Monday, January 16, 2012

Greetings from Guatemala

Hello all,

Checking in from beautiful Antigua, Guatemala, where I've just arrived to take two weeks of intensive Spanish courses before returning to SAIS for my last semester.

On recommendation of my Spanish professor at SAIS professor, I enrolled in a program at CSA, the only institution in Antigua (and maybe all of Guatemala) that is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes. I have a lot of respect for those guys after discovering one of their libraries in Slovakia.

My goal from this trip is to transition from being able to speak Spanish "proficiently" to becoming conversational - fewer pauses in between words, greater fluidity in speaking and more comprehension in listening in conversations. Is this feasible for two weeks? I'll be in class every day for 6 hours and live with a Guatemalan host family, so we'll see.

On my first day of classes, my professor and I (all the sessions are one-on-one) did a in-depth review of "por" vs. "para" before we hopped into other things, and in the afternoon we took a tour of Antigua. More about Antigua later, but the important thing to know is that THERE ARE VOLCANOES HERE. ACTIVE VOLCANOES.

This is a photo of the Vulcan de Agua, behind Ronald McDonald here.