Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No Hablo, Yet

Number-One Son is now to be living and working in Costa Rica for a year, or so it seems. I have had several people tell me that they have visited there and it was a wonderful experience. Part of the country has been described as "unspoiled" and/or "exotic". It has also been termed "third worldly". The Pacific coast is supposedly beautiful. The lush forest called "enchanting".

Number-One son has rented a three bedroom home and has extended an invitation to us, me and my bride, to come to visit him while he is living in San Jose. There are direct flights from Charlotte to San Jose every day, and I have some frequent flyer points to use (first class is all I can find, so why not?) so we will definitely try to get down to Costa Rica at least once in the next year. I am now officially semi-retired, and my bride can use vacation time or unpaid leave, if necessary, to make the trip. With free flights and a place to stay, we would be crazy to pass up the opportunity. The biggest expense will be gas to and from Charlotte and long-term parking at the airport. I have always thought of myself as a pretty self-reliant person, but Number-One Son will see I can learn to mooch with the best of them. Old dogs can learn new tricks, especially if they are very advantageous to moi. But isn't that French? No help here.

I need another new trick. I need Espanol. (My keyboard doesn't have the n with the ~ over it). I took Spanish for two years in high school and two years in college, but that was in a former life. My spoken Spanish was so bad that my college professor would not let me answer questions in Spanish. And mind you, this was supposedly advanced Spanish literature course where no English was allowed. I would start to answer a question in Spanish, and Dr. Causey would put his hands over his ears and say, "En Ingles, Senor, en Ingles, por favor". My situation is further complicated by the fact that I lived in Germany for three years while in the Army and learned enough barn yard German to get by. Now when I attempt to speak Spanish to some of my Spanish-speaking patients and their parents I see a wierd look on their faces. I go through what I just said to them, and it is a combination of English, a little German, and poor Spanish. No wonder they "no comprendo" what I said.

So I searched the web and found a Spanish program that seems to meet my needs. I was able to sample some of the lessons online, liked what I saw, so I bit the bullet and orderd the whole package. I plan to dedicate several hours a week in the pursuit of learning conversational Spanish before our sojourn to Central America. Hope in future blogs I can state, "Hablo Espanol muy bien, y usted?" Adios, Hasta luego, and Bis Spater (Opps, there is that German again.)


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