Spanish School Studies Start Simply

Two Who Trek Visit Markets as Part of the Lessons

For three mornings, Two Who Trek were in Spanish class  at the Simon Bolivar Spanish School.  No big deal, right?  It was for Joe!  Never having studied any language other than French in high school, the first day was a bit disconcerting.  No worries.  Angel is a good instructor and Joe advances at his own pace.  Joe now knows about a hundred Spanish words and is enjoying the challenge.

Sherri’s instructor, Viviana, encourages her to remember previous college classes and build on those lessons.  Even with prior Spanish classes, Sherri really finds it challenging to put thoughts into words in another language.

A view of the Simon Bolivar Spanish School that you won't find on their website.  The brassiere store is just a bonus, with some weird stuff on display!

A view of the Simon Bolivar Spanish School that you won’t find on their website. The brassiere store is just a bonus, with some weird stuff on display!

Simon Bolivar Spanish School entrance sign

Simon Bolivar Spanish School entrance sign

Time spent in class is about two hours each weekday morning.  After a somewhat traditional study time one-on-one with our teachers, we take a break with the entire AHI group.

The break room is the one with "Benvenidos" over the door

The break room is the one with “Benvenidos” over the door

Fellow AHI students relax in the Simon Bolivar Spanish School entrance lobby.

Fellow AHI students relax in the Simon Bolivar Spanish School entrance lobby.

For the second half of the morning, we venture out into Cuenca with our teachers.  For two hours, we visit mercados or markets.  One day Sherri and Viviana visited an artisan market. That same day, Joe and Angel visited the old church or Catedral Vieja.

There are several markets in Cuenca offering fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.

Fruits and vegetables for sale at the three level 9 de Octobre Market.

Fruits and vegetables for sale at the three level 9 de Octobre Market.

Fruits for sale at the 9 de Octobre Market.

Fruits for sale at the 9 de Octobre Market.

Unrefrigerated meat for sale at the markets.

Unrefrigerated meat for sale at the markets.

New favorites include yellow pitahaya (also called dragon fruit), pepinos (vegetables that tastes like cucumber) and corvina (sea bass).  The main flower mercado offers roses and an array of other blooms.

Part of the Flower Market, next to the New Cathedral.

Part of the Flower Market, next to the New Cathedral.

Another portion of the flower market, near the New Cathedral.

Another portion of the flower market, near the New Cathedral.

We bought a dozen gladiolas and four roses for $6.  With no Cosmo the Cat to eat the flowers, there are always flowers around the apartment.

Exterior view of the 9 de Octobre Market.

Exterior view of the 9 de Octobre Market.

Friday, Class Day #3, was a trip to the market on 9th de Octubre street, then to a local shaman.  Sherri and Viviana accompanied Joe and Angel.  Joe volunteered to have the bad humors summoned to the surface by being lashed with a bouquet of herbs, then the shaman removed the bad humors by rubbing a raw egg over his torso, back and arms.  Finally Joe received his blessings and went out to continue his wonderful day.

Joe getting smacked by a shaman -- a medicine woman who uses herbal remedies to purge bad spirits.

Joe getting smacked by a shaman — a medicine woman who uses herbal remedies to purge bad spirits.

Categories: blog, classes, Cuenca, ecuador, flowers, food, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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