Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pas Parle Americano!

Language is a funny thing. No matter which country I find myself in each year, communication always remains a constant obstacle. Though I’m a very adaptable individual, there are some barriers that are always difficult to overcome. I’ve written about this topic before, but it’s one that continues to both intrigue and surprise me.

Last Saturday I found myself in a situation that exemplifies my life in Europe. Fresh off a hard fought overtime win, one of my Spanish friends called and suggested I gather some teammates for tapas and drinks. Let me preface this by saying Laura (the Spanish friend) does not play on my team and works at a clothing store I frequent. She speaks very little English, actually hardly any – yet we’re able to communicate somehow and grab a café once a week to practice each other’s respective languages.

Inviting 2 of my Spanish teammates, my Bosnian teammate (who speaks 6 languages) and her friend Giulia visiting from Italy (only speaks Italian), we met Laura downtown later that evening at a busy Galician tapas bar. After introductions, Laura ordered a variety of Galician specialties for us to sample. The food was amazing and surprisingly, so was the conversation. Throughout the night, 3 different languages were being spoken at the table – yet somehow, we were able to have an animated dialogue on a variety of topics. It was awesome. Of course there were moments of misunderstanding and over exaggeration of gestures, but despite the obstacles, 6 girls from 4 different countries had a great time getting to know each other better. At one point in the night I remember sitting back in my chair and just taking it all in. Wow. During a night filled with 3 different types of vocabulary, I was momentarily speechless. It was a perfect example of how despite differences, there is always a way for people to communicate with one another and get along. It's moments like this that make Europe so special to me. By the end of the night, I was spouting off phrases in Italian to Giulia while answering questions in Spanish that were posed to me in English! Call me Miss International…heeeyyyyyy!

Basketball/Life Update: For those that follow my blog regularly, I apologize for my 2-week absence. Even this post is somewhat lacking. Recently, I’ve been quite busy with school (finals week/group project/final assignments). Currently, I’m working towards my Marketing Management Associates Certificate in Public Relations from BCIT. I’ve been in the program for a little over a year now and only have 3 classes left before completion! I was able to attend courses while at home this summer (Public Speaking being one of them – which I LOVED!) and am lucky enough that 2 of my last 4 courses I can take online. If anyone is interested in viewing the blog I had to maintain for my Social Media Marketing class (which I’m currently wrapping up), the link can be found here. Aside from schoolwork, I’ve been helping a friend plan her visit (Daesha arrives Dec. 9th!), keeping up with our demanding practice schedule while also trying to maintain somewhat of a social life. Basketball wise, things are going well. As of late, my team has been on a recent tear. After starting the season 1-2, we’ve bounced back with a 5 game winning streak and are currently sitting in 4th place at 6-2. With 3 games left before Christmas break, the goal is to win 2 of 3. If will be difficult, as next week we face the 1st place team followed by 2 others sitting close to us in the standings. I normally don’t talk much about my statistics, but I’m currently leading the league in offensive rebounds per game and sit in 2nd in total rebounds overall. Because rebounding is my favorite part of the game, this is something I’m quite proud of.

If interested, click here and here to view recent articles written about my successes in Spain.

Hasta Luego!

-BW

Sidenote: I've compiled an album of the photos I've taken during my travels. It includes at least one photo from every country/major city I've visited outside of North American thus far. View it by clicking the labeled link on the right sidebar or by clicking here.

1 comment:

Katerina said...

Ms International! Heeeey :) So proud of you, Bre! Good luck with school and basketball:) Miss you!