You can find the summer homework on the Spanish 3 handouts & PPTs tab.
Please click on your class above to find information on curriculum, syllabi, and other important information.
Nos vemos el lunes,
Sra. de Garcia
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better… Bam! Another earthquake. Luckily, or not, this one happened as everyone was getting up this morning. I was in the main living area when the doors started shaking like someone was trying to break them down. The iron chandeliers began to swing like a recently vacated trapeze, and the entire room seemed to sway back and forth. I ran outside into the courtyard yelling, “Earthquake! Earthquake!” I certainly did not want the boys to miss out a second time. At the time of impact, one boy was trapped in the shower and the other two were blaming each other for annoyingly shaking the bunk beds. When they finally emerged into the courtyard, they had wide eyes and big smiles on their faces. Well, at least the two who were not trapped in the shower were excited. I was thankful once again that it wasn’t too big and I am still flabbergasted at the power of earthquakes. Turns out, it registered at 6.8 and the epicenter was a mere 53 miles south of us. Not too shabby! On the way to class this morning, there were sections of collapsed brick walls lying intermittently in the middle of a few sidewalks.
On a safer note, yesterday the kids and their teachers celebrated their last week together with a friendly game of fútbol. I think the idea came from so much smack talking over the past few weeks and it was to be a teacher versus student showdown. The kids all wore their newly purchased soccer jerseys and prepared themselves for greatness. While a few of the teachers had commendable skills, they ended up having to recruit passersby because they were getting creamed. They all had a super time and it was a great finish to a wonderful experience.
Seriously, I can’t say enough about Antigueña Spanish Academy… one on one instruction for incredibly low prices, and knowledgeable teachers who form relationships with their students and share freely their stories and their culture. I am extremely proud of these kids. They definitely impressed their teachers. Not just with their enthusiasm to learn, but with their great attitudes and openness to whatever came their way. When we first arrived in Antigua, I told the kids, “The typical American stereotype for foreigners is that we are all loud, obnoxious, and arrogant… and it is now your job to prove that stereotype wrong.” I think they took that to heart and did an awesome job doing just that! Bien hecho jovenes!
We spent the rest of the day doing last minute shopping and enjoying our final walks around town. Now the time for creative packing begins! While we are all excited to return home to family and friends, we are each sad to leave this amazing country. You know it has been a good trip when you feel like you are leaving “home”.
Gracias Guatemala por todo y que vaya con Dios.
As we finish our last week in Antigua, we have settled into somewhat of a routine. We meet at the Plaza Central after classes, find some place for lunch, and then tool around the city stumbling into stores, traipsing around earthquake ruins, drinking lots of caffeinated beverages, and just enjoying the chaotic but relaxing pace of life here. All in all, it has been a wonderful trip and I am sure we will all come away with a myriad of life lessons and insightful experiences. Our Spanish has certainly improved, and I feel confident that everyone is now officially an expert at haggling for cheaper prices.
Until next year…
Sra. de Garcia
Today a few of us went on a field trip to San Antonio Aguas Calientes, a small town outside of Antigua. We were told that we would participate in a traditional Mayan wedding ceremony and see how Mayan customs were being preserved, despite the changing times. It turns out that Marty and I were to play the lucky bride and groom to be. We learned how to weave (so the woman can give intricate woven pieces to her new in-laws), donned traditional Mayan wedding clothes, were purified of all of our pre-marital transgressions, danced the traditional wedding dance, and ate a traditional dinner of pepian. I even got to fast-forward a year and have a baby, the first one of about 15. Then, of course, I learned how to carry a ceramic jug of water on my head while making sure my 15 children followed in tow. These of course were traditions of many years ago. Presently, the decendants of Mayan women only have about 4 children and get married at the age of about 20 instead of 15. Regardless, it was quite fascinating and loads of fun.
Back in town, we headed to an Irish Pub for lunch and the kids worked on their pool skills.
So many life skills, so little time.
And finally my favorite photo of the day… We have to have how many kids???
At 1:30 this morning I woke to a rather loud banging sound coming from over my head and I looked around groggily in the dark to hit whoever was shaking my bed. It took me a few seconds to realize that the sound was actually the banging of wooden doors on the wall used for decoration. My bed was sliding back and forth and the chandelier overhead was swaying in time with the sound of the doors. Earthquake! When we were in Taiwan and an earthquake hit, I never knew whether to panic and run outside or wait it out to see if it was the ‘big one’. I ran downstairs and found Marty still awake, Pilar heading to the bathroom, and Carmela following me. Carmela and I decided to go out to the courtyard and stand in the open. When the plants finally stopped swinging back and forth, we decided it was OK to go back to bed. I waited for the boys to emerge from their section of the house, but that never happened. There were a few aftershocks about 30 minutes later, but I finally was able to fall back to sleep around 2:30. This morning when the boys stumbled into the kitchen our conversation went something like this…
“What did you think about the earthquake?”
“What???? There was an earthquake and we missed it?”
“Yes, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake.”
“Aw man, my first earthquake and I slept through it. I hope it happens again.”
Um, no thank you.
Luckily it happened a few hundred miles away on the Guatemalan/Mexico border and there was only one injury and a slew of mudslides. Phew!
We spent our class time today at a local coffee farm and Mayan cultural museum. We learned all about the fascinating process of how coffee is made and other interesting tidbits of history and culture about the Maya. The plants on the farm were amazing and we walked out of there on a caffeine high. Good times!
The idea of taking salsa-dancing lessons has been floating in the air for the past week and a half. The school we attend offers free salsa lessons Monday and Tuesday nights from 5 to 6:30 at a local dance studio called New Sensation Dance Company. I would be exaggerating if I said the kids on this trip were less than enthusiastic about the prospect of taking salsa lessons, but Marty and I said they had no choice and it was a done deal. However, we missed classes last week due to the newness of being here, and yesterday we made the mistake of coming home first. We got comfortable and of course the pouring rain did not help us in our attempt to rally. We told the kids that today was the day and they needed to mentally prepare themselves. To make it easier, we spent the afternoon in a local coffee shop on the Parque Central so we couldn’t talk ourselves out of going again. We lazily drank coffee and gazed upon the peaceful madness that is the center of town. The girls even made themselves at home by playing with local kids trying to catch bubbles.
At 4:45, we headed to the dance studio and waited outside for the magic to begin. Over the next 15 minutes, scores of other language students began to appear and before we knew it there were roughly 30 students outside of a very tiny studio made for about 10. Frank, our salsa instructor, didn’t seem phased and at 5:00 on the dot we all piled in to the small studio and stood around waiting. I wasn’t sure what we were waiting for, but it turned out to be…. more students. When it was all said and done, there were over 40 students and the word claustrophobic cannot begin to describe how I felt. But have no fear, dancing was involved and as you might know, I cannot say no to dancing. Marty bowed out when the 42nd person showed up, declaring that he did not have enough room to fully express his talents. I, on the other hand, tried to make myself very small and vowed to stick it out. The kids were lost somewhere in the madness and I decided to let them fend for themselves and work it out.
Over the next hour and a half, we learned Bachata and Salsa steps, and we all ended up dancing with every single person of the opposite sex. Frank had us separate, men on one side and women on the other. Low and behold, there was pretty much an even number of both. Talk about working on your people skills! We danced with people from all over Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The girls had to dance with every male in the place, and it was quite the sight when it was time to dance with the 6 foot 8 man from England. Pilar was even called out as a volunteer to dance with the instructor as an example. She received a round of applause from the crowd. Of course, her proud parents took the credit for making her dance at all of those weddings and quinceañeras. When it was all said and done, the consensus was that although it was super hot, it was a great time and much better than they thought it would be… so much so that we might even take a private group lesson later this week.