One of my former Spanish students had been quite thrilled to go to Chile this summer. He was anticipating getting to really use his Spanish and improve his communication skills in the language! It was a military trip, so it was of course a little more structured than a vacation would be. Sadly, he found that upon arrival, the Americans were housed in their own wing of the barracks, separate from the Chilean military. They ate at the “American Table” in the mess hall. Even on their work excursions they were paired with other Americans. He didn’t give up. In all of his “free time” he did his best to hang out with the Chileans and use his Spanish.

Sometimes, we don’t have the ideal situation. It would be easy to give up and not do what we can to make our dreams come true. Or, like my former student, we can roll up our sleeves and admit that the plan isn’t what we had hoped, but we are going to do the work it takes to make for the very best outcome possible.


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