The latest from the Land Up High!

Hola Amigos y amigas.

Que Tal en Inglaterra? Yo Estoy muy bien a presente.

As you can see, my Spanish ability is still basic, but I am improving at quite a speed now and can hold a simple conversation with most people in different situations. I never enjoyed studying languages at school. I do not know whether that is due to the fact that I decided to study German or that I was often forced to sit next to one of the biggest eejits in the year group. I didnt think things would be much different here in South America and I must confess to admitting that before leaving England´s pleasant land, I expected a fair number of the locals to speak basic Spanish. Enough anyway, which would mean I would need to learn no more than the bare essentials.
Obviously I have been surprised in two ways, firstly by the fact that hardly anybody speaks English ( Including tour guides), but more so by the fact that I have enjoyed and am still enjoying mastering the Spanish language to bridge the gap. I get great satisfaction now, when somebody ( especially a gorgeous local girl) asks me a question and I am now able to answer it fluently and confidently. I can now wish my students a pleasant weekend at the end of the week and tell them I look forward to seeing them on Monday. Being able to speak the local language in any country really helps you interact with the locals and it is surprising how much they appreciate you making the effort, even if you do make a fair few mistakes. Only today I learned that for the last month I have been telling the locals that I am angry rather than hot. All of those concerned expressions make a lot of sense now!

I have started taking Spanish lessons now with my ´Brother´ Alan, usually around two hours a day and at present we are mastering a number of Verbs. He is a great teacher and I have offered to pay him 6 soles per hour (just over a pound ), to which he accepted. Studying, teaching and of course dancing have filled most of my time recently and it is for that reason that this post has taken a while to write. I have simply been too busy.

After deciding that i wasnt benefiting much from the teaching at Fe Y Alegria School, I have reduced the number of leassons I assist in here and have decided to take on extra classes at the Language Centre and now take two classes everyday between Monday and Friday, which fills three hours of my day. I am really enjoying it and have introduced a number of activities, which the students have certainly seemed to enjoy. Only yesterday I had a class of 9 blindfolded, whilst another student gave simple directions around the room avoiding the obstacles (desks) that I had strategically placed around the room. The task was complete when the student giving directions had succesfully asked the person in the dark to sit in the chair provided. A number of them unded up on the floor!

Two weeks ago I took a class on my own for an entire week and as nervous as I was, I thoroughly enjoyed it and now really believe in my ability as a teacher. One lovely middle aged lady in my class called nelly has improved significantly since being in my class and this gives me great satisfaction. I am excited about training and becoming a teacher in England.

On the whole, the last three weeks have been highly enjoyable and I seem to be enjoying it more the longer I stay. I think it will be very difficult when the time for me to leave arrives.It is great now constantly bumping into people I know or hearing a child from school or the language centre call my name before waving to me from across the road.

Well unfortunately I must bid you a farewell now as it is Friday night and we know what that means!

I have a lot more to say though, so i will be back shortly to tell you about it.

Until then, i suppose it is an adios.

Hasta Pronto


Dan 😀

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