Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Costa Rica Language Academy

© Donna L. Watkins - Costa Rica Language Academy

1/14/08 and 1/15/08
The first day of class really changed my head around. The school is absolutely incredible. It's amazing what they do for the students besides the teaching. Orientation provided us with a long list of services they provide without charge. I am so glad to have chosen this particular school. With the excitement of the learning, the familiarity of the buses and city, it's becoming much more comfortable than the day of arrival. Although I was here 10 years ago, there wasn't any time in the city, so it has definitely been a process to work through the culture shock. I consider myself adaptable, so it's going well.

After an early morning oral quiz, I was placed in a class with two other people. Katrin from Germany and Jeremy from England. The teacher is excellent. I had wondered how I was going to contain 4 hours of study, but it flows by very quickly. We do lessons in a book, a lot of conversation, whiteboard with new words and even a game. There is no English spoken. Even the books are totally Spanish. If you want English you use your dictionary to find out what a word means. It seems very difficult at first, but I know this is the best way to learn. My brain won't have the option to be lazy and take the easy route.

There's a huge courtyard at the school and plenty of places for wireless and several internet rooms. With the 14 computers and the wireless laptop folks, the connection doesn't always work, so I never know what I'll find when I take my laptop to school. They don't recommend carrying the computer back and forth, but I can't leave it in a locker at school since I spend a lot of time on my photographs.

The students are from around the world. Belgium, Iceland, Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Australia, England, Canada, etc. Lunch is delicious. Vegetarian is not a problem here. A plate full of food for $2. I had the vegetarian burrito which was served similar to Chipotle's way of making it. You choose what you want in it. Black beans are standard fare here and it's no problem getting them vegetarian-style either. For one who is generally not interested in food, I've begun looking forward to meals. Using my brain and walking so much works up an appetite.

The dance class is rejuvenating to say the least. She didn't pause much between songs so I was definitely breathless, but since I'll be sitting most of the day in class, it's nice to get those steps on my step counter. The Latin dances keep you moving and I have always enjoyed Latin music. We've learned a lot of basic moves and then practiced the merengue.

View photos of the school.

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