School has started!?!?!

Trip Start Jan 23, 2007
Trip End Feb 23, 2008

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Friday, February 2, 2007

Happy February... can you believe it's already February. I hear it is pretty cold in Chicago so I won't say much about the warm and humid weather that we have here in Buenos Aries.

Over our last few days of vacation we did some more site seeing to Plaza de Mayo. There we saw Catedral Metropolitana and Casa Rosada (Pink House). The Casa Rosada is where the President use to live, but now just works from. If you saw the movie Evita Madonna sang Don't Cry for Me Argentina from the balcony of the Casa Rosada. At this point Dan and I were exhausted from site seeing so we took a break and layed out in the park on Sunday and Monday afternoon. Needless to say we were sun burnt, but we did need a break from all of the site seeing.

We stayed around Palermo and Recoleta on Tuesday. Buenos Aires is broken into neighborhoods (just like Chicago... i.e. Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Bridgeport). We live in Palermo and our school is in Recoleta which is about an 8 minute subway ride followed by a 10-15 minute walk. In Recoleta we went to the Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar which is next to the Cemetery. This Basilica was the home to the first Franciscan Monks. We found the Embassy and some nice parks in Palermo. This city is so large... there is so much to take in and I don't even know if we will be able to see all of it in the 9 months that we are here.

Class started on Wednesday and this is going to be intense. We taught on the first day (well some students did), Dan and I actually taught today. To start off we do not know ANY English grammar (well) nor do we speak very properly. So needless to say this is going to be a very long 4 weeks of breaking 22/23 years of English speaking habits. Good luck to us! We have learned so much in the past 2 days it's intense...there truly is no other word to describe the level of material in the class than intense. It's weired because we know grammatically a sentence is wrong, but why I couldn't tell you until today. The rules of grammar are not taught when you learn the language as a baby. Dan has a slight advantage due to his level of understanding of Spanish grammar but there are still so many differences between the 2 languages.

The class "session" of grammar and teaching methods is from 12:30-4 and then from 5-7 we teach Argentines. The first few times we have a partner, today Dan and I were partners, and it was interesting to teach to elementary speaking students. As the students increase in their level of speaking English we will teach solo. Next week we will have intermediate students. Tomorrow Dan has to teach again with a new partner but I don't teach again till Monday so he's still at school planning his lesson plan because we will not have time tomorrow. Tomorrow from 12:30-5 we will have a field trip and finally start the cultural immersion part of the class. Every Friday we will have a field trip to different areas of the city to learn about Buenos Aires and the culture.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and updates. I am sure we will have more pictures and info to share after our field trip tomorrow!

Love you and miss you all

Dan and Sarah :)
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