Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I am happy. The beginning of my Spanish Immersion!

Today I am happy. This photo and saying captures it all so fabulously. The last couple weeks in San Pedro La Laguna on Lago de Atitlan has been a roller coaster. I've had all sorts of emotions during the start of my Spanish Immersion - nervous, frustrated, excited, happy, flustered, curious...

 I have been living with a really great family in San Pedro - Teresa (madre) and her four kids (Chema, Victor, Rosa and Checha). The family speaks very little English which is good and "bad". It's been perfect for my Spanish immersion clearly, but at times I feel like my head will explode when I can't get explain myself haha. Day by day I am feeling more settled and my Spanish is improving. YAY. little triumphs right?...even if it's just conjugating a verb correctly!

Alright so let me get down what I've been up to during my time in Guatemala. For one, it feels amazing to settle down for some time and not move around after 7 weeks of non-stop travels every couple days. Where to start? Well I am taking Spanish Lessons in the morning for 3 hours monday - friday with a really great teacher, Rafael. Three days a week I'm volunteering for a few hours with a community organization called Ja'bel'ya. I'm teaching a new group of kids each week some english phrases and doing various activities. I  am Supposed to teach them some English phrases but I end up needing to talk in Spanish the whole time. I Really struggled my first week teaching the kids in Spanish – I actually dreaded going, but as I learned new Spanish phrases and games to keep them busy I feel good about it. Musical chairs, duck duck goose and statues saved my life. Anybody have other suggestions? 

If I'm not spending time with my family, I'll head down the hill for salsa lessons, go kayaking go chill in San Marcos (another town across the lake with fun cliff jump) or have a cerveza or two at Buddha Bar with mis amigos. The great part about Guate is there are tons of awesome outdoor activities. So far I've gone kayaking, cliff jumped, taken a few yoga classes and hiked Nariz de Indio with Chema - all outside, I love it. Feels so great to get so much fresh air that I lack in the corporate world. 

Oh lordie the food is so delicious! muy rica! My host mom, Teresa, sells tostadas, arroz con leche and atoll (plantain drink that is served warm) everyday in the next pueblo San Juan (her hometown). Teresa works so so hard taking care of her 4 kids (and me!). She is very sweet and makes such great food. I don't know how I can thank her enough. 
Best Tacos Ever, Arroz con leche y Atoll, Tamales, Teresa with her Tamales and a delicious latte
Big THANK YOU to Brian for setting all of this up in San Pedro for me (teacher, volunteer opp and my family!) and sharing your experience with me. I'm glad to re-live part of it for you :)

Another immersion is in my near future as well - Yoga Immersion (YTT) in Costa Rica. More about that in a different post. For now, here are some of my photographs that won't do the beauty of Lago de Atitlan justice. It really is an amazing community.
My Spanish School - Ixim Achi
Pretty amazing view while doing laundry. Also Nariz de Indio is the formation on the right.
San Pedro Yoga
My first of many headstands in Guate! This one is in San Marcos.
"Trampoline" cliff jump in San Marcos
Around 4pm each day the sky tends to look like this - view is of Volcan San Pedro from San Marcos
View from the top of Nariz de Indio. San Pedro is the farthest town away, the closer town is San Juan.
Breathe taking.
Tostadas by Teresa - jealous? :)
View of the lake in San Pedro
The Church and Park right next to my house in San Pedro
San Pedro!
Check out the rest of my photographs on Picasa:

Lago de Atitlan

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