Lessons Learned – Week Two

Regimental Band at the Alcadia

It is the end of my second week. I’m a quarter of the way through my stay here. I’d say I am a familiar face along the streets I travel. Between where I stay and the school, I exchange a “Buenas” with many people. I’ve made some friends and have some social invitations.

Here is what I’ve learned this week:

You can use your iPhone to look up lyrics to songs and get kids to sing along with you in English.
I knew it was the rainy season here but did not realize this was considered winter. As part of me feels ripped off that I get two winters this year and the other part of me says that if it this hot in winter, I don’t want to be here in summer.

A group of ten excited, shrieking girls can generate more decibels than a jet engine at take off.

When you say “Su lapiz esta a la pisa”, instead of “Su lapiz esta a el piso”, the girls will think you are telling them their pencil is on the pizza instead of the floor. They will laugh at you… Laugh with them

We learn a language in a very sterile environment; a classroom or Skype that has no distracting noises. But, we practice it in places with the sounds of traffic, music, and people talking around us. It makes it challenging.

During class, if you pull out your bottle of hand sanitizer to get marker off of your hands, the students will all want a drop of hand sanitizer too.

Walking the street in the morning, you hear everywhere the sound of tortillas being patted out by hand.

The people of El Salvador are both appreciative and generous.

The image above is the local regimental band playing their monthly concert at the alcaldia (city hall).

24 thoughts on “Lessons Learned – Week Two

      1. Osyth

        I meant to say as well that it is so true what you say about learning a language in the classroom or on skype or in the very old way of linguaphone on cassette as i did when I first learned Italian. There is no noise, no other distraction – it is SO different when you are live in the room and you did make me smile with the pizza/floor blooper!!

  1. Nancy

    From shrieking, to tortilla patting, to musical instruments and then to your pencil on the pizza sounds… WHAT AWESOME SOUNDS for YOU in these past two weeks! Muy bien!

  2. The Coastal Crone

    Wonderful experiences indeed! You are seeing the real country by living there. And you are generous to take time to share it with us. We are all in this world together! I love the thought of the band playing once a month in that beautiful courtyard.

  3. Miss Gentileschi

    Lovely post, Chris! Like how you mention the difference between learning a language in a totally different environment from that when you finally get to speak it πŸ™‚ Cheers!


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