We have been in Ecuador for about 4 days now and there´s one thing I´ve probably said more than anything else: yo aprendiendo. I am learning.
A trip to South America and learning Spanish have both been on my ´want to do´list for quite a while now, and it´s finally a reality! Here in Ecuador hardly anyone speaks any English at all. I am lucky that Alex is here, as he speaks very good Spanish, but I still like to try on my own too! I am also lucky that he has been speaking Spanish at me for the last couple years so I can at least understand a small portion of what´s going on around here. Joining in the conversation is a whole another ballgame :). I try though! On our first day here we were waiting for a bus and I wanted some fruit from the store across the street.
¨Go get some,¨ Alex told me.
Of course I was a little sheepish at first, not about walking there but about actually understanding and completing the transaction for my snack. Alex is good at forcing me to do things that are good for me.
I greeted the shopkeeper and then said, ¨Quatro,¨pointing to the bananas.
She then spoke rapid-fire at me in Spanish. She must have read the look on my face.
¨un poco Espanol,¨ I told her.
¨Ah, no entiende,¨she replied. That´s right. I don´t understand…a lot of the time 🙂
And that´s the way it goes. People speak to me and I try to respond and tell them I am learning. Then they usually give up and remain silent, or talk more slowly, or smile at me.
It´s easy to see that we made the right decision in coming to South America to learn, though. Already in the four days since being here I´ve picked up a lot of vocabulary and a few new responses. When no one speaks your language, I guess you have no choice but to try and understand. Spanish lessons started yesterday, so we´ll see how I fare from here on out 🙂
For now, yo aprendiendo!