We were sad to leave our language school; not only because it symbolized “sink or swim,” but more so because we have developed relationships with our teachers. 20 hours per week with one-one-one tutors has given us a great foundation for the rules, grammar and vocabulary of Spanish. Now, it will take loads of practice speaking, listening, and writing in our new language. Like any other skill, it requires persistence and a willingness to fail – over and over again. The nice thing about sojourning as a family is that between the four of us, usually our message or intent can find its way into successful communication. The downside – we’re not forced to do everything individually. We enjoy taking turns hauling a taxi, sitting in the front and giving directions to our destination. In fact, most of our more fluid conversations are with taxi drivers. They are a safe playground for our Spanish practice – a 10 minute incubator, no longer-term expectation for friendship. The funny thing is that we have the same conversation with all the taxi drivers since our language is so limited. And because we take turns talking to the driver, we can critique and complement each other along the way.
We have moved from our initial apartment into a very nice home. We’re house/dog sitting for missionaries who are on furlough in Texas for 5 weeks. This works beautifully for us because over the next weeks, we need to focus on homeschooling. We will be volunteering in the afternoons at various nonprofits. During the transition of our move, we took a short jaunt into Colca Canyon, 3 hours outside of Arequipa, which was for us a 10 hour overnight bus from Cusco. Well worth the travel and the 15 hour trek. Absolutely spectacular place. For me, seeing condors fly in the canyon was the most sacred of the 3-day experience. Enjoy the photos.