Our contractor, Diego, came this week. He has taken over designing our vision for our business. He’s so excited about it, it’s wonderful to see. Late yesterday, Diego called me out of the blue.
‘I was just thinking, Kelli. Do you mind if I stop by?’
He and Miguel pulled up fifteen minutes later. They marched around and showed me sketches.
‘And here, we can group small cabins. To facilitate community amongst the pilgrims. A place for them to gather and not just stay in their tents or cabins. On the Camino, people like to meet others. Make friends.’
The man gets it. He would have seen me smiling if we weren’t masked up. ‘Yes!! You have read our minds.’ I told him.
Miguel is the technical one. He sizes everything up and green lights my musings. Or just shakes his head. 🙄 But, this time, he too was enthusiastic. Taking measurements and photos. Then, this usually quiet man talked animatedly in rapid español. Diego translated for a bit before I told him I understood what Miguel was saying. Then I started my own translation. ‘You’ll tell me if I got it wrong.’ My construction Spanish is coming along. I pretty much nailed it.
Diego laughed. ‘You are studying, Kelli.’
‘Every day.’ I told him. ‘I have to run a business here. And it’s coming up fast.’
‘It’s good. But I will miss it when you only speak Spanish to me. My english has gotten much better since you arrived.’
I went inside after they left and showed Jeff. ‘This is perfect. They’re permanently on the Christmas cookie list.’
I had put his cookies in the back of Diego’s car. He messaged me when they got back to the office. The cookies were a big hit. They asked for the secret family recipes. Now I have to try to recreate them – not just by feel.
We delivered our other cookies packages today, all around town. Including to the ayuntamiento of Palas de Rei. And we were gifted with things from our new friends. Including, of all things, tractor wine. Hmmm. I wonder if it has earthy notes. Here’s hoping the finish doesn’t plow down the throat 😉.
Moving to another country, especially to a rural area where you have no other countrymen, can be isolating. Language matters. You have to put yourself out there and be able to communicate. When we can finally remove our masks it will make things easier. Communication will take on more dimensions than just words. But our tractor guy made it easier today. He took off his mask when Jeff handed over the cookies. And he gave us a big, weathered smile in a sea of wrinkles. Priceless. That’s all we needed. Luckily, some things just transcend words.