Spanish and Shoes

March 4, 2007

So a week into the program and ummm yup, I still don´t know Spanish. I know more than I did last week, I suppose that’s progress. Truthfully, I was worried about whether or not this Spanish immersion program that I found over internet even existed. I did as much research as possible over the web and saw where people had blogged about their experiences doing the program during their gap year and so forth, but at a certain point you pay your money and just set out on hope that it actually exist. I was incredibly relieved at the airport when there was actually someone to pick me up.  I am in class everyday from 2-6pm. Those four hours Monday-Friday are very humbling as I fumble and attempt to speak Spanish. “No entiendo” are my two new favorite words. I was expecting to be volunteering in hospitals for half a day each day but when I got here I was disappointed to learn that you need to be at a certain level in the school before they will let you go work in the community and I won´t be eligible for that until my 5th week. Unfortunately, at which time I will be in Santiago, Chile and they don´t have hospital volunteer opportunities at the Chile school. I was disappointed when I found that out but after hanging out in the city trying to get things done for a week, I suppose it makes sense that a person needs to be at a certain speaking level before assisting the public.

I live in an apartment with two other young men from the program. One is an 18 year old English “chap” doing a gap year and the other is a 25 year old Polish guy traveling around for 10 months. We make quite an interesting international house. The young Englishman is so proper and gentleman like, while the Polish roommate is a stereotypical huge hairy Eastern European man who walks around the house half naked all the time muttering Kuerva (which apparently means fuck in Polish). We all get along well and its kinda nice living with boys ….. though the weird smells emanating from their rooms and the fact that toilet paper is scarce and used for absolutely everything (ok, see fellas there is toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins…they all serve a separate purpose) reminds me everyday that yes I am indeed the only female around.

My only complaint is that my flat is about 3 miles away from school so it’s quite a bit of walking everyday and I left my sneakers in Trinidad because they got ruined from playing Jouvert (lots of throwing paint and mud). I knew I would need to get some new ones but I figured I could take my time. Well after my feet started bleeding from wearing sandals that weren´t properly broken in on the first day of classes I stopped at a store to buy tennis shoes and ended up buying some adiddas that were the wrong size. Yes I tried them on, but I was tired, frustrated, didn´t really understand what the saleswoman was saying and I just needed some freakin shoes. I thought they felt a little snug when I tried them on, but they were the right size(in number and in theory) so I just took them. Then I had the nerve to wear them out of the store……. so by the time I realized they were tootoo small (about 2 blocks later) they had already been walked in so I can´t return them. 300 pesos down the drain, fucking great. Completely my fault, and at the end of the day it´s just one of those things ya gotta charge it to the game of wandering around the world.

So now large hematomas have developed on the balls of both of my feet (from walking in those stiff sandals for only 2 miles) and the only shoes I have that I can stand to walk in everyday are my Nike flip flops …. but this won’t last long. The weather is changing as their winter is approaching and flip flops have proven not to bode well in rain. Always in travel, the most important part is your bags and your shoes and if it isn’t one giving you trouble its another. I´ll try again next week.



  1. As your concerned older sis, I must admit that my first concern is for your feets! Do you need me to send you some shoes? Call me and we’ll discuss…Second, it only seems fitting that your Polish roommate would walk around using the word “fuck” all the time, because you use it with such reckless abandon, which by the way is causing your mother complete and utter distress because of all the people “can see it.” Way to fucking go you fucking world traveler you! I hope you have lots of fucking once in a lifetime experiences, and if you have the nerve to come back to the States speaking fluent fucking Spanish, I am going to be really fucking jealous because after all that time and $$ I spent taking Spanish 1-4 in college, I can read Spanish really fucking well but can’t hold a fluent fucking conversation! But that is neither here nor fucking there, so be safe, learn lots, and bring me back something good (like you always do!) I love the fuck out of you sissy!

  2. zappatos situation has been resolved. I am now the proud owner of some snazzy black and white addidas. Though suede probably wasnt the best choice given the rainy weather situation…. I dont care.

  3. Well Well….karma is a MF. Remember when we were in Europe and I was walking in thr rain in Paris in flip flops? You cracked on me like all the time.
    That’s all I have to say.

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