Week Two – Interaction

5 09 2009

It was a fun and frustrating week two of Spanglish. I add the ish because I was going between Chinese, English and Spanish during my class breaks trying to take care of loose ends in the States. We picked up a new student (Linda) for a month from Switzerland. She’s taking her gap year in Latin America and traveling up and down the continent. Her connection with Chihuahua came from her next door neighbor who has family in Chihuahua. Such a small world. And of course, the first school that pops up on her google search for language school is Interaction. So she’s in super immersion taking classes five days a week. She makes me look like such a novice since she is already fluent in English, German and French.

The fun part of the week was going out a lot and putting Spanish into practice. I got to play in my first Chihuahua tennis tournament. The bad part was I lost 6-2, 6-3. Even though I lost, it was fun using the tennis phrases Greg taught me. My opponent understood me. Not bad. Greg and I are playing doubles next week in the same tournament. Hopefully we’ll make it into the second round.

On Wednesday night, some of the class met up to walk around the deportiva. That’s the sport complex near the center of town. We practiced our Spanish walking there and then about ten minutes after we got to the deportiva, the rain came down. And down. And down. It’s been raining in the evenings and it’s never fun to be caught in a down pour. We managed to get ourselves to a restaurant to grab a bite and then hailed a taxi home.

Thursday was food day. What better way to put your Spanish to practice by eating. During our morning and afternoon breaks we went out as a class to a barbacoa restaurant (Barbacoas El Campeon) and an ice cream shop (Super Coldy). Greg asked for my opinion on the barbacoa place and I told him that the puesto (street vendor) in the deportiva is still the best. What can I say? I like cheap food and street food. I ate street food in Ecuador, Hong Kong, China and Uganda. So Mexico is no big deal.

I took Court to one of my top five taco places in Chiwas on Friday. Taco Baja on Cantera y Ramirez Calderon is one of those places you would find on the beach. It opens late and really is hang-over food. You’ll usually find a bunch of party-goers about 2 pm on the weekends. They only specialize in seafood tacos. Court had the shrimp quesadillas and I picked up three shrimp tacos. That hit the spot.

The frustrating part of week two was just remembering all the stem changes in the verbs. With over 500 verbs in Spanish and conjugating in the present, past, subjunctive, imperative and other tenses my head feels like exploding. To help remember I have been playing memory games and watching Tele-novellas and shows with Spanish subtitles. Bad Boys 2 was on the other night and it was funny listening to Will Smith and Martin Lawrence with Spanish voice-overs.

Heading to the orphanage this weekend. I’ll blog about that at a later entry. Thanks all for being faithful readers.

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Interaction – study from the best!

25 08 2009

Interaction

Escharle Ganas – in Spanish it means to try your best. I’m living into that phrase. After a summer of traveling around the globe, I have come full circle and have returned to Chihuahua, MX to learn Spanish at one of the finest institutions south of the border – Interaction. It has become so world renown that two of my old students have graduated from the program and I walked into classes this morning to surprise three more of my old students.

This fall I will be immersed in Spanish with four other students, four days a week. Greg put me in a host family that has an extra room upstairs and they give me as much privacy I want and it’s only a fifteen minute walk to the school. The host mom and dad (Minerva y Rueben) are empty nesters and Minerva works for a law firm dealing with domestic violence against women. Rueben is retired and does all the cooking in the home. He’s an excellent chef. Time to exercise like crazy this fall lol.

I had kept going to the language school a secret from the girls and it was such a fun way to surprise them this morning as I was the last one to walk into the classroom and yelled “Who’s ready to learn some Espanol?”. Welcome to Chihuahua!

School’s in session. As school resumes in the states, it’s the same here in Mexico with thousands of children in their uniforms and backpacks being dropped off at their respective classrooms. Chido!

By the way, the school is building a reputation. All their students have tested out of a minimum of nine hours of college Spanish. 80% have tested out of 12 hours.


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