Wednesday, September 30, 2009

¡En español, por favor!

Only ten, four hour classes left to go, and we decided we had better get serious about learning this language. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve slacked a bit in the homework area while our volunteering and other activities have taken over!

However, now that we are getting into the more difficult aspects of the language, there are times where we both would love to just be done with it. We’ve come up with some alternate strategies to seeing this through – one includes stealing a local kid that knows both languages and taking he/she with us (bonus if he/she can carry our bags!) or we could play rock/paper/scissors to see which one of us has to continue on with school while the other gives it up! Hmmm.

We have scoped out one kid. Thelma is the daughter of our hostel’s owners - she is six years old and has attached herself to us whenever we are around, even sneaking into our room through the window (she gets in trouble from her parents for bugging us). We have a good arrangement – she helps us with our Spanish, and in return we let her play with our IPods.

Neither are particularly good strategies, we’ll admit. But both easily seem more appealing then class on some days…especially on Monday when I actually asked our teacher: “¿Tu tienes una arma?” Translation: “Do you have a gun???” Do we really need to learn 4 past tenses and 3 future tenses? Please put us out of our misery.

In English, please!

Pete’s introductory English classes have taken off! Yesterday was the first one, and an overwhelming 15 kids showed up – 5 more than the maximum that Pete tried to impose! Pete and Andy (another volunteer) first reviewed the numbers 1-20 in English, and then proceeded to play three games of bingo. The games were a big hit, with the winners each getting to choose one item from a bag of candies that we bought as prizes.

Then Pete reviewed simple phrases of introduction and each kid had to use one salutation and introduction in order to dip into the bag of goodies. Some of them obviously knew more than others so it was an easy treat…but the other kids did also seem very eager to learn.

Friday will be more bingo (will teach numbers 20-40) and then either about family or body parts – I’ve been busy helping Pete by making search-a-words and a crossword for the kids to play and earn their prizes.

I think we are having as much fun with this as they are!

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