Mr.Henry’s House in Hydra, Greece

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June 14, 2010

A wasp is fighting a losing battle with the light by the kitchen.  He angrily buzzes at the light as if he is enraged by the light’s very existence.  The wasp wants something from the light. It is upset by the light’s inaction.  The wasp is getting tired.  I wonder whether it will leave or just die of rage.

I hear the donkey in the yard behind the house walking around in the hilly enclosure, its hoofs clacking against the rocks.  A crowd cheers as a team scores a goal in the World Cup.  A boat hums as it passes into the harbor.  Everything echoes in Hydra at night.  People’s voices mix with the call of a bird.  Being at Mr Henry’s house is like camping with beds inside.  There’s an explosion of barking dogs.  I wonder what sent them off.

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About Me

Ten years ago, I decided that for every country I visited, I would learn its language before I traveled.  My friends called me insane.  My work colleagues wanted to know where I could find the time.  It turns out that this new hobby opened up the world to me and my family in a wonderful way beyond anything that I could have ever hoped for.  My goal is to encourage people to learn languages, travel, connect and communicate by bringing to you my stories and offering some tips and travel tools too.

How do we define ourselves? Is it by our relationships?  Our jobs?  Our hobbies?  Our hometown?  With those labels, I am a mother of two, a wife, a public defender, a dancer and a San Franciscan.  But what if we defined ourselves by our experiences?  The places we’ve explored?  The languages we speak?  Fifteen countries and seven languages later each trip, each language has shaped a new piece of me.  I am a flamenco dancer.  I am a maker of red curry, paella, Creole salmon, warm goat cheese salad and spanakopita.   I am a wearer of French perfume.  I am a Greek mythology buff and a thrill seeking zip liner.   I feel my personality change depending on the language I am speaking.  I speak softer when I speak French.  In Spanish, I understand love in a multi-dimensional way.  When I speak Greek, I am like a Nancy Drew detective, solving the code and breaking down the meanings of words.

Life was not meant to be lived in one place or spoken in one language.  Life is an adventure not a destination.  Welcome to my adventures in fluency……

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
‒Nelson Mandela