Climate, Food, and English: Lucre Reflects on her first months in Seattle

By Lucrecia, NPH Nicragua

Translation by Kara (this time only!!)

 

Antes de llegar a Seattle, Seattle era una ciudad desconocida para mi. Tuve la oportunidad de investigar en internet!!! Pero no lo hice. Cual fue la razón?. Simple, no quería las referencias de nadie, sabía que viviría por 10 meses en Seattle y supuse que tendria tiempo suficiente para observer y aprender y tener mi propio concepto. Pues bien, estas son algunas de las observaciones a las que he llegado en mis dos meses de estancia en Seattle.

Before coming to Seattle, I didn’t know anything about it.  I had the opportunity to look it up on the internet, but I didn’t.  Why not?  Simple – I didn’t want others opinions.  I know I would live for 10 months in Seattle and I imagined that I would have lots of time to observe and learn for myself.  Here are some of the things I have observed since I got here.

Seattle es una ciudad de Washinton muy hermosa, tiene enormes edificios , muchas playas, muchos lugares para visitar. Los habitantes de Seattles son personas de todas partes( unos nacidos aqui, otros de otros estados del pais o de otros paises).Las personas suelen parecer muy serios, pero una ves que entablas una conversación con ellos la mayoría suele ser amables y serviciales.

Seattle is a city in Washington State.  It is very beautiful, with huge buildings, many beaches, and many places to visit.  The people who live in Seattle are from all over (some born her, other born in other states, and others in other countries).  The people appear to be very serious, but once you start a conversation with them most of them are kind and hospitable.

Mis puntos debiles en seattle son: el CLIMA, la COMIDA y el IDIOMA. Es lo que lo distinguen de mi pais.!!!

For me, the bad parts about Seattle are: the climate, the food, and the language.  This is what is different from my country!!!

El clima es muy fresco y muchos meses de lluvia ( demaciado fresco para mi gusto,siempre tengo frio) pero a la gente de aqui es lo que mas le facina de Seattle.

The climate is very cold and there are many months of rain (and it is cold rain, I am always cold).  But the people here seem to be fascinated by it.

En cuanto a la comida, es un cambio de 360 grados, no hay gallopinto, ni nacatamales, ni nada de lo que comemos en Nicaragua. Todo es Nuevo y muchas variedades de comidas.Pero es una ventaja porque puedo probar la comida de Seattle y seleccionar la que me gusta.

In regards to the food, it is a 360 degree change.  No gallopinto!  No nacatamales, nor anything else that we eat in Nicaragua.  Everything is new and there are many varieties of food.  But that is an advantage because I can try the food and choose what I like.

Y en cuanto al idima, quiciera hablar con mucha gente pero no puedo comunicarme en ingles con ellas. Asi que seguiré aprendiendo, de cultura, costumbres y sobre todo idioma. My host family (Bill y Katy) me dicen “poco a poco”, y si cada dia aprendo un poco mas.

And in regards to the language, I would like to speak with many people but I can’t communicate in English with them.  So, I will keep learning: about culture, customs, and mostly language.  My host family (Bill and Kathy) tell me “little by little”, and it is true – each day I learn a little more. 

En fin, aunque ha sido un poco difícil adaptarse al idioma,a las costumbres y al clima de Seattle que por sierto, nadie dijo que iba hacer fácil. Me gusta Seattle.

Finally, although it is have been a Little hard to adapt to the language, culture, and climate of Seattle (and certainly no one told me it would be easy), I do like Seattle!

 

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Intercambio Cultural – Cultural Exchange in Seattle

By: Samuel, NPH Mexico

Láizì Seattle de wènhòu, Saludos desde Seattle.  Una palabra dificil de pronunciar para mi, pero es una de las cosas que he aprendido desde que estoy en seattle, ya que todo el tiempo convivo con diferentes personas y diferentes culturas, desde el idioma hasta la comida, pero todos tenermos algo en comun, y es que estamos aprendiendo a hablar ingles.

Desde mi estadia aqui en seattle, no solo he aprendido a hablar mas ingles, sino que al mismo tiempo tienes la oportunidad de prender otros idiomas con tus amigos y companeros de clase, desde el Chino, hasta el frances, desde el Vietnamese hasta el arabe; oviamente solo a decir frases pequenas. Ellos tambien se prestan a aprender espanol con migo, desde palabras como, hola, adios; aunque ellos las primera frase que quieren aprender es “donde esta el bano?”

La comida tambien forma parte de Nuestros intercambios culturales. Nunca en mi vida habia probado un platillo tailandes, o el Falafel mediterraneo. Al mismo tiempo muchos de mis comapaneros ahora conocen mas la cocina Mexicana  gracias a mis recomencaciones. Tambien platicamos de nuestras formas de vestir, nuestra forma de gobienrno, nuestras celebraciones, hasta nuestras formas de saludar.

Gracias a esta oportunidad, ahora tengo amigos de muchas partes del mundo; desde asia hasta America del sur, y tambien he aprendido a convivir con otras culturas, y sobre todo empatizar  con ellas y respetarlas.

 

Translation…(also by Samuel!):

Láizì Seattle de wènhòu. Hello from Seattle. This is a Chinese word that is hard for me to pronounce, But also is one of the things that I have learned since I am in Seattle, and is because I can find a lot of people whit different cultures. From people who speak different languages, until the food, but we have also something in common that is Learn English.

Since when I have been here in Seattle, I not only learned English, at the same time, I have the opportunity to learns another languages whit my friends and classmates in the school; since Chinese until French, Since Vietnamese until Arabic, but obviously I learn some little words. They like to learn some words in Spanish with me too. Like Hello, or Good Bye; though the first phrase that they like to learn is “Were Is the Bathroom?

Food is part of our cultural exchanges, In my life, I had never tried a Thai dish, or the Mediterranean Falafel, But also some of my friends and classmates had never tried the Mexican food, Now they know more about Mexican traditional dishes thanks to me. Also we talk about our dress, our form of government in each of our countries, Our different celebrations, until our different ways to say hello.

Thanks to this opportunity to be here, I have a lot of friend from different countries; from Asia to South America, and at the same time, I had learned to share, empathize and respect them

 

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Our Host Families

By Florine St. Eloi, NPFS Haiti

 

I am Florine St Eloi, a leadership student from Haiti. I always had a dream to come to the United States. We were 6 students in NPH Haiti to apply for coming to Seattle in the Leadership program, and studying English at Seattle Central College. After Kara’s “exam” and “interview”, yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! I was qualified for 10 months in Seattle. Moreover, my dream came true.

 

This September 11, Lucre, Nelson, Magda, Luisa, Sam and I, we were welcomed by 15 persons, our host families and friends. How blessed we are! Each of us has a family. Lucre has the Collins’, Nelson with the Paulsens, Magda lives at the Goodwins’ place, Luisa stays with the Fittons, Sam is with Jan Siers and John Ittes, and I stay with my famous JoNa, the Fonsecas. It’s wonderful! I am writing about our “Host families” on the “birthday” of one of mine, John Fonseca. Isn’t that interesting…

Happy Birthday John Fonseca!!!

 

Honestly, I prefer “parents” than “host families”. They take care of us, they help us with homework, drive us to church, cook meals and make us laugh. We are so grateful for all of that. They always try to do the best for us. John and Mona always say, “Flo, feel free”. They are wonderful, I really love them.

 

We all love our host families, our parents. We can’t thank you enough for all your kindness and support. You treat us like a member of your family, we are so happy to stay with you and your family. We are very grateful to our host families for opening their home to us to experience the American culture, values and lifestyles.

 

We have many challenges: to become a Leader, to learn English, to be more independent, more confident, while focusing on our plans for the future. Future tense is so funny! That’s my favorite verb tense. Smiling…John always says, “Grammar is like Mathematics. If you know the rules, you’ll always get it right”!

 

I have heard: “If you have a good present, you will have a good future. We have to work hard in our present to have a good future. Our host families, our Mentors and Kara contribute now towards our good future. Thank you so much to all of you! Kara chose well for all of us in pairing the students and host families. However, if she were to choose differently, for example, if I were with the Paulsens, or Magda with the Fonsecas, we would still be happy because our host families want the best for us.

 

In the end, you, host families give to us, the students such an unforgettable experience that would become an invaluable treasure in our life. If you look in our eyes, you would see a light. If you see the light, you would understand our smiles. If you understood our smiles, you would touch our hearts and would know how very much we love and thank you every moment, and every day.

 

 

 

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MY FIRST DAYS IN SEATTLE

By Nelson Alvarez, NPH Honduras
There are four parts to my first days in Seattle.
First, when I arrived at the SEA- TAC (Seattle, Tacoma) airport, I met many people, including students from other NPH homes. We took many pictures at the airport. I was so happy, but very tired. Before going to the house, I met my host family Judy and Roger Paulsen whom I am learning a lot of English. When I arrived at my house, my family had prepared my beautiful room.
Second, I found many surprising things in Seattle.  The next day my host family showed me how to take the bus to school this day was so hard for me because here in Seattle the bus system is completely different than Honduras and I still was thinking that it was the same than Honduras, it was so funny because when I took the first bus I hoped to find things like music, people talking each other, or the person who takes the money from each passenger so they can ride the bus  this was so hard for me because I have never been here before. I was surprised by many things because in Honduras we have a very different bus system. Drivers here respect the rules of the road, and people here are very considerate of each other.
Third, my next week here was very busy learning about the University, and the NPH leadership program. We had fun activities, and worship experiences. I met some ex-volunteers that worked in Honduras many years ago when I was there. We had dinner together at Lake Union, we rode The Ducks, toured Seattle, and I attended worship with my host family.
Fourth, I attended my first week of school. When I started classes I was thinking about many things, and I was so nervous. I met my English teacher and my classmates from many countries: Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Vietnam. Actually this is difficult to me because sometimes I think that I am still with my classmates from my country it is so funny because when I talk with them I sometimes tell them words in Spanish like,No, Asi no es, they look at me a little rare because anybody in my English class speak Spanish just me and when they talk each other in Arabic I feel so confused and I tell them I don’t understand you, I am now enjoying school and my studies a lot because my English teacher is very helpful, and my classmates are very friendly.
In summary, my first days in Seattle have been very tiring, but exciting. I feel like I am well prepared for my studies at Seattle Central College (SCC).

 

 

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