I am a jelly doughnut.

6 01 2008

Posted by: Laura

In college, I took two semesters of Spanish to fulfill my language requirement. I enjoyed the langauge and would have taken more courses, except entry level Spanish classes were generally held at 9:00am and met everyday.  Unfortunately, my busy college life could not accomodate that appointment.  However, when I taught at Priory, one of my best friends, Angulo, happened to be the Spanish teacher. She would teach me choice phrases and words. After four years of these mini-lessons, I built up quite a vocabulary. I became so comfortable with the phrases I knew, that one day I accidently swore (in Spanish) in front of one of the monks who shared an office with us. (I was looking for my darn keys). I figured monks only knew Latin. I was wrong.

I would describe my Spanish sentences like miniature tornados. I throw words together in a sentence, not necessarily in the correct order, tense, or gender, but native speakers tend to comperhend my meaning. While Chris knows a good deal more of the language than I do and has a good understanding of Spanish grammar, the words don’t come quite as quickly when he speaks. So, he would translate what people said to us and I would speak. 

However, our understanding of Spanish has some limitiations. The Spanish verbs for “to return” are “volver” and “regresar.” To say “We will return,” you say “Vamos a volver” or “Vamos a regressar.” Simple enough. However somehow when conversing, we combined these two verbs to say “Vamos a revolver,” which means something entirely different. Basically for two weeks, we have been traveling around Central America telling hotel clerks, restaurant waiters, and cab drivers that “We are scrambled eggs.” 

While our mistake was not as big as telling an entire country of Germany that you are a jelly doughnut, we have decided to sign up for four weeks of language school. We are studying at Guatebuena Spanish School in Antigua, where we have class for four hours Monday- Friday.  The school is set up so that the classes are actually private lessons with one teacher to every student. We are also doing a homestay where we live with a family and eat all our meals with them. Our family only speaks Spanish, so we have a chance to practice and listen to a lot of Spanish everyday.  We started our classes right after New Years and so far we like our teachers and our school.  I have joined a gym where I can run on a treadmill. Chris has found a bar that has NFL Sunday ticket, so don´t worry, he won´t miss a single play off game. While four hours of classes + a few hours of studying + only speaking Spanish at meals is intense, hopefully after four weeks, we will no longer be scrambled eggs.



3 responses

9 01 2008

LOL!!! … scrambled eggs! That’s a new one!
We’re fine …. Michael started his FINAL round of chemo yesterday! Yippee! :-))
gg – in haste –

11 01 2008

I hope Chris is soaking up all that Guatemalan home cooking, so he can make me something tasty when you guys get back!

13 01 2008

i’ll resist the temptation to write you completely in spanish…but i can’t wait to hear all you’ve learned.
ps – i saved your gulo’s life last weekend. no, really. ask moody.

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