Time is going so fast. Now I am here for one and a half weeks, and a daily routine starts to emerge. In my case, Spanish classes take place in the afternoon, between 2 and 5. I actually signed up for group classes 4 hours a day, but since not enough students signed up for this mode, I get 3 hours of individual classes per day. A pretty good deal I think. Normally we start by having a conversation about a random topic, just whatever comes to our mind. There is always something to discuss, and I’ve learned quite a bit how people live and think in Guatemala. After that, we switch gears and have a look at a certain grammar topic – but always with the possibility to divert to a conversation when we find an interesting topic to talk about. Every thing happens with a cup of Guatemalan coffee next to me. Students and the staff get coffee for free, which is one of my favorite things. Also, we have the possibility to study outside instead of a stuffy class room, which I also like.
The school also organizes activities, which in my case take place in the morning. Most of those activities are things that tourists would normally omit, which I think makes them rather interesting. I have written a blog post about such an activity, the visit to a farmer who cultivates coffee, beans and corn just outside of Antigua. This visit was such an activity, organized by the school. Yesterday we visited a place where they keep exotic animals such as snakes or geckos. Some employees and also volunteers are looking after these animals, and we could observe them taking the snakes out for bathing in the sun. We also had the opportunity to hold a snake. For some reason, this place is combined with a pool for swimming classes. I don’t even know whether this place is publicly accessible, but I’m sure that it can’t be found in any tourist guides. And on the way to and from these places, we can observe how people live here in Guatemala. On the way we are passing markets, or – another interesting example – a Gothic style church, which is rather untypical for Latinamerica. Eloiza, our guide from the school, does a very good job explaining us everything we want to know, always with a smile on her face. This all happens in Spanish, so I guess these are also great Spanish classes. Applied Spanish, as it happens in real life. I think this is a very effective way of learning a language!
For this weekend, the school planned a 3 day trip to Semuc Champey and Coban, which are situated approximately 120 km north east of Antigua Guatemala. I’ll try to write about this experience, so stay tuned for more content next week.