poco a poco

San Pedro La Laguna Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 14 › view all entries

ha.  after studying spanish for a week and a half, i am a little embarrassed by the title of this blog (which i can't change), 'mucho gusta'...should be mucho gustO, si?  anyhow, it's amazing that after just 15 hours of classes, i am able to have such deep and lengthy conversations in spanish with the locals.  i still speak very slowly, and i usually have to have people repeat questions, but still...the ability to communicate is such a huge gift.  my school is pretty rad - the classrooms are huts in the lovely garden on the lake, and i just signed on to volunteer for 4 hours a week, teaching english to the local children.  i am so, so excited to for our first class on monday.  when travelling in 3rd world countries, it is so, so important to give something back.  especially in a place like san pedro where a lot of the businesses on the 'gringo highway' (center of town) are owned by foreigners.  apparently, these foreign owned businesses experience a lot of conflict with local immigration...the local government feels that they are taking money away from the locals.  in fact, these bars and restaurants employ locals and buy all of their goods from local markets. 

time has been flying.  i cannot believe i only have 2.5 weeks left here.  while i am excited for the rest of my trip, i am starting to feel like part of the community here.  many of the travelers here (especially since its low season) have planted themselves here for quite some, so it feels more like an expat community than a travel spot right now.  the other night, i went out with a group of lovely people i've met at my school and around town.  we walked into a bar called el barrio.  i walked up to the barkeep to order a cuba libre and as i looked into his face, the name 'eric' popped into my head, though, at first, i didn't make a connection to place. 

'eric?' i asked.

'yep.' he answered, thinking we had met locally.

and then he looked at me, and a deeper recognition flickered in his eyes.  as it turns out, eric and i were good buddies back in albuquerque circa 1998.  we had shot pool together at a local haunt named 'joe's' and (so eric says) even made out a few times.  of course, we were both blown away by the coincidence...now THAT'S a small world.

last night, had 7 people over for dinner.  four (half) of us had taught engllish in korea, and so we spent a lot of the night sharing that experience with the rest of the group.  we had them in stitches with our diatribes about korean cultural quirks, Konglish and all the other experiences that make living in korea so unique.  i had bought a mosquito net to put over my bed (finally), and before my amigos left, i asked the tallest in the group to help my put it up, although all i had for the job was duct tape and a chair that wasn't quite tall enough to secure said duct tape to the rafters.  unsuccessful, they left with apologies.  but determined to get a bite-free nights sleep, i persevered.  after about thrity minutes of exhausting attempts to get it up, i finally came up with a plan.  using a wire hanger and a rope for my hammock, i finally managed to hang the net from the rafters.  i feel as if i should be awarded an honorary engineering degree.

gotta go conjugate some verbs.  hasta manana.

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