Saturday, August 28, 2010

I made it!

Hello! Just a note to let everyone know that I made it safe and sound to San Jose last Saturday night! It has been an interesting week, so full of learning that it seems like I've been here for months! I am with a wonderful host family and they speak Spanish very slowly and clearly, and I'm finding that I'm understanding quite a bit of what they say! Unfortunately, I can't say much back to them! There is another couple who are students at the school staying here as well, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better. We are very blessed to be with this family as they have been very gracious when we have made social blunders and have promised not to laugh when we make mistakes :) Last Sunday we attended one of the local Alliance Churches, and we will be going there again tomorrow. Orientation started on Wednesday, and after this weekend, we have one more day of orientation then school begins on Tuesday. We wrote a written exam and did an oral exam so that they would know where to place us based on our level of Spanish. I was able to fill out the first page of my written exam (Name, and basic info), flipped through the rest of the pages, filled in a word or two (literally) then handed it back in. I had absolutely no clue. My oral exam was even better!! I think I lasted less than one minute...The teacher asked me what colour a folder was...it was red, and I said it was brown, and then she asked me a few other questions and I shrugged and that was it!! So it should be pretty easy to place me in the beginner's group! I get lots of practice learning words in the home though, and even had my first cooking lesson tonight: fish, plantains, salad, and avocado, and learned how to make juice from "cas". It has been difficult trying to figure out the culture here, what is acceptable etc...that is a lesson that will never end. Thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts. I am overwhelmed, but feeling good. And I'm excited to begin classes this week. I was hoping to post a few pictures, but have not had a chance to go out and take pictures, since it has been raining every day since I arrived. I will try to snap a few this week and post them here. I will sign off as I hear fireworks down the street...some things don't change whether you're in San Jose or Sylvan Lake!

2 comments:

spazo said...

I'm glad to hear that you made it safely and are gearing up for classes! You'll do great:) I'm praying for you. And at least you responded with a colour and not some other random item:)

Monty P said...

Hey, Kelly. Chris Ulriksen here (I'll probably show up as Monty P, so you wouldn't have any clue who that was. It's short for Monty Python, who I loved growing up).

Anyway, glad to hear that you made it safe! Boy, do I remember those early days learning Spanish and the culture! It's a crazy experience! Actually, reading your blog makes me kind of wish I was back in Mexico...

Here are a few tips that I learned that may or may not be of help:

Tomar means "to take", but they often use it to mean "to drink" - I think this applies to a lot of different latin countries. That one had me confused for a long time.

In Mexico, "Te quiero" meant "I love you" (it was slang), not "I want you". That had me freaked out for a while when my Mexican mama kept telling me that she wanted me. Not sure if that one will be the same.

And finally, if you want to ask a girl (or guy, in your case) what time they will be at their house so you can say goodbye, make sure you say "casa" (house", not "cama" (bed). Sort of changes the connotations a bit...

At any rate, just thought I'd say hi, and let you know that we're praying for you. Let me know if you're planning to get home at some point in the next year or two - lots of people here at Tofield will need to meet you.

Talk to you later.

Chris