Practice makes perfect
I really have jumped in, head first, into water that I didn't know the depth of. So. Much. Spanish. The taxi ride home? Spoke in Spanish. My family? Hablamos en español todo tiempo. (We talk in Spanish all the time). The water seems a little deep, but it also is marvelous. Sevilla is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. The buildings are all very old and the architecture is so intricate. I've only been here for two days and I'm already in love.
The first night we went as a group to a restaurant and had salad, jamón, and pork. Everyone was experiencing similar difficulties and senses of accomplishments with communication. We all had trouble communicating exactly what we wanted to say with our host families, but we got creative with hand gestures and talking around words in order to get our point across. My family is very encouraging. When I don't understand something, my host mom or dad will explain it until I do or even go get the object so that I learn the new word. When I understand a full sentence or idea, I feel very proud of myself.
The other students on the trip are all nice and welcoming. We have already gone out as a group without a guide trying to get a sense of the city. I went with a friend from Seville yesterday afternoon and got to talk in Spanish and English about the different parts of the center of the city (centro) that I hadn’t really seen yet. That helped a lot because I feel like I know where I am going a little better, so come Monday when I have to walk to class alone, I will know my way.
Being in Spain is amazing in itself, but I’m also very glad that I will be taking grammar and conversation classes. The main reason that I came on this program was to become fluent in Spanish. I really feel like I could use a brush up on grammar tenses. I got some really good advice before I came: just try to talk at the beginning, don’t worry about what tense you use, people will try to understand and get most of what you say, but if you spend all of your time trying to remember the past tense form of a verb, they will get be confused and you don’t get to talk as much. That’s very hard for me. I really want to say each sentence perfectly. Hopefully the mentality of saying the first thing that comes to mind mixed with the classes to go over the grammar forms will create the perfect formula for fluency.
Well, I’m going to buy a cellphone now so that I don’t get lost in the streets at night! I’m a little nervous about trying to make this purchase in Spanish, but hey it’s another chance to practice!