Just Thinkin’…



This is Yubal, our very patient teacher at Habla Ya!!

It’s 10:15 at night and Scott is fast asleep. Our week days are flying by so fast! Spanish class is really quite all-consuming. We usually get up by 6:30 or 7:00 then we have our coffee while we slowly wake up. Crack open the Spanish workbooks and casually begin to do a bit of studying. Then we have our breakfast and continue studying until its time to get showered and dressed for the day. We leave the house by 12:15-12:30. Class begins at 1:00 and before I know it , it;s 5:00 and we are like two Zombies as we walk out of our classes! I’m amazed how tired one can get from attempting to make an old, lazy brain do things it’s not accustomed to doing.(like memorizing verbs and conjugating?)

I’m very impressed with the Restauranteur who very wisely and strategically opened “Big Daddy’s” right next door to Habla Ya,(the spanish school). Not only are they right next door to the school but they serve the absolute best Margarita’s in town!! And May I add, at precisely 5:00pm every day, that comes in very handy!! Mind you. the proprietor of said,”Big Daddy’s” , has suggested to us, after hearing our moaning and groaning about the difficulty of learning Spanish, that we may want to try having one or two of his famous Margarita’s “Before” class!! HMMMMM! I’m not sure this is prudent advise! But, who knows, I will ponder it. I’m pretty sure the Post-school Margarita is about all I can take and Yubal, my teacher would surly frown on this student snoozing in his classroom. No, I’m afraid Big Daddy’s will continue to be our “after school hang out”.

Today after class we invited Jordan, Molly and Angelica to join us at Big Daddy’s. It was nice to hang out with our fellow spanish students and to get to know them a little better. Molly is a very sweet 29 year old collage student who works as a server at a restaurant in California and is here studying Spanish for her degree. She is staying in a youth Hostel down the street from the school and plans to study here in Boquete for two weeks then move to the Bocas del torro campus for one additional week. She would humbly disagree but I think she is the most advanced student in our class. Today when we were quizzed on numbers she got almost all of them right after only studying them while walking around this morning. She told us today that she is very excited because her sister is coming here to visit with her. She is learning about all the fun outdoorsy activities there are to do here so she will be able to show her big sis around and enjoy some adventures together.

Now , yesterday I told you a little about Angelica. She is the 17 year old who is here on her own for 5 weeks. Well, I gotta tell ya, after getting to know her a bit more today, she scares me!! She is rather…. clueless, (I say this in a loving way, not mean at all.) Learning spanish is coming easy for her because she has no inhibitions and is rather fearless. But we all know that in life having a bit of healthy fear can help us to stay safe? She is staying with a very nice Panamanian family way up in the mountains, not close to town. Today she had a bit of trouble getting to school because she got lost, caught a taxi,dropped her school books and the books got run over by a car then they were soaking wet so after getting in the taxi she sat the books next to a vent so they would dry and proceeded to leave them on the bus when she got off. And the hand drawn map with directions to her house where she is staying was with her school books!! Oh boy! That’s not all, her bank card isn’t working, she has no money and her cell phone died! So, she lost her school books, has no phone or money and doesn’t know how to get back to where she is staying, as if that weren’t scary enough, she was not one bit worried about any of this!!!! Nope! She was giggly and relaxed and as 6:00 was fast approaching (It gets dark here at that hour) this mom(me!) was trying so hard to just let it be. She seemed to think all was well and I could tell that she’s the kind of person who would have no problem asking for assistance if she felt she needed it so I kept my mouth shut. Oh boy!! Everyone has their own journey and she will be fine, I just have a tendency to worry about a young girl on her own in a strange country. I’m really hoping she got back to her host family and that she is ok. I’m sure she is.

Now, Jordan is a very fun, happy , adventurous, independent guy. He loves to laugh and is making the class so fun for me. Today we were paired up to create a conversation with all the phrases we learned for when your eating at a restaurant. So we had to write down what we would say , he was the server and I was the customer. We had a good time, at one point I ordered The special of the day( Cual es el especial del dia?) which he said was pollo y Papa’s Frita”s. then he brought be a salad and I told him that’s not what I ordered( Esto no es lo que pedi) and he proceeded to tell me that I had drank too much vino tinto!! How rude!! LOL! Yes, it’s good to have fun while attempting to learn! Jordan is in law enforcement and works with the state department on contract. He gets sent to different countries to train their law enforcement people there. He just finished 3 years in the Middle East and is taking a break right now before his next contract which is in Haiti. What an adventurous spirit. He too is doing a Home stay with a Panamanian family close to the school. When I asked him what language they speak in Haiti, he said,”French!, and I’m studying Spanish!, I may not have thought that one through!” Ha!Ha! Yes, I’m having a great time getting to know some very very amazing people. And I haven’t even begun to describe my teacher, Yubal! I’ll have to get to that in another post, it’s nearly 11:00 now!

I knew that for me, the most rewarding aspect of this new beginning would be getting to know so many new people. And here I am, enjoying getting to know such a variety of kind, open-minded, adventurous, friendly people!! Ahhhhh! Learning Spanish may be a huge challenge but making connections with new people is making it worth every minute. And in the end, after I get a grasp on the language I will be able to connect with more of the local panamanians I come into contact with in my day to day life. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. The hardest , most challenging things I’ve done in my life have always, without exception, ended up being the most valuable!! Each day of this Adventure is beautiful in more ways than I could have imagined it to be.! Cheers!


About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

3 responses »

  1. Good for you!! You are really working hard and it will come.
    About the clueless girl, I had one of them stay with me after I first arrived, someone my age (eg – she arrived in Panama with one pair of boots too uncomfortable to wear, and a pair of flip flops, no other shoes) She traveled all over the place and somehow she always survived. People helped her, she muddled through, didn’t worry about anything. I don’t get it either. I always have to plan and prepare. It will be interesting to hear how your classmate managed last night!

  2. You are inspiring me to revisit my language books and rebuild my Spanish capacity which is almost pre-high school classes level! (Hola, gracias, como esta!!) Keep at it girl . . . you will conquer!

  3. Love hearing about Spanish school and the people you are meeting. I miss you so much but feel like we are still close with your blogs and FaceTime. Lots if hugs..Cindy

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