24 June 2012

Midsummer Musings

 I am back in Sant Nicolau and feeling full of a wonderful lunch cooked by Helen and shared with her family and Pep.  We sat outside at a long wooden table in the shade of some trees, surrounded by birdsong.
Conversation flowed. That's not just because we were speaking English because actually we talked a lot in Castellano so that Angie who is from Honduras could join in. I thought about how many awful and awkward dinners I have sat through, not understanding, not feeling able to speak from a mixture of language deficiency and shyness.  I noticed how we all tried to make sure everyone was joining in and I wondered why this doesn't happen more often to me.
What can help you feel comfortable in a multi-language dinner table?
  • feeling you are liked
  • feeling you are welcome
  • feeling people are interested in you
  • smiling and being smiled at
  • having eye contact even when language is faltering
  • being listened to as well as listening....ie patience
  • an atmosphere of love and generosity
It is so easy to be comfortable when, like today,  these conditions are met. I am not shy when I am with people who like me and show it. But it is quite another thing to be able to speak confidently in another language with people who appear to have no interest in you. This is what separates the sheep from the goats. Those who are shy begin to suffer in silence and want to run away. Those who are more extrovert start to perform.  I'm sure it is possible to learn how to do this but....HOW?

Last night was the revetlla of Sant Joan. We had a barbeque here under the stars, listening to distant fireworks and music, eating lovely food by candlelight and feeling relaxed enough to admit that we were too tired to stay up all night or even until sunrise.

Here is a wonderful blog post by a Norwegian woman who lives in Barcelona. She explains all about the celebration and I think it is better to send you over there rather than attempt to say anything new myself!
Finally, here is another photo mix from my camera app. Not related to any of the above - sorry! Except perhaps, without words, it is saying something about me.

1 comment:

New Life in Spain said...

Thank you Kate for the link and kind words. Your San Juan sounds lovely. I really like your points on how to feel included, it's so true. And unfortunately not always how it is here. Maybe you were making Angie feel included because YOU were there, and you know how it is to be feeling left out?