Prepation for Chile—Part One of Many to Come

PrepEsta noche fue mi ultima clase de Espanol. In other words, tonight was my last Spanish class. That is, Conversational Spanish II.

In preparation for my trip to Chile, I have been taking classes with the local community college. It’s been a huge help, so much so that while I sit here, enjoying a tasty beverage from Hop Valley Brewing Company, I am literally and simultaneously translating many of these world in my head into the beautiful language of Espanol. Twice a week, for two hours, I sit in a class with other students—many well beyond my age—trying to grasp the art of Espanol. For the most part, I am doing well. I am catching on fast. I know many verbs, nouns, conjugations and phrases. I translate well. I understand. The problem is, that I have reverted to second grade, and I’m that shy kid in the back who very much wishes to not be called on, but at the same time, wishes my knowledge and skill can be shared with the class. It will work itself out. Yo creo que si.

I plan to continue with these classes, moving forward into Conversational III, IV and so on and so forth, all the way until I choose—yo elijo—the starting terminus of my journey, at which point I will backpack/pack-raft the Patagonian lines of latitude that fall between 38- and 55-degrees south, give or take BAD weather—el mal tiempo.

Pack-raft in bedI generally study an hour a day, or two, and often times find myself trying to find the spanish words for everyday topics. It’s not easy, but it’s fun. And when it’s tiring, I remind myself that this is a goal of mine. That goal is to become as fluent in the language as a gringa can be…

And on top of that, sometimes I come home to a reminder that I might be a bit loco as my packraft is taking the place of where a man—in most women’s lives—may sleep… (See photo aside). It doesn’t normally sleep there, but I needed a place to store it after it sun-bathed…

Nine months sit between me and Chilean soil. I’m trying to be as ready as I can. And as usual, I think back to New Zealand, and all the American thru-hikes. What did I learn? Que aprendi? What can I do different? Que puedo hacer yo diferente? What did I like? Not like? Que es lo que me gusta? No me gusta? All of these questions lend themselves to comprehending a foreign language—and landscape—, but also continuing to understand who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming. The story of life continues…

2 thoughts on “Prepation for Chile—Part One of Many to Come

  1. Met today in store. Was happy to let you know that we followed you all the way around our SA cruise while you were in NZ and have since. It was like enjoying outdoor life while luxuriating in the cruise and kept us tied to a totally different and exciting other world. Thank you for that and I look forward to hearing all about your next Patagonia venture. GOOD LUCK! Marcia

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