We notice an increasing need, especially in the United States, to be able to speak Spanish and interact with those who at times are marginalized just because they don’t speak English. We saw this too often in Texas which is now a minority-majority…much to the chagrin of some of the more entitled of the English-speaking population. Border control and immigration laws influence attitudes and even Christians sometimes forget the bigger picture that we are ALL created in the image of G-D; that we are one PEOPLE under G-D. We can’t fix all attitudes, but we can improve ours and so…here we are trying to learn Spanish – it’s like a whole 'nother language!!
When we first arrived in Ecuador we studied on our own using Fluenz and other study materials to catch up on what we had previously learned. Being immersed in the culture makes it easier (and more necessary) to pick up on at least common Spanish phrases. After a while, however, we reached the end of what we could efficiently teach ourselves so it was time to pay for lessons!
We love our private tutor; she’s GREAT! She comes to our house 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and we study on our own doing homework, review, and memorization on the “off” days. Our tutor is Ecuadorian but is also fluent in English which has its very helpful moments! Many times, she seems to know better English than WE do (y’all know what we is sayin??).
Jamie and I have very different learning styles which can be interesting in the more formal, academic lessons. Jamie learns better experientially, in context while I am just nerdy and want to know all the rules. I generally learn faster with the tutor, but Jamie is the one that has to end up doing most of the communicating when we’re out in public (because I don’t have a CLUE what the person said). Between the two of us, we manage pretty well.
We hope to continue improving our Spanish so that we can build relationships with our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters, whether we remain in Ecuador, the States, or in other parts of the Spanish-speaking world. It’s a bonus to study on our front porch with the sound of the waves and the sight of palm trees. It’s very calming when the language gets overwhelming! It also inspires me to get my work done quickly so that I (not Jamie, as often) can go jump in the ocean!
To help us with greater immersion in the language, all future posts will be written in Spanish. NOT!