Sunday, October 28, 2007

Spanish School in Antigua, Guatemala

From the roof of our school on our last morning, with clear sky and a cessation of rain, the spectacular view of the city's architecture and color around us was topped by a setting moon.

After failing Latin 1, 3 times in High School, then again for Latin 2; as well as needing 3 attempts to finally be able to pass Spanish 1 and again Spanish 2---I decided to give it a try again after a 40+ year break.

It had been in the plan book for twenty years and Dorothy was interested also, in taking language lessons in Guatemala, once we finally got here.

Breakfast view from our room included the Volcano just south of Antigua.

Planning for the actual school was done By Dorothy, spending most of 8-10 days, on the internet here, checking out schools and the cities where most students were flocking to. That worked in a sense, but my gut reaction was to go to one of these cities first, a few days early and check out a few of the better ones, to get more of a hands on feel for the choice necessary. Ended up we went to Antigua as it was a neat city to begin with and started there.

Classes were One on One/ teacher and student.

We knew 'something' of the other schools and the pricing, as well as the cost and availabiltiy of basic housing and food costs. The second morning after checking into a 'reasonable' hotel (a bed, private bath and a reading light+ a rare option...a TV) at $28/night, we decided to check out a school in 'that' part of town before going to the other side where more schools were located. By the way, hotels here run from about $14/night to 150/night, but we live on a very limited budget so basic accomodations are the goal.

Teacher and student: Marco and Ron

Also, keep in mind, that private baths or even hot water are considered a bit of luxury here, a country where the average wage is under $10/day.
A visit to ILC-International Language Center- felt good immediately. It was not exactly in the best part of town, nor the worst, but inside it's walls, the atmosphere was clean, quiet, professional and the pricing was in line. It was a Monday and they said they could have individual teachers for us the next morning, as well as the Plus for us, they had a room available at the school that was far better than our hotel room, at $100 per week and that included free computer internet and use of their kitchen.

Dorothy's teacher, 23 year old Nancy presents Dorothy with a present.

This was a big plus, as then we did not have to eat out 3 meals a day. Done Deal! We signed on!
Cob webs do exist in brains. I can attest to that. We had signed up for 4 hours of morning classes per day, each of us with a private teacher. Believe me, after 3 hours and 15 minutes, my brain was fried! ............. Dorothy handled it better.........
Afternoons, most students studied more! Well, I make it a practice not to whip myself and Dorothy has the same mindset, so we o
pted often to walk the city and of like any tourist. Why is it that when you travel you feel compelled to bring what you think is cool, to others that are not seeing what you are? A mystery forever ...
Some shots here show just a bit of this very old city. I'll cut this short then try to add a few other sections later on tidbits of Antigua.
Hope you enjoy.

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