Loser in Translation

While I was in Honduras, I had to activate my long-hibernating Spanish skills. While frequent quoting of lines from Nacho Libre and a familiarization with the menu at Taco Bell and Chipotle are okay, by no means had I done enough Spanish review to be fully comfortable communicating with all Spanish-speaking folks in Honduras. That being said, I think I did a pretty good job piecing bits and pieces of Spanish together while also making elaborate use of my hands and body. Basically, I played Charades with the Hondurans.

One bump in the road for me, though, was a lyrical snafu I kept having. Really, it was more like a bug bite that I kept scratching and making worse. Scott and I were asked to help do some worship songs at church, and we decided on the classic "Open the Eyes of My Heart." It's a great song, everyone at the church in La Acequia knows it, it thematically fit some things we were seeing down there, and best of all the Spanish lyrics are easy. Well, the Spanish should have been easy. The song opens like this:

Habre mis ojos, o Cristo / habre mis ojos, Señor / Yo quiero verte, which translates literally as open my eyes, oh Christ / open my eyes, Lord / I want to see You. (instead of open the eyes of my heart...)

So Scott and I sit down around the table at which we usually ate our meals. I love that spot because the tables sit under a canopy of palms and is perfect for sitting in shaded bliss during the afternoon sun. As we began to play and practice this song, a bunch of the kids sat and stood around us and started singing with us, which was really cool.

Then, for whatever reason, I started to unconsciously sing this instead of the normal line:

Habre mis hijos, o Cristo / Habre mis hijos, Señor.

Which translates as, Open my children, oh Christ / Open my children, Lord.


No, I do not want to open anyone's children. What a horrible thing to ask the Lord for. The gringos come down here and want our children to be ripped open.

Anyway, this became a great joke for me. Every time I would see certain people, I would just belt out, "Habre mis hijos...!"

This was a bad idea. Bad because after a while, I couldn't not sing it when I had to sing it. Fast forward to our last service with the people in La Acequia on Saturday night...

They ask us to do the song in front of the whole church. I spent literally every minute leading up to doing this song telling myself to sing the song the right way. We walk up. I position the microphone to the right height in front of my mouth. Scott begins to play the guitar. I come in on the keyboard.

"Habre mis hijos, o Cristo!"


At least I didn't say crap right after that (though I was very close). I did, however, say, "That was just a joke! HA HA!" and kept singing the next line.

Face plant.