The other day when I asked the hotel clerk for extra towels in my halting spanish, he smiled as if I was a 5-year-old speaking of squirels and purple flowers, happily asking me how many I'd like.
When the Peace Corps interviewer asked me which of my personal qualities would help me learn a language, I replied that I was willing to be humiliated.
But, instead of labeling those amused smiles as "humiliation", I choose to think of them as "being charming". Just like I was charmed when the Cancún flight attendant said the time was "three and a half", and when I saw these translations above the restrooms at a park near Cancun ("Men's and Lady's").
Just as my parents knew my speech impediment wouldn't be so cute when I grew up and so helped me get speech therapy, I suspect that butchering-the-language charm won't earn me much credibility with the people I'm hoping to help.
"You have to make a million mistakes to learn a language" one of my experienced Spanish classmates used to say "so let's start making them!"
Hopefully, attending Spanish school will help me move through the