Grace was not feeling better the next morning, but she was not presented many options to leave the tour. So, like the trooper she was, she left with us in the jerky, nauseating jeep.

I got to see my first volcano today, many volcanos actually, both dormant and active. We saw mountains, giant cacti, and rocks formed from lava. There were Andean foxes, frozen lakes with flamingos, and vicuña. We saw canyons, rocks shaped like trees, and some of the best viewpoints of my life. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed it, I would’ve liked it more if it weren’t freezing.

Our guide was constantly laughing at my intolerance to the weather. My excuse every time being “Soy de California.”

Since breakfast consisted of bread with jam and tea, and lunch wasn’t much either, I was very hungry by dinner time.

I played cards with the Germans while waiting but soon quit because I was distracted by the amount of culture and language that was taking over the dining hall. French being spoken to my right, German at my table, and Spanish to the left. There was more, but I was entertained enough by the people close to me.

This is all I want to do in life. There is an astounding amount of beauty in the art of speaking. My brain cannot comprehend the fact that our mouths are capable of so much sound, movement, and ways to express ourselves.

I think maybe that is my fascination with language. Sometimes there just isn’t a word or phrase that can capture our emotion. However, if we search through other people’s way of expression maybe we will be able to find it. But maybe not.

Language is so abstract. There may never be a way to move my mouth so I can make people understand what’s going on in my brain.

Maybe I will have to invent my own language.

I think the other reason I love language is that I love people. Between people groups, our languages might be different, but we can still understand each other through nonverbal communication, like a wink or body movement. This is a beautiful thing, and may even carry more weight than words.

Even now, writing this is difficult. There are too many thoughts to successfully be put into English words. For this, I apologize but hope you can share in my overwhelming feelings of love for others despite what language you speak.

A girl that I met on my Amazon tour a few weeks ago told me her favorite thing about a man is his “mirada.” This word doesn’t exactly translate, but it is basically “the way of a look.”

Ever since my friend Monique told me this, I have been continuously noticing people’s “miradas”. It is the simplest way to express yourself, and I encourage all of you to choose a mirada of love. God gave us eyes, and these are without language barriers.

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