Once on our way, the only consistent conversations we’ve had in English have been with each other (and that’s primarily because we don’t want to mess up each other’s learning experience by speaking incorrectly to each other in Spanish). We are now what one would say ‘Immersed’ in the Spanish language. We live in a home with a wonderful Spanish speaking woman who is patient and helpful with our communications. Our orientation at school, introduction to our teachers (We each have our own private language tutors) and our lessons since, have been in Spanish. After three days, I have to say that it appears to be a very effective, if not frustrating at times, method for leaning a new language.
Now that we’re immersed, we’ve had a chance to reflect on this method of learning and living, and how we respond to it. Before leaving, we worked with a computer program that teaches Spanish by immersion. No explanations in English, simply photos and words spoken or written for us to match up or speak or write as appropriate. We found this method effective as well. However, spending an hour a day (at most) “immersed” can hardly be thought of as true immersion. Now that we’ve had a taste of the effectiveness of true immersion, I can’t help but wonder how we can ‘immerse’ ourselves in the things that are important to us. Even in the midst of our busy lives of family, work, church, friends and ‘self-care’, I wonder what we would come up with when we ask ourselves, “What are the things in which I should immerse myself regardless of my present activity?” We know, now that we’ve had a chance to think about it, not only are we immersed in the Spanish language, we are immersed in the love, support, and prayers of our friends and those alongside us in this ministry.
Richard and Debbie