My Spanish classes started today. I have Tatiana as my teacher, a University student in her final year of engineering school. She’s extremely nice and helpful. The first couple of hours we just talked and she figured out where I am at with my Spanish (which, conversationally speaking, is more basic than I thought before I came here!)
We walked around various markets, the Parque Central, and the Municipal building. Everything is lovely, it’s quite warm, and appears to rain every afternoon for 4.3 seconds.
My host family are Rosy and Rafael. They have a crazy collection of people staying in their sprawling three-kitchen (?!) home: nephews and their families, grandmothers, boarding students, random other people, a Mayan servent, and Spanish students like me. But the other student and I are housed in seperate areas and fed in different kitchens! Perhaps it is so we don’t speak English to each other. But I have to say, I would have liked a more “family” atmosphere. I’m not sure how I am supposed to behave here–it’s essentially a boarding house. But they are exceedingly nice here,and the food is great. Rosy even loaned me a loom to take weaving classes with. I’ll just muddle through my own social confusion.
I enjoyed my class very much and learned a lot. I’d love to rave about it, but I just found out that one of my new staff members had an aneurysm and her prospects are pretty grim. This awful news has cast a pretty big pall over my enjoyment, as you could expect.
Not only is she a fantastic, helpful, savvy person, a wonderful employee, and just all-around cool, but I’m also worried about the practical “how does the library stay open” problems without one of my three employees. I refuse to believe that she will not recover.
So, my time in Xela right now is tinged with a great deal of worry. I’ll post tomorrow, I am going to be volunteering after class in the afternoon.