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Firsts

Montañas

While in Mexico this past week, there were several things I did for the first time. Besides it being my first visit to the state of San Luis Potosí, below are four “firsts” from this trip. It was definitely a learning experience!

First time to act as a translator

Since I was the only one of our number who could speak Spanish, a translator went with us while we were in Mexico, who would translate anytime they wanted to talk to people. Since most people down there know Spanish, we usually had no problem.

I myself had never tried translating for someone, but when we were in Huichihuayán (pronounced wee-chee-wah-YAHN) at the preachers’ training school, I found myself talking to some of the students there while our translator was busy elsewhere. Then when a couple of the men of our group came up to join the conversation, of necessity I told them in English what was being discussed. Thus it came about that I would tell the one side in English what was said, and then tell the Mexican brethren what the others were saying, and so on, back and forth. It was great practice, and I think I did fairly well, though certainly not as well as our Mexican translator. There were times that I didn’t understand what someone said, and there were times when I didn’t know the word for something, but overall I was able to get the point across. Read More

Ma Noweyiteko Mitstiochiwa

Huastec monolithI have returned! From the wilds of Mexico, from the high mountains of San Luis Potosí, I have brought tidings of the people, language, landscape, and culture of the Huasteca.

My trip to the Potosian Huasteca went very well; I made some new friends and I was able to talk to lots of people there and improve my Spanish. Although I had previously visited the states of Coahuila and Tamaulipas, I had never before journeyed so far south (if you’re not sure where San Luis Potosí is, take a look at a map). I discovered a totally different side of Mexico on this trip!

As I experienced first-hand the culture of that region, I couldn’t help but think, this is the real Mexico! This is a place where everyone knows their native tongue as well as Spanish, a place where they make such bizarre dishes as a giant tamale. This was no Tex-Mex!

There is so much to tell about my trip, and so many pictures to show, that I am going to dedicate a good number of my subsequent blog posts to sharing these things with you. As you may remember, I did the same thing on BenjaBlog when I got back from North Carolina, but this trip was much more interesting than that one.

I hope you’ll come back regularly! This blog is dedicated to providing you, the reader, with interesting things to read and look at, and I hope I am achieving this goal.

About the title: I considered using Spanish for the title, but I decided to instead use Nahuatl (pronounced NAH-wahtl), the language of the Aztecs. The phrase means God bless you, and I would like to thank Luis Alberto of Coxcatlán for his help in providing me with some words from the language (stay tuned for more information about the indigenous tongues of Mexico).

¡Hasta luego!

Tomorrow, muy de mañana, I am going on a week-long trip to the state of San Luis Potosí in Mexico. This explains why I am blogging on thursday today, and I will be back in time to blog next friday.

Of all the foreign countries I’ve visited, Mexico is my favourite (although I’ve never been outside North America), and I’m really looking forward to travelling farther south than I’ve ever been. Not only will I be able to improve my Spanish, Lord willing, but I also hope to meet some people down there who still speak the old Indian languages (talk about Precolumbian!)

I plan to take plenty of pictures, and hopefully I’ll get some blogging material as well. ¡Adiós!

Mountain Lion

Silently bounding—
A great cat in the forest;
The puma passes.

This is the one and only haiku I have ever written. It’s not my favourite type of poetry, but I must admit it’s better than free verse. In my humble opinion, haiku is more suited to the Japanese language than to English.

Ain't got a homepage

…at least not until now! Although I’ve made quite a few websites for myself and for others, and even though I’ve had the domain name benjaminbruce.us for quite a while, I have just recently gotten around to making a central website to be a hub for all my other ones.

So, if you’d like to, please check it out! It was lots of work making the design for this website, but I finally got it looking like I wanted it to. It’s even trilingual, so hopefully more people will find it that way.

An update:  I recently purchased the domain name benjaminbruce.com (whoever had it before finally let it go), so I am in the process of switching everything to this domain.  BenjaminBruce.us will still work, but I’ll be phasing it out, so go ahead and change your bookmark if necessary.