Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Universal Language

Here's another post from El Salvador, while I'm in Hong Kong :)

Sure, I couldn´t entirely understand what they were saying, but actions (and hand motions) speak louder than words.  And their laughter was contagious.

It was a pizza party for over 40 people and I was sitting at the end of the table with Caesar (our driver), his sisters Mari and Alba, his mother Marie Trinidad (an astounding woman) as well as Alex and Jeff from Lord of Life, Rosie and Sarah from Advent and a few children.  Mari and Alba, to use a phrase, are hell on wheels and their mischeviousness is evident, even if you don´t speak Spanish.  They were screaming down the table, breaking up conversations, trying to get Edwin - one of the teenagers here - to break dance.  Edwin had turned them down multiple times and, in the spur of the moment, I volunteered with, ¨If he break dances, I´ll break dance.¨

Let´s take a minute and pause here.  I am the whitest white girl you´ll ever meet.  Though I did classical and broadway jazz for something like 8 years, the only grace I have is from God and it certainly doesn´t involve my feet.  What I´m getting myself into, I´m not sure.

After a few minutes with Pastor Matias and Pastor Martina, our small group headed over to an area behind the Lutheran synod office where a boom box had been set up.  Edwin sits with his beanie and one black glove - he is prepared for this.  Rosie helps translate and I pump myself up.  I tell her that I want him to go first because I´m going to make him look bad.  It takes a few moments and he gets it.  He looks so intense and it seems that he believes that I can actually break dance.

The music starts and he is KILLING it.  I work for MTV and I often watch the shows and he could be on America´s Next Best Dance Crew.  He´s doing flips and it´s impressive.  He finishes and points for me to go.  I bring out the attitude, because that´s about all I have and throw myself on the ground and flop around.

From what I´ve been told, Edwin´s face was priceless.  There is video and I´m sure it will be shared at both of our congregations. 

Then Julie was pulled up and then Bill and soon, we were all dancing.  Not just the Americans, but also the Salvadorean children and the students that stay at Casa Concordia.  Kelly learned to salsa.  We found that Bill is a really good square dancer.  Edwin astounded us with the meringue.

Salvadoreans are dancing with Americans.  There is laughter.  It no longer matters that we don´t speak the same language.  What could be better than that?


  1. This story is wonderful! I was cracking up while I was reading because (I love you!) I KNOW how white you are :-P (Not that I'm any less white when it comes to break dancing . . .) Hahaha you rock my socks!!

  2. Dance is a universal language. :)

    I love your spirit! Even when you know something isn't your thing, you still volunteer to bring up people's spirits and joy. :) You're amazing!

  3. This story seriously made my day. Thank you for sharing! ;)