Saturday, January 29, 2011


The first week of language school is over. We arrived in Guatemala a week ago today, dragging our tired selves and heavy suitcases (or duffel bags) out of the airport into the slightly humid and exhaust-filled air of Guatemala City. Our field directors, Alex and Evy, met us with a bus and we loaded up for the last phase of our travels from Canada to Guatemala. The night was fairly quiet, with few cars and buses on the roads. After not very long (only an hour and a half) we arrived in Chimaltenango, where resides the Guatemala Bible Seminary, where we were to spend the next two nights.

In Chimal (as we affectionately call it) the students rested while we (mostly “director Krysti” and me) worked on getting money and phone things figured out. As it turns out, Guatemalan SIM cards have to be used at least once every six months, or else the phone number expires and is recycled into the greater Guatemalan system. Because none of our phones were used between April of last year and January of this year, all but one of the SIM cards had expired. Unfortunately, this was only discovered over the period of three days. Thus, rather than having all the phones and their respective numbers assigned and distributed immediately on Sunday, we didn’t have the phones completely cared for until Thursday. Well, at least now they’re taken care of, eh?

Monday we drove to Antigua and began with language school. Originally, I was paired with Andy, with Fredy as our teacher (last year Jordan, Andy, and I were with Fredy, so it was familiar). This year, however, we had a Swiss girl by the name of Samira join our happy little group. She had been studying with Jose in the afternoons, but really wanted to be social with our group and study in the mornings, and since Andy and I were the only ones at her level, she joined us. It has been fun process, laughing and sighing our way through new ideas in a different language. I’ve been surprised at how well I have been able to pick up Spanish again this year.

Between Monday and Friday, we reviewed all of the tenses we learned before, and also picked up gerunds, present progressive, future progressive, past progressive, conditional progressive, past participles, passive voice, and perfect tense. Yes, I think that’s enough for a week. =) We generally learn Spanish from 8-12 in the morning, with a break from 10-10:30. Before the break we learn new things, and after the break we practice by just conversing about different topics. So far we have discussed machismo, typical national foods, places to visit in Guatemala, the relationships between husbands and wives in Guatemala vs. that of boyfriends and girlfriends, the end of the world in 2012, childhood traditions, and more.

During my free time in the afternoons I have been to the market, gone to cafes for internet, had meetings with my group, and read good books. Unfortunately I didn’t bring enough books with me. ~smile~ Today I wandered around Antigua with a friend and looked at things, wandering into several markets, studying the architecture of different buildings, and only buying a pair of sunglasses. Yes, I have sunglasses again… we shall see how long these last. I bargained for them with a little six year old girl whose mother had gone off to buy food. She was very nice and let me talk her down a whole 6 quetzales from the original price. ~laughs~ I think she still got a good deal.

Well, that’s my life. Next week Spanish school continues. I hope to have conquered the “plusqueamperfecto” and “imperative” by the end of next week.

Until then, adios, y Dios te bendiga mucho. (Bye, and God bless you a lot!)

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