Jake Glaspy, Junior Accountant at Cook CPA, who recently returned from a week long mission trip to Mexicali, Mexico, has. While serving others was the main focus of the trip, Jake also was able to practice his communication skills. Jake has been speaking Spanish for two and a half years, which allowed him to act as an interpreter for the group. He was able to speak with local people during the week to determine community needs such as clothing, food, or prayer. In addition to assisting the group as they assessed the community members’ needs, he also translated for the group’s construction teams, boosting the success of some building projects. Ultimately, the group was able to build a church and three houses during their time in Mexico as well as provide some enjoyable experiences for the community. Read below for the highlights of Jake’s trip and tales from his first time acting as a Spanish-English interpreter.
One of the experiences that Jake mentioned many times during our conversation was how this trip created fun in the lives of the children. For him, spending time in the community providing meals and playing with the children was unforgettable. This area of the country does not have much more than electricity and water, and since there aren’t a lot of amenities, children have less time to just be kids. Making time for the kids to enjoy life and play sports was part of their mission.
At one point, Jake’s group and the people from the community took a trip to the gulf of California. Jake described it as a “really fun day as the kids were able to play sports, everyone (including Jake) got their fingernails painted, and together they worked on cleaning up the beach.
Good food was another highlight of the trip. Curious about the stingray tacos? According to Jake, they taste like fish but were more spicy that what he is used to.
When asked about his first time acting as a translator and whether it was difficult, Jake said that because he learned Argentine Spanish, understanding Mexican Spanish meant listening more carefully. In this area of Mexico, the accent is slightly different as are the words people use; here they spoke quietly and quickly. Jake was able to overcome these challenges by asking the person he was speaking with to elaborate. For the most part, he found translating was easy and rewarding since he was comfortable asking questions when he didn’t fully understand.
Jake plans to take a similar trip again in the future because he likes to volunteer where he can. He will also continue to speak Spanish in the Sacramento area and find ways to make a difference by helping people to communicate. Jake feels this experience gives him a unique perspective when communicating about accounting with our clients. Accounting is often a new language to them so his approach of asking questions and getting clients to elaborate helps everyone to understand.