OK, so today is my 30th birthday and I've just recorded a video of me speaking Spanish. Watching it back, I can see how randomly thinking of things to say results in less fluency, than naturally having those thoughts in your head!
To recap - the dream/target/challenge: I wanted to be able to speak another language before my 30th birthday and to learn it on my own, without classes. After a couple of years of doing little of value on a personal level with my life, I figured it would be more interesting to be able to say I'd taught myself another language....
I also decided that the harder the challenge, the more satisfaction I'd have if and when I'd completed it.
(If you want to live a happy life, attach it to a goal, not to a person or object)
So, this video is the result of 7 months out here in Colombia, teaching myself Spanish.
Since the last post, I've had a couple of interesting experiences......
First of all, I've been to a wedding, which was fantastic. I've been VERY lucky to have visited so many different countries in my 30 years (Ouch!), but actually living in one with the locals (as well as having a local girlfriend), allows you to experience so much more.
The venue was beautiful, with classic old Colombian buildings:
They have a specific hour during a wedding here, which is effectively called 'Crazy hour', where everyone acts like they've just had their drink spiked. Watching an 80 year man dance like a 20 year old (with random fancy dress items on him that get handed out), is a great new memory I now have!
Strange difference: The first thing we ate was the wedding cake, before anything else. They LOVE sweet before savoury here....
No best man speech either - do you wish you were Colombian Ben? >; )
The other interesting thing I did, was some volunteer work through the company I work for (Bogotá Business English). We went to the edge of the city, which in this case was up in the mountains.
A Spanish guy and his Colombian wife have a building they're trying to use as a safe place for local children to go to, as they're only in school for 4 hours a day. We just had fun with them, helping the younger ones colour in things and the older ones learn some basic English.
It's a lot of fun and a great experience, as well as a wake up call - we were told some sad stories about the children before we got there. The area is extremely poor, most of the children are abused in one way or the other and they often can't afford electricity etc.
It was a reminder to me that those who are lucky to enough to easily be able to change their lives (if they're not happy), should get on and do it. Life's too short!
Ok, so I'll continue to develop my Spanish, especially my listening, but the next language challenge is to speak German before I'm 31. I'll give myself 6 months to do that, so I won't start until late summer.
I won't bore you with a blog for that challenge though >; )