Back to school

Trip Start Feb 03, 2013
Trip End Jan 25, 2014

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Flag of Guatemala  , Sacatepequez,
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To refresh my Spanish and enable me to have proper conversations, I decided to return to Spanish school, this time in Antigua. To continue my Buenos Aires school pattern, I've also been taking dance lessons in the evening, this time it's Salsa and the "muy sexy" Bachata!

After a brief stop (my final one!) in San Jose, I flew to Guatemala for the next part of my trip. I could have bussed it, but with my passport approaching full, I couldn't afford to cross two countries on the way. After grabbing a shuttle straight from Guatamala City airport, I arrived in the beautiful city of Antigua. The city is low rise, with cobbled streets and whether delapidated or sparkling renovations, the buildings are beautiful. With a backdrop of volcanoes and a lovely climate, as soon I drove up, I knew I'd found the perfect spot to settle in and start classes once more.

As luck would have it, my decision to jet north meant that I could, likely for the last time this trip, catch up with another Raleigh buddy. He was in town for Spanish classes too, so I signed up to the same school and moved in next door. I also quickly found a lovely Swedish girl at my school and hostel and we're now roomies and partners in crime for all that Antigua has to offer. The city is very much set up for tourists, however it being low season means they are relatively thin on the ground, resulting in the best of both worlds and great restaurants in abundance.

My Spanish classes in Argentina were small group and very structured, what I need now however is revision and practice, meaning the standard practice of 1:1 lessons in Guatemala is perfect. My school teaches lessons in a large and beautiful garden, so no stuffy classrooms either. I'm learning new verbs and vocab, but most importantly I'm putting them in to practice by chatting about travel, friends, current affairs and really whatever pops into my head. My teacher is the same age as me and we spend a large part of each lesson learning more about each others lives and cultures, whilst laughing a lot! The school also provides afternoon excursions which both progress our Spanish and also take us to see more of the city. A walk up to Cerro de la Cruz provided great views across the city, but the picturesque volcano was sadly hiding behind clouds that day.

To add to my learning experience, I've been taking some more dance classes. This time I thought I'd try my hand at Salsa and with a Salsa studio next door to my hostel and free classes on Mondays...por qué no? After my first lesson I was hooked and following more group classes and some private classes with my roomie, I'm really getting in to the swing of it. Our teacher not only teaches Salsa, but also Bachata which is lots of fun, with lots of hip action! I'm now learning to understand the signals my dance partners give and on a couple of nights, we've headed out in town with our dance teachers, their friends and our hostelmates to sample the Salsa nightlife and taken a few turns on the dancefloor.

More lessons in both Spanish and dancing are on the cards this week and some neccessary nights out to practice both too...
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