We are finally slowing down a bit and getting some down time and a home base for a week in Sucre while we take Spanish lessons. For $150 USD, we get 20 hours of lessons and homestay with breakfast and lunch included, which I think is a really good deal. 4 hours a day straight of Spanish is pretty heavy on the brain but it’s good to keep speaking and than getting the chance to speak at home when we’re with our family. We’re with a grandmother, mother, and daughter. I really hope to be a lot better this week! Learning Spanish has not been an easy task but just from traveling I’ve been able to pick up a good amount, well at least all of the useful stuff for traveling. I can pretty much understand about 50% of everything people say. The speaking part is still pretty difficult but we’ll get there… The only issue is that our homestay doesn’t have wifi lol which normally wouldn’t be an issue but we weren’t planning to do much this week and if we’re staying at the house, we really can’t go by 5 days without wifi #firstworldproblems
Got a Bolivian # if you wanna holler
That problem was solved because Douglas and I bought Bolivian SIM cards for our phone. Oh boy was that a freaking hassle. I think it took over an hour just to set it up and it definitely shouldn’t have, only because we were both trying to figure out what he was telling us about the credits and the packages in our broken Spanish and the Google Translate’s terrible English. I thought I had gotten down what was happening but then I didn’t do it right so it ate up all of my credits in one day so I had to return the next day to fix the problem. Anyway, now I understand what was happening and we’re good to go with data in Bolivia.
Continental Spanish School
The school itself is pretty new, only a year and a half old. We start school around 8:15am everyday for 4 hours a day with a 15 minute break. I thought learning Spanish then going home to a Spanish speaking family would be more tiring but it isn’t so bad. I do see myself getting better, being able to speak about things besides myself and asking for directions and other travel related things. I’m forming a lot of complex sentences, understanding more of what people are saying, and learning a lot more words/verbs. I’m really enjoying learning Spanish and I hope I had more time in South America to learn for longer and really hone my skills. I’m actually contemplating studying for another week. I just have to cut out a few things in my travel schedule but I think this is a skill that will help make the rest of my time here a lot better. Plus a skill that will be valuable in the long run, that is if I don’t forget it.
I’m learning all the different verb conjugation styles, and especially working on my pronunciation. I have the hardest time between “I” and “E” like the hardest. I keep mixing them up! The good thing is my teacher is correcting me every time I go so slowly I’m hoping it will stick. I do feel myself getting better. I’m just slow at speaking because I have to find the right word, form it into a proper sentence than speak. It’s not a natural rhythm yet and I think that’s the most frustrating part because I can pretty much understand a good chunk of what people say from like 50% - maybe 67% now. It’s just trying to respond getting a bit hectic, making me revert back to the basics.
My Sucre Familia
We decided to stay with a family in Sucre instead of a hostel so that we could take advantage of speaking more Spanish while we’re here. It’s also nice to have some peace and quiet compared to what a hostel is usually like. And having home cooked meals is always so nice. We get breakfast and lunch included in the price so it’s definitely a nice touch. I’m with a family of 3 - grandma, mother, and daughter. They’re all super nice and sweet and have made my week living with them pretty amazing.
Now we’re off to Carnival in Oruro!! It’s second to Carnival in Rio so it’ll hopefully be a really fun time.