Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Araña" means "spider"

Small world category: While refereeing a boys soccer game recently, I started to talk with the coach and inquired where he was from, and he was of Romanian descent but grew up in Lima, Peru. I said, well, as an exchange student in high school over 40 years ago, I stayed with a Romanian family in Lima, and asked if he knew them.

Of course, it turned out that he was a good friend of one of the boys in the family, and we laughingly talked about the mischief they would do together. The family I lived with owned a textile factory next to their house, and the boys would take used spindles, fill the hollow core with gunpowder, and shoot them over the neighborhood from the roof of the house.

The daughter of the family, aged 4 or 5 at the time, adopted me and would escort me through the garden behind the house. She was the one who taught me the most Spanish, because she would jabber on and on. Total immersion for me! For her part, I think she was surprised that I knew so few "important" words, words that describe things at the eye level of a little girl.

So, to Lisa, I owe the credit for teaching me that "araña" means "spider".

1 comment:

Christine said...

That's interesting. Yes, it is a small world. I didn't know about a Romanian population in Peru. Many places are very cosmopolitan.