Learning Spanish the Slacker Way

If you are reading this post in December, you’ll notice a countdown clock in the right column, showing that we have just 17 days remaining before our month-long trip to Ecuador.  We are busily preparing for the trip as well as getting our Christmas gifts, cards, and traditional activities completed.

The trip organizers have been very helpful, sending weekly email messages to prepare us for the adventure.  Topics covered include what to expect, what will we need (i.e., Cuenca has the same electric power and plugs as we do so no need for converters or adapters), and lists of Spanish words and phrases to study.

Their goal is for us to learn about 2,000 words before we board that first airplane.  So far, Joe has mastered two—“cerveza” and “baῆos”, figuring that would cover both incoming and outgoing.  He was shocked to learn that “baῆos” was really a place to bathe and that he needed to ask for a “servicio”.

Sherri, on the other hand, has been diligently studying Spanish.  She dusted off the textbook she used when she took a community college course to help her son master his high school Spanish class.  For her, the high point of the college course was when the instructor brought in homemade flan.

Her idea of getting Two Who Trek ready for the trip is to read the book aloud to Joe.  He finds this technique as enjoyable as reading the worst self-published horror writer on depleting-brazillian-rainforest.com if they produced their version of beloved children’s books[1].  In other words, not good.

Joe developed his own cunning and devious strategy.  His first approach was to watch the Spanish version of Sesame Street on TV but couldn’t find it probably, because the title and guide information are in Spanish.

He then went to his backup plan.  He read the reviews at brazillian-river.com and purchased a $36 Spanish program on learning Spanish in 10 minutes a day.   So far he’s competed about 60 minutes worth.  Now he knows more words like “pastry” and “autobus”.  He can also count a bit, too.  He’s to the level he would be had he watched half a season of Dora the Explorer.

If he doesn’t get better, Joe’s tertiary plan is to let Sherri do the talking.   Sherri isn’t going to let him get away with that!  So we’d better get back to studying.


[1] If the bad authors took on Dr. Seuss stories, we could see books like the following:

  • Chop on Pop
  • Horton Hears a Howitzer
  • Oh, the Places You’ll be Maimed
  • The Cat in the Hat goes Splat
Categories: blog, Cuenca, ecuador, preparation, travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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