School Shopping

We are gearing up for the start of school. This time last year, we were translating the list of school supplies and wondering what eskimo paddles and milk erasers were and where to find them. This year, we walked into the school supply store and felt much more confident. However, lest we become puffed up with pride...God always has some lessons in humility up his sleeve.

After shopping for about 45 minutes in a store that felt over 100 degrees, we are checking out at the cash register. A sweet employee approaches and starts her "speech" on what I find out later is about a discount membership. After her spiel...I embarrassingly tell her that I am so sorry - but I didn't understand anything she said. Humbling. She repeats the important parts...I get the gist. Now I have to give her my phone number. In Nicaragua, a phone number is given two numbers at time. Okay, I can adjust to that...but numbers are my biggest weakness. Kicking myself for not memorizing my number by twos...I start the attempt on the phone number. Pitifully after 4 numbers, I give up and go one by one...which earns an "silent exchange" between the girl at the register and the membership girl. Then, she tells me that I need to get my picture taken for the membership card. Fabulous...because I've been sweating for the last 45 minutes and I am having a bad hair day...really bad. Humbling (in the vanity department). She motions for me to stand in front of a door...but of course I missed something because I open the door to some store room which earns several chuckles from the employees standing around. Humbling. The success of school shopping is starting to fade. The photographer shows me the picture, I cringe and mumble..."está bien" (it's okay).

Trying to remember that language learning is life-long, I tell myself that I successfully found the milk erasers, eskimo paddles, and myriad of other supplies. I thank God for the progress I've made and resolve to learn my phone number by twos.

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