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Andean priest and spiritual leader, Don Fabian Champi Apaza. Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Spanish Classes

This morning I decided to put my reporting skills to the test by interviewing the students during their Spanish classes.

Every Friday a group of students, under close supervision of their Spanish teacher, prepare a Bolivian dish to indulge in after Spanish classes. This week – Isaac, Anna, Marco, and Eeshani are busy preparing “Alfajores” in the kitchen. If you’ve never heard of them you can make a trip over to google, or come visit Bolivia. As dough was being rolled using wine bottles, I asked Isaac how his class was going today. For just a moment Isaac broke out of intense activity and exclaimed, “estoy bien, gracias” to which he also added, “I’ve never felt so alive” (Isaac A, 2020).

Moving on. Evans and Emma tried explaining the rule of “Vin diesal has 10 wapons” or “ven di sal haz ten ve pon se” to understand commands. I’ll be honest it doesn’t make sense to me. I was much more entertained watching as a blindfolded Emma relied only on Evans’ mastery of directional vocabulary to walk around the farm. She is moving slowly, almost as if she didn’t trust his orders to move faster and take bigger steps. A similar lack of trust was witnessed as a blindfolded Evans navigated around trees and attempted to draw a self portrait on the whiteboard (see picture #2).

Nearby under a tree, when I asked Robert and Charlie what they were learning they answered, “cantar, manejar, poder, querer, conocer, trabajar.” They couldn’t list the conjugations quite as fast as the verbs but that’s insignificant given their stellar pronunciation of the verbs. Nearby Maisie, Jack, Sol, and M.E were learning about the past perfect tense. Maisie was very happy with her progress and said, “I had never heard of this before and now it all makes sense!”

After Spanish classes and before devouring the “Alfajores”, the students learned how to dance the “Cueca” dance. If you’ve never heard of the dance you can make a trip over to google, or come visit Bolivia, or ask anyone from the group to teach you when they are back home! After the dance, the cooking group presented their product by explaining, with great detail, each step that went into their creation.

Following the dancing and Alfajores, the student spent 10 minutes delegating (in Spanish) how we should evenly split the leftover delicacies. Then they played the card game “Cambio” which they are slightly obsessed with and were kindly asked to leave back to their Homestays.

I would like to close by saying that I enjoyed interviewing the students and I hope to provide more riveting updates on students and their experiences in the near future.