amelia may's smileDid I tell you about my Oaxacan cooking class that is held for two hours in the afternoon in addition to my morning four hour class? Probably not, because I only made it through three classes before I made the decision to drop it. My other options in signing up for an afternoon session had been intensive conversational practice and/or an “intercambio” with a native Oaxacan who is interested in conversations in Spanish and English. Or maybe Spanglish. At the time we were signing up for these classes, I was afraid my Spanish wouldn’t be good enough for conversation and intercambio. After three cooking classes — where I did learn some new and useful words such as manteca (lard) — I realized I wasn’t really learning much Spanish that I didn’t already know. So I conquered my fear, dropped cooking and signed up for Conversation and an intercambio.

The night before my first session (on Wednesday), I suddenly panicked. What if I met this poor woman, who would be taking a bus for 20 minutes to talk to me, then froze and couldn’t say anything but Chimichanga? I resorted to the cheapest trick in the book. I loaded up my iPhone with cute pictures of terriers and my goddaughter, Amelia May. Little A, especially, was my thermonuclear device. Regular readers of this blog will remember her as The World’s Most Beautiful Baby. She has since grown into The World’s Most Beautiful Toddler. At two and a half years old, she never fails to elicit the “aaaaahhhhhh factor”.


Looking darling and already in her signature color on her First birthday.


Could you really resist this?


Or this?

My lovely intercambio partner, Carolina Escobar, certainly couldn’t. And as luck would have it, she’s in a baby talking mood. Her only daughter is due to give birth to her first grandchild at the end of July. Now had her daughter been due earlier, there might have been an instance of dueling baby pictures. An event like that could go either way: Cross Cultural Accord or International Incident. But, as I said, luck was with me. And until Carolina becomes a grandmother, we’re both in agreement that Pequeño A is The World’s Most Beautiful Baby.

In two days, I’ve already learned so much from Carolina and the conversation is coming much more easily — even when it veers from the subject of babies. Did you know for instance that the premier image for trailer trash — a woman in curlers and flipflops — is the same in Mexico? Don’t ask me how we got on that subject. But for the record, the Mexican word for flipflops is chancles. Probably good to know.

But back to babies. Carolina is already planning for early language immersion for her grandchild. She mentioned that she was having trouble finding good CDs of children’s songs.

Boy did she ask the right person! Spend more than three hours with Little A and you quickly master the full repertoire.

Conoces Los Wiggles?

[Sorry for the gap in blogging. The Wi-Fi server has been down and school has been intense.]