I was not raised speaking Spanish. When Nana Josephine Pacheco née Ontiveros came to #LosAngeles from #Texas, the school teachers struck her with rulers por hablando Español en clase. So Nana didn’t teach my mom. And nobody taught me. I learned Español in earnest in the last 8 years working as an Embedded Planner on the ground in Florence-Firestone. For real I’m at like 6th grade level, pero sabes que, es mejor que nada!
On arrival Friday in #CDMX, I quickly had to adjust to Español. It was thrilling. I found myself absorbing the spoken word, the unique rhythm, cadence, & dialect of #Chilango, the Spanish of Mexico City. Immediately I found myself translating signs, speech, & writing intuitively. Dormant neurotransmitters began firing. Parts of my brain were trabajando overtime to help situate myself in this new space & culture.
I recognized this feeling. It had been awhile but I’d felt it long before. I told mi esposita that this exhilaration must have been the same stimulating experience of learning Inglés as a child con mi familia on the streets of East Los Angeles y Montebello 40+ years ago.