A Sense of Mastery

Blind Mans Bluff
(Note: I took this image yesterday of a group of girls playing a version of “Blind Man’s Bluff”. It’s nice to see it is still played somewhere.)

When my wife and I take cycle tour vacations the last day has a special sadness. We’ve usually spent a week or more packing our belongings on our bikes each morning, cycling all day, and then setting up at the next inn. At the end of the trip we can do it all with little effort and maximum efficiency. The final day, we are the best we will get this trip. We’ve developed a sense of mastery over this task.

That is how it is now here in El Salvador. I am as good as I will get. I’ve mastered getting ready for school, doing my laundry, teaching a class, getting copies made, finding good food and a thousand other things that I had only the vaguest clue about eight weeks ago. It means I can just enjoy life a bit more these days.

My Spanish is also the best it will be for now. It is far from fluent, but I can handle all of the basic social graces, make small talk and do all the basic things that I struggled with at the beginning of the trip. The other day on a volcano hike, I followed the custom of offering some food to the police officer stationed at the summit. He was curious about me, where I was from, why I was visiting and what I thought of the country. I was able to handle a five minute conversation without missing a beat. I can also better understand when students or teachers speak to me in the school, even with all of the noise.

But tomorrow, I leave for home. Then, I need to stop saying “como” instead of “what” when someone says something I don’t quite hear, and nodding and saying “Si, si” when I do understand. I’ll miss the feeling of mastery that I have gained here, but I’m pleased to know that I achieved these skills during my time here

Author: milfordstreet

This site is dedicated to developing my skills as a photographer, sharing my images and participating in a creative community. In the last year, I’ve taken my interest in photography to a new level, taking classes in a number of venues and supplementing them with seminars and photo tours. I appreciate feedback on my photographs and enjoy seeing what others are creating.

8 thoughts on “A Sense of Mastery”

  1. Dear Chris, What an experience you have been through! We applaud your efforts to try something new at this stage in your life. Excited that you’ll be headed home shortly, but dismayed that the daily blogs won’t be there to read. It just occurred to me that your posting of a daily blog was like the voice overlay at the beginning and ending of each episode of the Waltons. John Boy Walton invited us into his daily experiences of a day long past gone. You have invited us into the lifestyle of a culture many miles away. We have truly enjoyed each writing and the accompanying pictures. Saying goodbye will be bittersweet, somewhat difficult, but the page gets turned and tomorrow hold great promise and hope. I think you will be remembered dearly in these children’s lives for a long time. Great job! Bob & Alice

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    1. Thank you and thank you for such wonderful thoughts. I have more material to post next week. There are many photos to edit over the weekend and posts to write. Cheers and thank you again

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  2. All those goodbyes today and tomorrow will bring a lot of tears. But once you board the plane you will be so excited about coming home and that big hug (maybe huge will be a better description) waiting for you from Cath. I’ll have to say goodbye to your morning blogs which was a great way to begin my day; however it will be wonderful to hear your voice and know my fears were all unfounded. lol

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    1. The blog will continue next week. I’ve shot a lot of images this week that have not yet been edited. Plus some other stories of life here that have yet to be shared. It was exhausting saying goodbye to the morning classes and I expect will be equally so this afternoon. Thank you and Cheers

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