I wrote this post back in the Fall of 2010 when I was sitting in a small coffee shop looking out at Lake Atitilan while in Spanish school in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala.
Spanish was Spoken Everywhere, Not by Me
I’ve been playing soccer since I was seven years old, and growing up near Harrisonburg, VA I played with a lot of Spanish-speaking teammates in the Shenandoah Valley Summer Soccer League. What impressed me about these guys, was not only were they better than me at soccer, but they could speak English fluently, and some of them were taking French. So while they were on language #3, I was still trying to figure out grammar rules of my own native language.
I really wish I could have communicated with them in Spanish, and over the years I feel like I’ve missed out on plenty of opportunities to use it. I did take Spanish for four years in high school, but honestly, I never learned to speak it, because when you don’t have to, you won’t do it.
Now I’m Diving Headfirst into the Deep End
Nothing quite beats jumping into the deep end of language immersion. When I finally set out on August 2nd, I’ll be in Spanish speaking countries for the next five months. I guess if I am to eat food, make friends, and work hard for HOPE International, I have to learn it. It’s much different when you have to. It changes the motivation in your mind.
See, in Harrisonburg, I wanted to learn Spanish.
In the Dominican Republic, I have to speak Spanish.
I’m not giving myself a choice anymore, it’s going to happen.
Language School in Guatemala
After my trip with www.wepc.org to the Casa Bernabe Orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua, I’ll head to Guatemala for a month of language school. I’m pretty nervous about having to speak Spanish for four hours a day to an instructor. I know that I’m not leaving myself an easy exit, and I know that’s exactly what I need.
I’ll be attending the San Pedro Spanish School, www.sanpedrospanishschool.org, near Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. Here’s what they have to say:
“Our methods of teaching are interactive suiting to your own personal needs with concentration on communication. After many years of experience our staff has developed a wide range of teaching materials to teach Spanish as a foreign language. We cater to different needs of the student such as Spanish for traveling, business, medical or education reasons.
Our Spanish courses consist of one-on-one between the teacher and the student. You can enroll in different levels from beginner to advanced. There is the option to examine your starting level when you enter the courses so it can adapt to your necessities and qualifications and improve every area of your instruction.”
I hope I’m ready!