Liebling leaves tomorrow, Spanish classes start Monday.

September 10, 2011

Did you know that Guatemala has a Caribbean coast? I sure didn’t. Then again, there are tons of things I didn’t know slash realize before getting to this amazing country. The above pictures are from the two days we spent in on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, in a city called Livingston. I don’t have the time to talk about our stay there, but hopefully I get around to it in the coming days.

So just a quick update as to where I am at this point in the trip: I’ve officially been in Guatemala for 15 days, with another 15 or so days to go. It’s weird that I am only halfway through my trip but it feels like I have been here sooo long already and have lived so many things here. Our itinerary has been jam packed and we’ve seen a ton of places in a short span of time: apart from discovering our stomping ground of Antigua, we’ve done trips to the Caribbean coast, across the border to Honduras, to the market in Chichicastenango, and just got back from two days visiting this gorgeous lake called Atitlan. Our itinerary has been heavy because Liebling only had two weeks here to my 4.5 and had equal interest in seeing as much of the country as reasonably possible.

Now, sadly, it’s time for Liebling to go back home to London and he will be getting on a jet plane tomorrow. Ordinarly, his trip back would go off without a snag, except for two major things happening the day of his departure. For you see, he is leaving on September 11th. The obvious, the 10th anniversary of 9/11, is a worry, because he has a layover in Miami, and increased security may mean that clearance times may be an issue. Secondly, September 11th also happens to be federal election day in Guatemala. We hear that things may be a tad wonky in the city and there will be major disruptions so hopefully Liebing will make it on the plane in the first place!

On Monday I start Spanish classes and I am excited. For anyone interested in brushing up on their Spanish in an immersion environment, Guatemala may be for you: Spanish schools here are a major industry and one can take an intensive course for relatively little money. I have signed up for two weeks of classes at a local school and at only $105 USD for 20 hours of one to one instruction weekly, Spanish classes are a steal. Because it is low season here, many schools were ready to bargain down their prices, and I found classes (20 hrs a week) for as little as $90 USD. I ultimately decided to go with my school because it looked to be very well run and extremely popular with other students learning Spanish. We’ll see how it goes! I’ll be doing 4 hours a day with a yet unnamed instructor. I’m looking forward to becoming a student again- I’m such a language nerd…

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Deidre September 11, 2011 at 2:34 am

That looks absolutely gorgeous! What a beach.

Hope Leibling's flights go off without a hitch!

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legrandezombie September 11, 2011 at 5:22 am

The Caribbean is always amazing, no matter which coastline drops you in.

You'll be finding this out for yourself soon enough, but from what I've gathered– when it comes to La Antigua as immersion capital– is it comes down to personal commitment. Because it's so friendly to foreigners and because they've really capitalized on folks looking for a place to learn Spanish the town's flush with English speakers who might just find it easier to party it up 3rd world style and sleep through classes.

I trust you'll do fine in school. Other people, hmmmm….

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D. September 11, 2011 at 5:30 am

I love your blog. I would love to brush up on my French. Do you know of a program like that for French?

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Try Anything Once Terri September 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Enjoy the rest of your trip! I would love to brush up on my Spanish, so I will definitely think about Guatemala. The beaches look wonderful. I am sure Leibling will be okay. Safe travels to him!

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Erika September 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Wow, that's pretty sweet about the intensive Spanish courses!!! What a great idea! I should do that with German!

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Afromorena September 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

¡Qué chido! ¡Qué tengas buena suerte!

I haven't [formally] studied Spanish in a couple years and would love to take an intensive course where I could review grammar topics, boost vocabulary, and focus on conversation. So, I will definitely check out taking an intensive course in Guatemala!

I hear you about being a language nerd lol. I'm definitely going to enroll in an intensive course for Korean when I get there, and when I get settled, to take courses for Mandarin, Japanese, and/or French. Right now I'm just self-studying, which is great, but I need the structure that only a class could bring.

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This Battered Suitcase September 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I would love to go to Guatemala! I'm also hoping to start taking Spanish classes in the new year, so I'll be eager to read about how it goes…

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sprite September 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Gosh isn't that a gorgeous beach. Sounds like you two had a fantastic break; no worries, surely more to come.
Here's to wishing Liebling a safe and uneventful journey back home.

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Oneika September 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

@Deidre: It was a good time (even though I was convinced I would be bored at the beginning)! He got home without a snag!

@legrandezombie: I'll say it: I think that the Caribbean has the best beaches in the world. Then again, I've never been to an Australian beach. As for immersion, it is definitely difficult to do in Antigua and I admit that if I was learning Spanish from scratch (I have an intermediate level) I wouldn't have come here to learn Spanish- too much temptation to party and speak English! I think that because I'm a language nerd and teacher it's easier for me to apply myself…

@D: Thank you! Do you have an email address? Drop me a line- I know of tons of programs in France (mostly Nice- my fav city in the world)!

@Terri: You should definitely consider it. I wanted to study in Mexico but it's way more expensive. Guatemalan Spanish is also reputed as being slow and clear.

@Erika: Funny you say that because I was thinking of doing a German intensive course in either Munich of Berlin next summer!

@Afromorena: Cool! I envy your Spanish knowledge and definitely encourage you to take classes for Korean! I think that Korean and Japanese sound beautiful.

@Battered Suitcase: More travel for you then?! Fabulous! I would totally recommend Guatemala as it is so cheap compared to other language school hubs in Mexico and Costa Rica.

@Sprite: Thank you! He actually got home with no delays at all, thank goodness!!!

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