Micah: Unmitigated

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Posts Tagged ‘beach’

All My Little Words

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

I have completed my desired amount of Spanish school. During the last week of class, I debated extending my stay, but it was really just a foolish dream.

Reasons I wanted to stay:
The weather in Manta was near perfect the whole week, with clear blue skies. More students were coming in and I was getting to know them better, thus was finding more things to do. Like playing bocce ball on an empty beach about 30 minutes south of town, where the brave ones kiteboard. I was also feeling good about my expenses, living for about $10 a day (not counting school) while still enjoying the local food. Plus, speaking Spanish was fun, fueling a desire to learn more.

But the biggest reason may have been a mild crush on my teacher, a 24 year old Ecuadorian college student. Imagine the sweetest and most attractive South American girl you can, and now double her (I don’t mean in size, she is not a giant, just double the attributes).

She laughed at many things I said and her clear speaking made me feel like I was a Spanish genius. During one mistake in class, I did not pronounce an “A” correctly and accidentally said “Yo satisfago mi hombre” instead of “hambre“. Which means “I satisfy my man” instead of “hunger”. The stunned look on my teachers face was memorable. I am not really sure why I need to know how to conjugate the verb for “satisfy”, but it resulted in uninhibited laughter. The next day for an example sentence, she said “Tu parece gay porque de las cosas que dices“.

Now, here are the reasons why I didn’t stay:
Despite the sunny weather, the beach conditions were not ideal. High winds resulted in blowing sand that would not allow any peaceful reclining. Plus, my desire to take pictures of the blowing sand, resulted in a camera that is now not firing on all cylinders due to sand penetration.

I had to post this pic, so that my camera´s pain would not be for nothing.

I had to post this pic, so that my camera's pain would not be for nothing.

The most logical reason that I left, is that I couldn’t afford it. I am constantly doing the math in my head and I don’t want my bank account to be zero when I get back. I will need something to survive on until those Powerball numbers hit. Plus, I think I have been wasting a little too much time and I now feel the clock is ticking.

My Spanish, well that did not hold up on Friday. I had not been studying enough and couldn’t remember any verb defintions. It was frustrating but there were other factors. Trying to choose verbs for sentences when I have paired them up with an English word in my mind, is tough. They don’t always fit and I need to learn to detach it and keep it a languge all it’s own. Or something like that, maybe I was too busy staring at my teacher.

As far as my crush goes, that was just a childish dream. The language barrier is a little to deep and I am a little too poor. There were often moments during our sessions when she would say something that was obviously a joke, but I would not understand and just try to laugh anyways. Then, there would be the awkward silence and we would just get back to work. Oh well, hopefully she accepts my request to be friends on Facebook so that my Mom can start stalking her.

As you see, the negatives were a little too strong and it was time to go.

Playa El Murciélago

Playa El Murciélago

My last Friday night in Manta: I succesfully got pictures of a sunset and then checked out the casino. I had a fun run on the video poker machine, hitting a “straight flush” and a couple “four of a kind”s, but gave it back and more at the Blackjack table (ended -$12). I then tried to meet up with the other students at a bar that may not exist (they couldn’t find it either). So, I made the 30 min trek back across town in the dark, slightly enjoying the uneasy feeling of dimmly lit city streets.

Now: I am back on the road, testing out my Spanish. All my little words don’t seem to be holding up as well as I thought, but now I have a notebook to study from the rest of the way. The plan is to check out these southern beaches for a few days, then Cuenca and the southern highlands of Ecuador, before crossing into Peru. Some of you have already seen the blurry picture on FB, but I will have to write about my whale watching and island visit next post. Mi mochila se siente más pesado

E = 91

I Me Mine

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I had a decent weekend. Plans changed, but for the better. Everything seems to be coming up Micah.

The island tour trip thing got cancelled due to a lack of people. So I spent 2 days on the beach, sculpting sand humans and catching my first sunset. My sand creations drew some attention, with passing locals stopping to make additions. One little girl either asked if it was a young boy or said that I was acting like a child. I couldn’t really understand.

Brother, can you spare two dimes?

Brother, can you spare two dimes?

Sunday, I was supposed to move in with one of the professors, but upon my arrival, he informed me that plans had changed. He had an unexpected guest coming this week and recommended a hostal. I opted for my former home on the other side of the tracks and they welcomed me back with open arms. I didn’t really want to live with the guy anyways and was just being polite, so I was feliz with the turn of events.

I have a new Spanish teacher this week, another young attractive female to try and make laugh. She speaks a little bit of English, which has helped. The next step in my training is verb definitions and conjugation.
Ex:   gastar = to spend
Yo gasto largo tiempo en casinos.¨
or
Mi padre gasta su ultimo dollar en cerveza.

I am developing the knowledge base for proper sentence forming, I so greatly desire. English was always my worst subject, so I have to remind myself about pronouns, possessive pronouns, “to be” verbs, adverbs, and adjectives.
Ex: ¨To be¨Verbs = Verbo Ser
I am = Yo soy
You are = Tu eres
He/She/It is = El/Ella/Esto es
We are = Nosotros somos
Y’all are = Vosotros sois
They are = Ellos son

Those are only for permanent characteristics like “El Papa es Catolico” and “Yo soy pobre“. That is all I will bore you with now, maybe more next time.

Today, I had more fun learning verbs, this time the irregular ones. We are now actually able to have simple conversations about family and food. I even attempted to explain to her the difference between Catholics and Lutherans, in Español. I think I got a few of the key points out, empahasizing that we are the ones going to Heaven.

After class, the clouds parted for the clearest sky I have seen in 2 weeks. A new guy in school and I hit the sand and enjoyed possibly the best beach conditions I have seen in South America. Almost makes me want to stay for another week of class. The new guy also happens to have Portland roots: He grew up in Florence (OR), went to Gonzaga, and then taught theology at Jesuit High School for a couple years. He is just the 2nd person I have met with Portland ties. In Quilotoa, I crossed paths with a girl wearing a “Kell’s” shirt who had lived in PDX for a short period of time.

Now, I must leave this free internet and begin the walk back to the bad side of town, where I belong. Tres días de clases restantes, luego regresé a la pista gringo.

E = 82