We started Spanish language school here in Flores on Monday morning, It made me realize how much I LOVE school. I am a huge nerd for school! I could barely sleep the night before and I already had my outfit picked out. All I wanted were some new highlighters.
School is held in a library, and we are surrounded by the smell of old books. We each have our own teacher; mi mastra se llama Elga. She´s mostly nice, very chatty, divorced mom of two. Her ex left her and moved to New York, so we’ve been battling out her opinions of the Estados Unidos. I’m surprised and happy with how many diverse and sometimes controversial subjects the two of us cover. For example, she told me a joke about Mormons, and somehow we got on the subject of how I just read that 36 percent of Italian children are growing up and developing an allergy to gluten, and how awful and ironically sad that is for that pasta-loving nation.
The first thing we did was take a Spanish assessment test. Of course I was like, “I have to be the BEST! And I have to take this as fast as POSSIBLE!” because my inner over-achieving nerd was clawing her way to the surface. I must have been so obnoxious when I was a student.
Since then, my teacher and I have occasionally done some learning. And we get a half an hour break in the middle of school to go buy soda! Its like recess!! I come back all sugared up and ready to spout out ejemplos of the infinitivo and indicativo of any verb with a letter change!
But the best lessons we’ve had so far have been the ¨free lessons¨ our director gave us on how to be street smart in San Andres, Guatemala. These lessons are also called:
¨Why the Guatemalans are laughing at you, silly gringo.”
For ejemplo, we learned to never ask for directions to a bar in Guate. As our director said, you can buy cervezas at the bars here, but you mostly go to “buy chicas,” ie, look for some love to pay for. He told me that if a girl were asking ¨donde esta el bar?” people would want to know if you were looking for a job! Yeah. A bar like we would think in the States as a place for some drinks is called a cantina. Important lesson!
Another good lesson…when you are feeling hot and want to express that feeling, dont say “estoy caliente.” Unless of course, you mean what it translates, which is “I am horny.”
And very important, especially for girls, actually in this case, maybe more for guys, is to not do what most gringos do when they try to speak Spanish, and take the English word and adding an “el” to the front end of it and/or an “o” to the end of it, because you never know what youre going to get. For example, when you want to apologize to the nice Guate who is being so patient with you, and you throw out a gringonized version of your feelings and say “estoy embarazada,” what you’re really saying is “I’m pregnant.”
In other fun school news, we play Scrabble in Spanish to help with vocabulary, and its so much fun to see rr and ch and ñ as letters on the board. And the library has copies of tons of cool books in Spanish for me to read! For example, James and the Giant Peach, To Hill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter 1, 2, and 3. I´m very emocional right now and not eating much. My poor adopted mom thinks I either don’t like her food or am homesick. I think I am overwhelmed by this experience. I wish you were all here with me.
Also, addendum to previous post about the Spider of Death….I was feeling so much better about bugs, got home last night, washed my face in my bucket, reached for my towel, and came back with a cucaracha. It flew at my face, I screamed so much bloody morder so loud Dana ran over from her house to see what was wrong, And then she too screamed when she saw “wrong” on the door. Sigh.
Pray for me, my health, my safety, and my unshakable fear of insectos.
- 198-GringaDiaries: Guate has bugs the size of your FACE! (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)
- 196 – Gordita Loves Flores, Guatemala! (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)
- 197 – Gordita Loves Flores, Guatemala! (racheldangerw.wordpress.com)
- Definition: gringo/a (travelola.org)
- Gringo/Gringa Stereotypes: Which ones do you fit or break? (shelefttheus.wordpress.com)
- The Perks of Being a Gringa in La Gran Cuidad. (curiouslikeakat.wordpress.com)
- Pretty Little Gringa Girl (caughtupincolombia.wordpress.com)
- Gringos: The People from Off (retirenicaragua.wordpress.com)