So far it’s been 2 1/2 weeks, 6 days a week, four hours a day plus homework and I think I’m getting some traction. A month more to go.

It’s a mile walk each way which feels more than that because of the cobblestones and traffic. So I leave at 7:30 for an 8:00 start.

My school is a beautiful place. About 30 students. The area in the left middle of the photo is where they serve snacks at break time


It’s fairly intense. Each session is actually 4 hours 15 minutes since they don’t want you to think the 15 minute break is time off. Time for another coffee. Only Spanish is spoken, it’s one-on-one only, so the first week is hell.

Every week a supervisor comes by to check in. This is the opportunity to change instructors if the current one has broken your spirit and you feel like flipping a coin for one with less energy.

Merle, my instructor, who I’d never trade because she has a sense of humour (thank God I’m not in German immersion), which she’s needed with me, can be a serious driver. I’m smiling at this point. That never lasts long


Merle:    Otre vez Jeremy! Otre vez!   (again Jeremy! again!)

Merle:    Rapido Jeremy! Rapido!  (quickly Jeremy! quickly! )

Merle:    Practica, practica, practica Jeremy!  (practice, practice, practice Jeremy!

Sometimes I throw a wrench into it and try to kill the pace. That happened this morning when we were discussing Coban, a municipality which includes some important parks. She uses new discussion areas to bump up the vocabulary. I was slumped over with exhaustion when I see an opening. Here’s how it went:

Merle:    ….y muchos parajos y manos    (…and many birds and monkees)

Me:    No Merle. No hay monos en Guatemala. Monos de Africa  (No Merle. There are no damn monkees in Guatemala. Monkees are from Africa.)

Merle:    Si, Jeremy. Hay muchos monos en Guatemala   (Yes, Jeremy. There are tons of monkees in Guatemala)

Me:    No Merle, you’re pulling my chain.    (in english)

Merle:    Poooling my chain? Que significa?   (pulling my chain? what does this mean?)



One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Hahah Merle sounds amazing. I’m amazed that she hasn’t flipped a coin for a student with less energy.

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