Language Barriers Can Bring a Little Light…Sometimes

Zander Bunner
Public Relations Major
Veritas University, Costa Rica
Spring Semester 2017

Hammocks, tents and murals everywhere
Hammocks, tents and murals everywhere

Last weekend I spent time in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica at Rocking J’s Hostel with some friends of mine. We stayed at a beautiful art-filled hostel that sat right on the beach and I was able to rent a hammock to sleep in for the weekend for a mere $7 a night. This hostel, as you can see from some of the photos, was covered in paintings, mosaics, murals, and tons more- all of which were created and left behind by previous travelers. I found myself wandering all around and trying to see all that was there, nearly every inch of this place was marked on by talented, creative people that came before me. Anyways, so the first afternoon when I arrived to Rocking J’s Hostel, I got settled and had my belongings locked away in a storage locker. After a five hour bus ride, I finally had my bathing suit in hand and was searching for a place to change. I bumped into one of the workers there, one who didn’t speak any English whatsoever. My pretty basic knowledge of Spanish has left me in some tough spots when it comes to interacting with locals and this was one of those moments. I asked him, in my broken Spanish, where I could change… or so I thought. He proceeded to look at me in a very strange way, clearly trying to put together what I intended to ask versus what I actually said. Turns out, I was asking him if he could help me change into my bathing suit, explaining his pretty bewildered look at an able-bodied 21-year-old who definitely shouldn’t be needing help getting changed. Once we both put together what I intended to ask and he helped me find a changing room (and thankfully didn’t have to help dress me), I laughed to myself. Sure, language barriers can be frustrating sometimes, but they can definitely bring a little humor to your life as well.

Hammocks that we rented
Hammocks that we rented

One Comment Add yours

  1. haha – great story. Also, I love the idea of staying in a place with so much art from so many different people. Thanks for sharing!


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