Playing overseas has allowed me to have teammates of all ethnicities, religions and nationalities. It has also allowed me to meet people from all over the world.
Recently two of my teammates and I went out to dinner. There was a Canadian (Me), a French, a Brazilian and two Columbians (friends visiting my Brazilian teammate).
At dinner I could speak English and French, so I would speak English to my Brazilian teammate and one of her friends who understood English, and then French and English to my French teammate who can speak both. My Brazilian teammate can speak Portuguese (her native language), English with me and our teammate and Spanish with her friends. Her one friend could speak Spanish and English so she would translate for the other friend who spoke mostly Spanish. And lastly, my French teammate was speaking English, French and a little Spanish that she learned in school.
Even though we are all of different backgrounds and languages we all shared one thing in common, a love for basketball. Everyone at the table was a current or retired professional basketball player.
I wanted to share this experience because, lately, in America there is a fear of the unknown or of what is different. But if we can get past what separates us, we'll realize that at the end of the day we're all human, with real emotions, lives and experiences - some that we share and some that we don't.
I also share this to encourage others to learn another language. Being able to speak French has opened the door for me to have relationships with people that I would not have been able to due to our language barrier. I also realized that as we were all sitting at the dinner table talking, listening, and translating for one another, not only do the different languages sound beautiful, but some of the words are very similar to each other.
It's no secret that I love to travel and experience different cultures, languages and people. Every time I am blessed with the opportunity I am reminded that, no matter where you live, what language you speak, how you look, or whatever other superficial differences may separate us, we're all human. All precious, beautiful people created by God. And if you try, you will not only be able to coexist but make beautiful and lasting friendships along the way too!
Thanks for stopping by and God Bless!