La Democracia, day 1

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.
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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.

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the view from my window--orange trees, wires, rain

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.

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