Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Little Bit of Shake, Rattle, and Roll

This was another busy day with classes, a walk to the 3 story mall on Avenida Central, some homework, and dinner at a Brazilian restaurant. I want to talk about our language school a little, but first must report on the 'tremblor' I felt early this morning.

Yes, there was an after shock from the earthquake around 1:00 am. It felt like a boat rocking, only from head to foot, not side to side. I was asleep, but woke up and thought I must have dreamed it. No one mentioned anything this morning, so I didn't say anything either. Then at dinner tonight several people remarked that John, one of the men in our group, also had talked about feeling a tremor. Then I had to compare notes and the reaction was very similar. Apparently he and I were the only ones to feel it. Just goes to show you that these people are heavy sleepers! Probably because most of them also are up and ready to go by 6:00 am.

I remember an earthquake in Chicago back when we were living there. Dad and I had driven to Rockford to purchase the Rambler American (Roger Rambler) he gave me for graduation and were returning to the city when it occurred. We didn't feel anything in the car, but everyone in our apartment building was talking about it.

Back to the school.
We are attending the Costal Rica Language Academy, http://www.spanishandmore.com/ There are many students there from all over the world, most of them in their early twenties or thirties. Our group is separated for class from everyone else with one teacher for 3 or 4 of us. The teachers are all female, young, confident, patient, and very effective. Our Spanish abilities range from beginner with no previous experience to conversational. John (fellow tremor mate) and his wife Libby have attended language programs in the United States, Mexico, Spain, South America, and now Costa Rica. Several other people in the group have studied for years.

We have instruction and practice from 9-12 and again from 1-2. From 2-3 we hold conversations. Yesterday we held additional conversation from 3-4. There also is a dance class, which is more lake a combination aerobics/line dance session, after that.

The facility is a little like a rabbit warren with a central entrance room and break room. There is an outdoor seating area and snack bar. Then there are several small buildings with classrooms on either side of the main entrance. It reminds me a little of a California or Florida school arrangement. During breaks I try to visit with some of the other students and find that they are there for at least 4 weeks and some continue with mission work or traveling afterward. It's been good to experience the school so I can tell other people what to expect if they want to attend one.

Some of us tried to speak only Spanish outside of school today, but that ended by lunchtime. It's very tiring for one thing and our vocabulary is too limited to discuss all the things a bunch of Elderhostelers want to know about each other and talk about. However, I am using Spanish more with the people working in the hotel, some of whom speak little or no English.

I have an essay to write for homework, so will close this post and act like a responsible student. Salud Dinero y Amor...(Health, Money, y Love) y el tiempo para disfrutarlos (and the time to enjoy them).

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