An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 43- English Lesson (February 12th)

There are not too many things I regret in life, but one is not learning Spanish.  I completed two years of Spanish in both high school and college and still don’t know enough to carry on an intelligent conversation. If I would have given more of an effort the rewards could have been tremendous in my life today. 
Our third day of vacation was filled with riding ATV’s through the Mexican Jungle and snorkeling again in caverns.  Trying to be braver than I really am I chose the “boy” ATV tour over the “girl” tour.  The salesperson, a woman, highly recommended the “girl tour because it was smooth, slow and relaxing as opposed to the “boy” tour which was rough and for more experienced riders. I should have gone with her recommendation.  I don’t think I have ever been more scared in my life. I almost rolled the ATV and came close to hitting numerous trees.  I was so sore the next day I could hardly get out of bed. From now on, no more trying to be macho!
Our guide, Mateo, was French and knew very little English.  I usually lose my patience pretty quickly but with Mateo he was so kind and trying very hard.  Every time he would get stuck trying to describe something I would try to teach him new words or how to describe an object.  Every time he struggled with describing what he was trying to say I would teach him the word and then try my best to explain its meaning and pronunciation?  He was a quick learner and I hope some of the things I taught him will carry over to his other tours.  What I had learned from Carlos the day before was that just learning a word or a couple of words a day is a great accomplishment.
As with all other guides and staff I encountered through the week I gave Mateo a tip. This was for his patience with me while trying not to kill myself on the ATV.  At one point I wanted to quit and he offered to come back and get my bike. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, my husband wouldn’t let me quit and I completed my journey through the jungle on the ATV.  On this day, I learned to have patience and that most of the time others have a lot more faith in our abilities than we do. Quitting is usually easier than continuing on the journey, but if we continue the journey, even if we come out on the other side with a few aches and pains, it will be worth the ride.

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