to learning another language it makes the difficulties more complex. In some eastern philosophies, it is a given that all will experience pain sometimes, but suffering is optional. The same goes for struggling; we all have challenges. The struggle is an option. As for your upcoming surgery, I urge you to repeatedly visualize the outcome and recovery in the best light possible. Peace
Hi Dean, funny you should say that about visualization because I am doing that when I do my Yoga. I sure know about challenges and speaking Spanish is definitely one, however with my friend coming over 3 days a week now, I can already see a change in my pronunciation and sentence structure. Michele
I identify with you in your quest to speak Spanish as I studied it in college a long time ago but am trying to currently improve my somewhat rusty proficiency as I as plan on retiring in Latin America. One book that I would recommend is sold on Amazon and is nicknamed “El Rojito.” Here is a link: Spanish Grammar for Independent Learners https://www.amazon.com/dp/1888762144/ref=cm_sw_r_tai_LR4BBb6M6538K
Thank you so much, will order it for sure