30 June 2011

estoy en Merida! I am in Merida!

Well...I'm here! In Merida, Mexico where i will study spanish for 3 weeks at a language school. I arrived last Sunday evening and was picked up at the airport by my new host family---my new mexican grandparents Neyda and Enrique. They are so sweet---and cute! They have been hosting students like me for over 15 years and are highly recommended to the school by students so i feel so lucky to be placed with them for these weeks.

Everyday I take 6 hours of instruction in Spanish grammar, vocab, conversation etc.
I figure to give you a good look at what the last few days have been like, i'd do it day by day because its a little easier to explain.

My first day Enrique drove me to school. He showed me how i would walk and where to stand to wait for the bus each day. How to get on and off the bus and where to catch it again in the afternoon. Made it really easy for me to remember. I am so thankful he did that because i've not ridden a public bus EVER in my life, let alone in another country where its hard to tell what the bus route is! haha.

Then i met with my first teacher Willie. He is from Mexico but is bilingual. I had class with him from 8-11 AM. Very intense grammar instruction mixed with conversation. That day i felt so overwhelmed with new things, new people, the enormity of what i need to learn and so i was fighting back tears a few times just out of frustration and overwhelming unidentified emotions. But this was NOT because i didnt like everything that was happening...its just a lot of change to happen in one 24 hour period! haha.

After Willie, we had a short break and then i had class with another teacher Bessy. In her class we also do some grammar, but she focuses more on new vocabulary, reading and conversation.

After classes on Monday, Enrique was there to take me home where i am treated to an AMAZING almuerzo (lunch) at 3:00 made by Neyda. Her cooking is great and so far i've been so happy with the food---a great balanced diet and meals sitting on the table waiting for me every day at 7, 3 and 8...how can i complain?? she wont even let me wash the dishes!!

So my first day was good, although overwhelming and lonely.

I feel really lucky because this week there are only 2 other students at the school, and they are at a lower level than me so i have individual one-on-one classes all day with my maestros (teachers). Its so nice to work on what i need to practice and repeat and repeat and repeat.

My brain is exhausted most day from all the new things and trying to remember so much, but today i don't feel like that because i feel like it's stuck in there, but i'm sure tomorrow i'll learn TONS of new things to make me feel differently haha.

Merida is such a nice city. I have visited one time before but only for an evening so i didn't get to see much. Its a beautiful place. Unfortunately we had a great deal of rain this week (especially when i was waiting for the bus hahaha) and so i haven't seen as much of the city as i would like,but i'm hopeful that this weekend will be nice and i can go spend the day at the Centro or something.

My host home is FABULOUS. Aside from the amazing food. They are just so sweet in wanting to help me practice and they are great at giving me my space too. I usually talk to them in the evenings when i eat dinner. Sidenote: I eat all my meals alone hahah...i'm getting used to it, but its a little awkward sometimes. Neyda will talk to me and ask about things in my life or day. Its great practice! They don't know ANY english so its really helpful because i have to figure out how to say everything i want in spanish. I can tell my confidence and knowledge is improving because i can talk so much easier to them today than i could even on Monday!! YAY!

Its been a good week----sooooo fast! I will be here for 2 more weeks and cant imagine how much i will learn. I'm not sure if my classes will continue to be individual all day or not...may new students will come? no idea at this point.

So things are pretty good....I could even probably write most of this blog in spanish so that makes me really happy to know that i could if i wanted to. :)

I'll try to update more often--wish i could add pictures but again, i lost my computer cord. Thankfully my wonderful mom just ordered one online so i'll get it when i go back the states in a couple weeks.

Saludos a todos!