Today, I was fighting my daily battle with the snooze button when all of a sudden I felt my bed shake. Now, this wouldn’t be the first time someone came in my room uninvited. So, I was at first ready to tell someone to get out of my room and leave me alone. However, when I opened my eyes, no one was there and my bed was not the only piece of furniture with a tremor. The whole room was shaking. It soon dawned on me that I was experiencing an earthquake. My tired body probably should have moved into a doorway, but I instead laid there observing my surroundings. It was very short, so after a few minutes of contemplating whether or not it was a dream I got out of bed and started my morning. At breakfast I confirmed that it was not my imagination.
As difficult and stressful as this language course has been, it is also hard to see it go. During our last lesson in the morning I was not feeling very good. It is always hard to focus when I am physically miserable in some way. So I did ok at best during the review, though I managed to limp my way through the new lesson about weather. Ixkaj mentioned in class that she wasn’t feeling so good today, so I sat by her and talked about that during the break. Misery loves company, right? I hope to maintain contact with her after the conclusion of class. I couldn’t eat hardly at all during lunch. Ixkamey asked if she could have my food that I wasn’t going to eat, and I of course said yes. I looked over 30 seconds later and saw that all the meatloaf was gone and she was digging into a potato. I assume she packaged the meatloaf somewhere, but she looked at me with big eyes and said, “I have 2 mouths!” You had to be there, but I assure you it was hilarious.
For the afternoon, we played a role reversal; we taught them English. This was fantastic, because it shows what they are doing to us. We were completely lost and terrified about being asked things that to them are the most basic questions in the world. Today, we got to witness the same fear and apprehension in their eyes, though some of them already knew an ok amount of English. We taught greetings, names, and a few body-parts. Our format was almost identical to theirs, where we would do something amongst ourselves, then start including students, and finally require students to do it all. So great. Slow, deliberate, almost painful, but hilarious. We also gave them all American names. The best one was for the guy, who we named Tucker. I lost it every time we called on him. I felt kind of bad for Ixkaj, because she was the only one who hadn’t had much previous exposure to English. I wanted to see Lajuj B’atz’ (the guy) struggle, because he could handle it well and he was never ashamed to make us do uncomfortable things during the class. Nonetheless, it was interesting to be on the other side of the confused, terrified look that masked my face for the last 2 weeks.
At the very end, we were all presented with our diplomas by a teacher. Since I worked with Ixkaj more than anyone else, she gave me my diploma. This moment and those that followed were bittersweet. In one sense, I was very ready to be done. The last 3 days were rough due to my illnesses. But, it was really a great group of people and I will miss them a lot. I will probably never see most of them ever again. Daniel was almost teary-eyed because everything was hitting him so hard. We all exchanged emails and phone numbers, which is great, but we know how that tends to go. Below are some of the highlight pictures of the day:
My whole class, left to right: Back: Me, David, Lajuj B'atz', Daniel, Samantha, Carolyn. Front: Ixkamey, Louisa, Ixim, Ixkaj, Ixtoj
Receiving the diploma!