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Thursday 12th October 2006

Spanish Classes, Salsa Classes & Meet the Parents

Monday was my first day of Spanish classes and talk about brain overload!! It was an intense experience! The classes consist of 4 hours of one on one tuition every morning (8-12) and are a mixture of speaking and grammar. Great way to learn! Itīs got slightly easier as the week has progressed but after each class Iīm still mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. My teacherīs name is Sergio and heīs a top bloke.

On Sunday Frank and I moved in with our host families. We requested separate families so that we wouldnīt be tempted to speak English all the time and we ended up in houses next door to each other which is perfect! My family is really nice, they have 3 kids and the motherīs name is Chiqui. It was fairly uncomfortable at first but now I feel really welcome there. My Spanish has improved considerably and I got a bit of a buzz last night at the dinner table when I was able to understand about 90% of what was going on and even throw a few of my own (slowly spoken) sentences in! The family must be quite well off as they have two cars, a tv and the kid has a Nintendo. The 9 year old son is pure gold, his name is Oscar and heīs always in trouble. The mum is always yelling "Donde va?" (where are you going) as he is running out the door. Itīs funny as Oscar is always on the phone to his girlfriend .. he calls her el amor .. gold!

The house is an interesting setup .. itīs 4 rooms set around an open courtyard and the kitchen is outdoor but covered and consists of 3 sinks and 2 gas burners .. very basic indeed. One of the sinks is for dirty dishes, one is constantly full of water and the other is for clean dishes as they donīt have any cupboards or storage. They have a fridge but donīt seem to use it as all he food is bought fresh on a daily baisis from the local markets. The shower and bathroom is a disgrace and make Aussie public toilets look 5 star .. hahaha. I had heard some horror stories about travellers ending up with bad families and being served beans and rice for 3 meals a day but Chiqui is a fabulous cook and I have been eating like a king for the last week. She asked me what my favourite food is so I said Guacamoli and she cooked it the next night. The avocados here are out of this world! Yeah so I get 3 meals a day at the house and have basically no other expenses so am living very cheaply indeed. Beers in a bar usually cost $1-$2.

During the week we went to two group salsa classes and pretty much became addicted. Itīs extremely difficult but great fun. We booked 5 one hour one on one lessons for next week ... bring it on! So next week is shaping up to be a full on Spanish immersion! Iīm thinking of abducting a salsa instructor and a Guatemalan chef and bringing them back to Oz to start a Salsa bar ... what do you reckon?

Weīve only been here a week and yet everywhere we go we bump into people that we know ... so much fun! Loving life at the moment!

Spanish word of the day ... Talvez - maybe

Some photos from Antigua here:
http://www.danscapers.com/gallery/Guatamala




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