Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #11

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #11: Inspiración / Inspiration

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This photo belongs to Denisse over at @the_orphaned_earring … People like her, ordinary people who do extraordinary things, are so inspiring because they manage to do so much with so little. The impact she has on the lives of orphaned children in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico, may seem like a drop in the bucket, but it means the world to those kids. If you feel inspired to help her, you can send:

*Kids vitamins
*Kids toothbrushes
*Toothpaste
*Medication to remove lice, and
*Donations to buy local grains

To:

The Orphaned Earring
P.O. Box 1565
Hawthorne, CA 90251

You can also donate your orphaned earrings to be made into bracelets or buy handmade bracelets from her online shop. All proceeds go to the cause.

#HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #7

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #7: Tiempo / Time

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#HHM15FOTO challenge day 7, theme: #tiempo / time… The first thing that comes to mind, and the clearest indicator of time passing, is how fast our boys have grown up. I imagine this is one of those universal experiences shared across cultures and ironically, unchanged by time – that bittersweet feeling of seeing one’s children are growing up, or have grown up. The two baby boys who used to fill our days with equal measures of joy and chaos, are now very nearly young men, ready to go out into the world.

My mother and grandmother used to remind me to “enjoy them while they’re young, because they grow up quick.” It seemed like they must be joking on some days, but I remembered and tried to heed their advice as much as possible. Our oldest filled out his first college application yesterday. Gone are the days of first word, first smile, first steps; soon it will be first acceptance letter, first loan, first night away from home as he starts the next phase of his life.

#HispanicHeritageMonth

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #4

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #4: Hogar/Home

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#HHM15FOTO challenge day #4: Hogar/Home … The first time I went to El Salvador, I admired this wall hanging in Carlos’s childhood home. My suegra insisted I take it, so for many years it has hung near our front door. “Dios bendiga este hogar” means “God bless this home.” To be honest, I’m not really religious and at times the words seem a little ironic since life isn’t perfect, (like the fact that my suegra no longer speaks to me and moved out of our home on bad terms), but most days I just try to be thankful for the blessings we do have, even if it’s as basic to human survival as a roof over our heads and clean water to drink, because some in this world, in my own city even, don’t have even that.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Photo Challenge: Day #3

I’ll be participating in the “15 Days of Hispanic Heritage” photo challenge over on Instagram hosted by ¿Qué Means What? and The Nueva Latina. If you want to participate, just use the hashtag #HHM15Foto and take a photo for the given theme on each day! Here’s my photo and caption from Instagram for Day #3: Amigos/Friends

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Day #3 of the #HHM15FOTO challenge. Today’s theme: #amigos /friends … This one is bittersweet. My friends are flung across the world – the ones in Georgia and Tennessee feel just as far as the ones in Mexico and El Salvador. I rarely get to see any of them face-to-face. I’m shy, so you’d think I’d be OK with that, but there are times I wish I could just meet up for a cafecito, bring an amiga sopa de pollo when she’s sick, play with her kids when she’s exhausted, be able to exchange abrazos as needed, and invite everyone I love to our house for Nochebuena, but I can’t. Even so, I am blessed and lucky to have the friends I do because they’re all amazing. This photo is from when my friend Sue and her husband Toño visited DC from Mexico. We had a lot of fun and I was thrilled that Carlos and Toño also hit it off so well. They’re one of my very favorite couples, full of love and great conversation. Les extraño @unalunadoslunas

Conversations at Casa López – Part 7

Here we go – my family’s most recent “bilingual moments” and funny conversations. (Be sure to share your recent funny conversations in comments!)

17 year old son: I got to speak Spanish twice today. All the Latino customers keep choosing my line when they see me.

Tracy: Really?

17 year old son: Yeah but I don’t just start speaking Spanish to them cause I can’t assume, you know? So I start in English, then they like test me out with one or two words in Spanish to see if I know it, then we start talking in Spanish.

13 year old son: We got to choose names in Spanish class.

Tracy: But your name is already Spanish.

13 year old son: It wasn’t on the chart to pick from. I chose Rafael, like from Jane the Virgin.

Carlos: What’s the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?

17 year old son: Meteorites are like the “-ito” in Spanish. They’re little pieces of the meteor.

17 year old son: I’m not sure if jeans would be proper attire. What do you think?

Carlos: A tire?

17 year old son: Yeah.

Carlos: Like una llanta?

17 year old son: What does una llanta mean?

Carlos: A tire.

17 year old son: Ok, um, yeah, do you think jeans are proper attire?

Carlos: I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

Tracy: Attire, babe. Attire means clothing, ropa. Not tire like llanta.

Carlos: Clothing?

Tracy: Yes.

Carlos: Why didn’t he say clothing?

Carlos: The lady didn’t type in my email right. She said ‘v as in vase?’ and I said yes.

Tracy: Why did you say yes? There’s no ‘b’ in your email.

Carlos: V! V as in vase!

Tracy: B as in bass?

Carlos: What are you saying? Big b, or little v?

Tracy: We don’t need that in English but when you say them they sound the same.

Carlos: Are you making a vaca negra?

Tracy: If that means ‘Coke Float’, then yes.

Conversations at Casa López – Part 6

Here we go – my family’s most recent “bilingual moments” and funny conversations. (Be sure to share your recent funny conversations in comments!)

Tracy: Mejor el perro malo que conoces que el perro que no conoces.

– Tracy mixing up the dicho “Más vale lo malo conocido que lo bueno por conocer.”

Carlos: “Tracy, why are you talking so loud? You’re like a vieja tamalera. ”

– Carlos when I was apparently talking too loud early in the morning

13 year old son: How do you say ‘pig’ in Spanish?

Tracy: Cerdo.

13 year old son: … But I thought it was ‘cuche’?

(“Cuche” is Salvadoran slang for pig.)

Tracy: The boys both need new earbuds again.

Carlos: Again? Both of them?

Tracy: Yeah… Hey, is there a Salvadoran Spanish word for someone who always breaks or loses things?

Carlos: Yeah, irresponsables.

13 year old son: You’re always watching that.

Tracy:: [shrugs] I like it and they always play re-runs.

13 year old son: But you never finish it. Is “La Fea Más Bella” a series or a movie?

Carlos: It’s a soap opera.

13 year old son: What’s that?

Tracy: A telenovela.

13 year old son: Oh. Why didn’t you just say that?

Tracy: ¿Estas tortillas son hechas de harina o de trigo?

Carlos’s friend: Maíz.

[I was trying to ask if they were flour or corn tortillas but for some reason I stupidly asked if they were tortillas made from wheat or flour – which is the same thing. Basically, “Are these flour tortillas or flour tortillas?”]

Carlos: I got everything we need to make the Smurfs.

Tracy: S’mores.

Carlos: Oh, right. Smurfs are pitufos.

Gracias a los policías colombianos

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Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

A veces es difícil tener fe en la humanidad. Hay tantas cosas malas pasando en el mundo y tanta gente eligiendo hacer daño a sus hermanos en vez de ayudarles. Pero lo hermoso es que toma sólo un pequeño acto de amor y bondad por llenar mi corazón.

Hoy el acto que tocó mi corazón hasta el punto de llorar venía de estos valientes hombres – policías colombianos que arriesgaron sus vidas para salvar a un perro siendo arrastrado por las aguas de la inundación.

Son increíbles y sólo quiero agradecerles públicamente. No hay palabras suficientes para expresar lo que siento, pero policías colombianos, si ustedes están leyendo esto, yo les mando un fuerte abrazo de los Estados Unidos y les deseo un millón de bendiciones. Gracias por todo lo que hacen por proteger vidas – grandes y pequeñas.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Sometimes it’s difficult to have faith in humanity. There are so many bad things happening in the world and so many choosing to harm their brothers rather than help them. But the beautiful thing is that it takes only one small act of love and kindness to fill my heart.

Today the thing that touched my heart to the point of tears was these brave men – Colombian policemen who risked their lives to save a dog being swept away in flood waters.

They’re amazing and I just want to thank them publicly. There aren’t words to sufficiently express how I feel, but Colombian policemen, if you guys are reading this, I send you a big hug from the United States and I wish you all a million blessings. Thank you for all you do to protect lives – both big and small.