Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Io parlo Italiano. Un poco.

Full immersion in the Italian culture has been wonderful, but has certainly taught us that we don't know enough of the language. We often find ourselves asking, "Parli l'inlese?" Do you speak English? (While trying not to sound totally desperate.) Some people can... but most cannot. So we have been fumbling our way through partially understood conversations. We've gotten really good at ordering gelato. Totally a necessity. We've also spent a lot of time using Google Translate (www.google.com/translate). If you've never tried it, check it out - very useful!

On Monday we met Dilva, our new tutor. She will be working with us 1-2 times per week, trying to teach us the basics of the Italian language and mostly conversation. We probably won't learn much in regards to writing, punctuation or grammar, since neither of us has a real need. It's most important right now that we can say basic phrases and interact at restaurants, stores, etc. Of course, Cole needs to be able to speak to his coworkers, but most of them can speak English, which has been helpful for him.

Dilva gave us a few little tasks to test our knowledge of the Italian language. Not much. Then she asked us about our expectations for the lessons. We both agreed that more information about the local culture and also help with finding resources would be nice. I mentioned needing to get Eva a pediatrician. She talked a little bit about her two daughters, the way healthcare here works and then offered to go with me to Eva's first doctor's appointment, at which point I burst into tears. I looked up at Cole and he was tearing up, too. This woman we met for only 45 minutes has already been so giving with her time. We are both pretty amazed by her generosity and kindness. So Dilva will be back again tomorrow evening. As much as I dreaded our online Italian lessons before leaving the USA, I am excited to see her! I'm going to try not to cry this time. I don't want her to think I'm a total nut job. But Dilva just might be my very own Italian angel.