It was 1979, and I was working as a dispatcher for ODECO. She answered the old black phone in her native tongue, her words lost on me. I had called her house to ask if her son, the crew boat captain, happened to be home. Hoping she could understand me, I continued in English, “He has to go on a run right now.” His boat was next up to take a trip out to the Gulf to deliver emergency equipment, and as night dispatcher, it was my job to find him. She understood me well enough to relate to me in broken English where she thought he might have been.