Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Disculpame...I know it's been a while


I have finally met a Spanish person my age! (Besides the one who lives with me and is introverted, so I only speak to him at meals) My program sets people up with “intercambios” which is a meeting between two people who want to learn each other’s languages. I had my first intercambio today with a girl named Veronica. She is my age (which is lucky because some people are paired with 30-year-olds) and she studies philology, which apparently is the study of different languages. I didn’t know that until today because we talked about what our areas of study were in Spanish and for the longest time I thought she was talking about philosophy and finally she had to tell me in English that she doesn’t study philosophy, but philology. A little embarrassing, but priceless. So she is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English and is now working on Korean. ¡Dios Mío! She speaks English so well and she’s never studied in an English speaking country before. It amazes me. I’m so excited though, we will meet every week and she told me that my friends and I could go out with her and her friends because we don’t have any Spanish friends yet, which makes it really hard to learn to speak colloquial Spanish rather than like a Spanish teacher or something. Granted, we’ve barely had the opportunity to make Spanish friends because they just started school a week ago.


Besides my first intercambio, I’ve had a couple of other fun experiences this week. First, I had an interview in Spanish for a job teaching little kids English. I didn’t get the job – there were only 4 open spots and the whole English-speaking population of Salamanca applied (which is a lot) because they were offering 30 euros per hour! Whew, that’s like 50 bucks an hour. It was a really good experience none-the-less, because I actually did something really practical in Spanish.
Though I didn’t get that job, I did teach kids English today. A woman stopped Gina on the street one day and asked if she could teach her kids English for 30 minutes a week. So now she does that every Thursday, but she couldn’t do it today, so I filled in for her. The kids are so cute, they are 4 and 6, so we are just teaching them colors and numbers and simple things like that in English. The hardest part for me was changing my accent all the time from Spanish to English. And accepting the fact that they are barely out of their toddler years and can speak faster than me. ¡Madre mía!


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