I have a retired friend from Russia I run into from time to time. I met him a few months ago when I was wearing my Cuban hat. He started the conversation, pointing to the hat and saying “Cuba” and “Castro” pointing at my beard. But we couldn't understand one another... aside from terms like “Castro” and “Khrushchev.”
I tried expressing as best I could my opinion of the political dynamic between this kountry, the kountry he moved from, and the fallout regarding Cuba. I used sign language without knowing sign language. I think he understood my heart when I pointed to the sky and, using my arms and facial expressions, communicated that people are one humanity regardless of their nationality, should love each other, acknowledging a loving God.
Yesterday was an amazing communication breakthrough! I had the iPad with me. Tuesday evening means Farmer's Market and some tasty foods I like. I've been seeing him there recently listening to the musical entertainment on the stage of the public park. Last week I introduced my wife to him. After sitting next to him enjoying the music, I realized I had in my possession the means to clearly communicate with my friend!
Going to Google Translate, I type out asking for his name. Then, pulling up a Russian keyboard at another website, I handed him the iPad. He typed out Eugene. We communicated quite clearly last night, and he was amazed at how this technology works. I can tell he was saying 'technology' in Russian, for it sounds very similar to the English word. “Music” in Russian sounds like “musica” in Spanish. We shared hearty laughs.
I can't tell you how happy I was to clearly communicate “God bless you, my friend...” and see my friend read those words in Russian.