Evansville women spend 'golden years' learning, practicing Spanish
You're never too old to learn a new language. At least, that's what a few women who regularly meet to practice Spanish believe.
When I meet them to record this story, they are reciting random grocery store items, like "el paquete de espinacascongeladas” (the package of frozen spinach) and "el racimo de uvas" (the grapevine).
Seventy-eight year old Martha Bost says learning Spanish is helping her build familial ties, where her other relatives can't.
“For instance my son-in-law, he says he's not going to learn another language at this time of his life -- and he has two grandchildren that speak Spanish," Bost said. "They [the grandkids] will come here when they get older, they’ll call their grandmother on the phone and talk to her, and he won’t know what they’re saying.”
Bost started learning Spanish seven years ago, when both of her grandsons got engaged to Spanish-speaking women.
“I’ve always wanted to learn another language and just never did. Then when I found out that one was marrying in Mexico, and I was invited to the wedding, I thought, ‘I better start getting serious,’" Bost said. "And so I went to one class and then I just continued after that.”
Their teacher, Camila Scavuzzo, says based on the changing demographics in the Tri-State, the growing interest in Spanish is a natural next step.
“In the paper, you can read how the Spanish population is growing in this area, so I’m not surprised," Scavuzzo said. "I’m flattered that these people are reaching out to be able to communicate with this group of people that are beginning to move into the area.”
But not everyone is reaching out like these ladies. Bost says most people in the area aren’t as open to exploring new languages or even getting to know the immigrant community.
“In other countries, people speak more than one language. I just think that’s a weakness that people in our country," Bost said. "We just let everybody else learn our language and don’t bother to learn theirs.”
So, in her seventh decade, this bilingual grandmother is a leader for those trying to understand one another better -- and she’ll be prepared for her next trip to Mexico.