Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dinner Guests and Downpours

Last night we had our first Portuguese dinner guests. Even though our guests spoke very good English, there was a rule, a self imposed rule, that there would only be Portuguese spoken.

I cleaned the house, and prepared the food all day. I started about 9:00 am and didn't stop until our guests arrived at 8:00pm. (yes 8:00 and that's early for supper!) I was very nervous. I have no idea why. I've prepared many meals for guests over the years. Perhaps it was that I knew I had to speak Portuguese, and it intimidated me.

Our guests were our real estate agent that helped us with renting this house and buying a van when we were here in December, his wife, our language teacher and their 13 yr old daughter. As a thank you for all his help in December and a way to practice our Portuguese we asked them over for supper. An "American" supper.

Our guests arrived right on time with olives in hand. They usually come with wine, but they knew we didn't drink it, so they brought olives instead. It's customary to bring wine or flowers when you're invited to someones home.

Shortly thereafter we sat down to Chili, (which by the way, was the last of our chili seasoning...sniff) grilled cheese sandwiches, salad & bread and a variety of desserts that included homemade peanut butter bars, brownie delight and oatmeal raisin cookies. They said they had heard of chili in the movies, but had never seen or eaten it. (All the American movies are here with Portuguese subtitles. Which apparently helps them speak English fairly well!)

All during the meal and afterwards Michael spoke Portuguese very well. I could hardly get a word in edgewise! Seriously...he does very well. I am amazed at how well he is doing. But when it was my turn to speak, I spoke so slowly and had to think before each word that my husband would say, "Today!" in Portuguese trying to be funny. I was less intimidated speaking with their daughter. Maybe I need to find the kids to practice my Portuguese......

....We have never seen as much rain as we've seen the last 2 months! It's raining again today. Not just the little afternoon showers like I'm use to, but downpours that last for hours. When it's sunny, it's beautiful. But when it rains, it's cold and dreary. My mother is coming for a visit in two weeks. She wants the weather to be pretty so we can see some sights. I expected it to be pretty the first of May, but now I'm beginning to wonder...sorry Mom!

8 comments:

Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

I'm sure that you are too hard on yourself. You probably did just fine in speaking the language at dinner. It's neat hearing about the culture like bringing wine or flowers. That's really interesting. Keep up the great work!

Erica Lynn said...

It sounds like Seattle weather. It's so funny that they've never had chili. Is Portugese a lot like Spanish? The book is coming along. It's hard to find a lot of time to write. I'm working on two different ones right now. Have a good day!

Sellers Family said...

Nina,
I am so proud of you. You have always been a wonderful host in America and now Portugal as well.
Thanks for all the updates.
Sandy

Anonymous said...

Its going to be REAL sad if it rains the entire time Iam over there! Please, everyone pray the Lord will hold the rain while I visit. I want to go outside with my babies and plant some flower seeds. Yes Michael I know you dont want MORE flowers. It wont be long before I will be there!
You didn't say how your guest liked the chili. And I will bring you more chili mix.
I love you... MOM

Heather said...

Did your Portugese friends enjoy their first taste of American chili? I know that many people find children to practice on while learning a new language. How are the girls catching onto the new language???

Nina Andrzejewski said...

Everyone,
Yes they did seem to enjoy the chili. They were really brave! Even trying Ranch dressing on their salad! (They normally stick to oil and vinegar around here.)But I'm not sure how much they liked my desserts. Desserts made American style are much sweeter than what they are used to here. So the lady acted like her mouth was sticking together with my "ooey goo-we" brownie delight.---She just doesn't know what's good!

Erica,
Yes, Portuguese is very similar to Spanish, only more difficult! (In my humble opinion)

Mom,
Yes, we will pray for pretty weather while we are here. All this rain is a pretty big deal around here. It's normally not so wet this time of year. This was the driest winter on record for Portugal, so I guess the rain was just a little late coming in. But if it does rain, we'll still have fun!

Happymama said...

Nina, I just wanted to say in response to your comment that God knows Portunguese. He sent you there and He'll help you learn the language. I'll pray for you!! I'm glad you commented and I hope you visit Thimble Thoughts often.

~Kristi

Tammy said...

Nina, I have to agree that Portuguese is more difficult than Spanish... at least it sounds like it!

You were brave to have guests over. I felt your nervousness :o)