Sunday, 11 November 2012

3 months in Colombia.....

Today's post is going live exactly 3 months since I first arrived in Bogotá, so it really is about time I fulfilled my promise and uploaded a video. I'd originally said I'd do a video every month, but along with being a little lazy, I realised it'd be quite boring to watch them all.

I think doing a video every 3 months will show a more noticeable difference, making it a little more interesting.

So today I finally have a video for you, perfectly indicating how effective I've become at butchering the Spanish language!

But first, a few points I'd like to make....

I didn't ask Ricardo to say nice things about my current level speaking Spanish! 

I can honestly say with hindsight, that I could have reached this level within 2 months, arguably less (and not because I think I'm an incredibly gifted language learner - I'm not). As Ricardo mentions, I genuinely did arrive with a handful of Spanish words and I've not had a single lesson since I've been here - I'm solely teaching myself. 


For this reason and because it's the first time I've been learning a 2nd language (without a teacher), I'm still finding my way with the various learning methods available to me. You quickly realise which methods and exercises were pointless and which ones perhaps helped you increase your vocabulary in a short space of time. My listening is poor, because for some stupid reason I thought that speaking was the hard part - everything else would take care of itself. Well in actual fact, listening is the hardest part for me, so I'll need to focus on that over the next 3 months.

For me personally, language learning takes a LOT of time and effort, but it's not actually hard. I got a D for French at school, so I'm not *gifted* with the language gene. What's crucial are the methods you use, and how they effectively fit to your learning style. The methods I've taken on are simply far more effective than trying to learn with 30 other people at school (who don't really want to be there).

OK, here we go....

Yep, I've lost weight. I'm not sure how, with a diet here that includes a lot of waffles, ice cream and chocolate.

So, what else have a I been up to...

The photo below if of one of the main libraries in Bogotá, on the edge of a park. This is a lousy photo to be honest, as it in no way shows you how nice the setting is. Anyhow, despite the obvious good weather, it's never hot in Bogotá, due to the altitude (with its thin air). Furthermore, the thin air fails miserably at blocking UV rays, so it was here that I managed to burn my face - only to leave the white marks around my eyes, where I had my sun glasses on. Not a good look.

The photo below is from La Cabaña Alpina, which is about an hour from Bogotá. This little village/town is well known in the area for making excellent cakes/puddings etc. The best compliment I  can make, is to say they were *almost* as good as what we have in England. The location was an improvement on Basingstoke however, I'll give them that.....

I have no real news for this post, as my life is one of a student who teaches English a little. My brother Tom arrives a week today for a 10 day jaunt, so the next post will hopefully have photo's of the historic Cartagena and some nice beaches.

A quick thanks to Pops for his general IT help, Ricardo and Carlos for filming and speaking in the video and Angélica for patiently correcting my many mistakes in general conversation......!

See you next time.....

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