When I was at my first internship–about three years ago–I worked a lot one-on-one with a 13 year old girl who had just arrived in the area from Guadalajara. I was deemed her go-to-girl as I was the only one of the teachers on her team who spoke any Spanish. We communicated various needs and ideas to each other in broken forms of each other’s languages and learned a lot about who each of us were outside of school.
When my time was coming to a close, this young lady wanted to know what I would be doing when I left and she would no longer see me every week. I told her in my best Spanglish that I would be finishing my classes, working at night, and spending time with my husband. I ended by telling her I would be traveling to Mexico to meet his family in three months.
She began to giggle at me. I was confused–there is nothing funny about seeing his family, or at least nothing I was immediately aware of.
When she finally regained composure, she looked at me and said, “Three tables.”
“Tres mesas. Three tables.”