I am back in school, learning Spanish in a classroom. I had tried Rosetta Stone and Pimsler’s Audio but both I lost my attention span and gave up on both of them. I had hoped to get back on both of them once I got here but now I am surrounded my the language.
So Andres and I had looked at two schools prior to me landing on the one I am attending. The first held classes M-F or M, W, and F and was closer to home then the others but when we went to research the school, Andres had to do the translating. If I did not have him, I would have had no luck communicating with the staff of the school, so we nixed this school as a candidate as the staff could not communicate with the potential student. Then I looked at the International House in which Andres’s coworker from Australia had attended and done quite well. The only problem with this school was it was at the city center, at least an hour plus drive or hour bus ride too.
So on Tuesday this past week I picked up Andres from work for a long lunch break and I thought we were going to the International House to check it out. As I was driving, he said to turn down a different road then what I was expecting and I asked where we were going. He said he had talked to another coworker and they had suggested Nueva Lengua. So it was in the Zona G neighborhood and close to the Transmilenio Bus station Flores. We pulled up in front of the school and got buzzed in. We met with Anderson who spoke English and Spanish very well and gave us a tour of the school and talked to Andres and I about the programs. After being impressed with the school, Andres and I agreed that I would try it out for a week so I had to take a entrance test. After the test, I was told to come back tomorrow for my first day at nine am. The week would be a bit different then other weeks as Monday was a Colombian holiday and so some afternoon classes would be held past the 9-12p timeframe I would attend. Anderson also told me that I would loose a day of class since they started a new class on Tuesday, the day I was looking at the school.
So after leaving, we heading to Pan America after taking Aviv for a walk and got some school supplies. Then we went and scouted out the buses that can take me to the Transmilenio. Andres has not even taken the busses before. We walked, had dinner at McDonalds, and found out which bus to take. We also learned that the taxis who have numbers in the front windows in the morning can also take me to the Transmilenio station.
Wednesday morning was the big day. Since we had Pico y Placa on Wednesday, Andres took the trip with me from Alcala to Flores on the F1 line. We walked to Centro Comercial Portoalegre and found one of those taxis with the number in the front window. A 1 Mil peso fare (USD $0.50 Approximate) to the bus station. We got me a multi use fare card for me and Andres got a one way. We took the packed F1 bus to the Flores station about a 20 minute ride and passed countless cars in a standstill on the Auto Norte. Once at Flores Andres bid me a farewell and he continued back north to a station closest to his work.
I walked the block to the school and got buzzed in. A women came out and introduced herself as Lina, said I would be in the back classroom and she would be ready at 9am. I got to the school around 830, so I just waited till then. Once 9am came around I met with Lina and Richard, a man from Hollywood FL who was in Colombia to learn Spanish for two weeks. I learned that Richard was in the intensive program and had started at 8am. Since I had started the first week in the regular program, I started at 9. The first day we went to Plaza de Mercado De Paloquemao to see foods in its raw forms and learn words and tastes in Spanish. The first day went by pretty quickly. I met a lot of new people, from London, Arizona, Netherlands, Brazil, Texas via Baltimore. I did two more days of classes and worked on the basics of Spanish, more vocabulary and proper pronunciation. Not a lot of advancement but have to start somewhere. This upcoming week I am signed up for the advanced and will be starting at 8 am. Will see how I do.
BTW click on the links to see what they link up to.