Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In Her Shoes

                This week feels like it has been the first “normal” week I’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m finally getting on a schedule and getting my activities in place. So I thought maybe I’d take you for a walk in my shoes to show you what I’ve been up to.

Now shall I walk
or shall I ride?
"Ride," Pleasure said:
"Walk," Joy said.
~W.H. Davies
                In the mornings and/or evenings, I lace up my sneakers and set out for a jog. These dusty beauties have carried me through so many memories, particularly the Jill Behrman 5k color run last year, in which they were assaulted with jubilant color from all sides. I can still seem some yellow and green streaks on the laces. Now, they’re pounding the pavement once again as I train for a 10k (6.2 miles) in May. Although I have never gone that far, I am relishing the challenge and taking training seriously. Unfortunately, though, I think these shoes are a bit too old, and I may have gotten a stress fracture because of them. This weekend I’ll be trading in the tried and true pair for a new model. Got to love shoe shopping!

"If you want to live, you must walk. If you want to live long, you must run."
~Jinabhai Navik
                But when I’m just walking around, my sandals get the most wear. This week, I stepped up to the information window at the local hospital to ask if I could shadow a speech therapist (SLP) there. After getting sent around to one site after another, I finally managed to find the SLP. So now I’m observing some of her therapy sessions! With about 30 years of experience, she has so much to teach me, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. She has a variety of patients from adults with aphasia to children with stuttering problems and toddlers with articulatory/phonological disorders. This should definitely add some mileage to my studies.

                In my flip-flops (called “eslaps” here) I trot around the house and the neighborhood. I think these are my favorite shoes that I get to wear because it means I’m home. I get to chat with Chela and Carlos (host parents) and laugh about weird daily happenings because of cultural misunderstandings with Elizabeth and Sonja (other international students in the house). Sometimes baby Carlitos (the grandson) and his mother Evelynn are over; one uninhibited smile from that 4-month-old, and my heart melts. How can you not be happy when that bundle of innocence coos and goos? One of my favorite habits that we’ve gotten into here is watching “Yo Soy” at dinner. “Yo Soy” (“I Am”) is a television show in which contestants try to impersonate famous musicians; they have to be similar physically and in voice. With the initial try-outs still going on, we have been cracking up at some of the worst and marveling at the best imitations. The best part, though, is Chela. She is perhaps the sweetest woman you will ever encounter. Yet with this show, she sometimes makes harsher calls than the panel of judges. Don’t get me wrong, she is still incredibly kind. But it’s fun to see her sarcastic side come out. What a familita I’m blessed to have in this home away from home!

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