Language a go-go

How interesting to come to a country not knowing the language … Now I know truly understand and empathize with what it feels to be a minority!! The ability to really speak with anyone on an intellectual basis is impossible at this point and my attempts at forming an intelligible, unambiguous sentence is like pulling teeth at best … I wish that I had the enthusiasm of charades that my mother has :). I’ll have to work on that if I want to get away from speaking English, especially with the schools other students (now numbered at 17 but rising to their full capacity of 32 in Junios). The Lonely Planet phrasebook is invaluable, but trying to find the right words or phrase in the conversational moment is like scrambling for water as it sinks into sand … While questioning and searching one moment, the context is lost when the phraseology is finally discovered (IF found :)). It’s been such a long time since I’ve attempted to learn a language … My brain feels as if it’s stuck in first gear while life ‘speeds’ around me in every possible direction, Ladino style. This is definitely a GOOD thing … The brain needs to be pushed to its limits and beyond every now and then (especially with my job of spending hours in front of my laptop).
My first day at Juan Sissay language school was a pleasant surprise … although a slow immersion into the basics of a language, I’m finding that it is providing me with a foundation to work from. My teacher, Selvina, is a 20 year University graduate whose English is fairly proficient; he’s patient and kind and helpful in his lessons, although quite younger (and somewhat immature) than most of the teachers here, it seems. However, I feel like a child in my youth of Spanish knowledge, so maturity levels don’t really apply at this moment in time. One month down the road may be a different story!
I am very grateful to the current Juan Sissay Director, Christine from Massachusetts, who helped make sense of the jumbled fundamentals of homestays here in Guatemala along with the once confusing modus operandi of the school.
I am finding that activities abound … but for a price. For example, this weekend there is an excursion to the black sandy beaches of the south-east, a 5 hour bus ride away. I am still in inner debate about whether to go or not. Although it would probably only cost around $60US (which, for two days with ‘hotel’ and meals plus transport included, seems like a bargain), my quandary in deciding whether to go or not lies in the fact that I have 14 months ahead of me with a set amount of funds (limited at that!). It seems that my whole life revolves around being a spendthrift and this Guatemalan venture is no different when it comes to monitoring my spending. I have the night to think it over!
My homework for the day? Write down the objects (furniture, etc) in my room inclusive with their gender, and the forms it takes when used in the plural form. With the few items in my room, I think it necessary to venture to the kitchen! 🙂 … simplicity does have its advantages ;).

Similar Posts