BootsnAll Travel Network

What the Hell am I doing??

The food is hardly worth a mention–but oh, you’ll hear about it for sure a little later on. If it’s not black clouds of diesel fumes I inhale, it’s dust. It’s freezing at night, I’m coccooned in my sleeping bag underneath 3 blankets, with my jacket on. And my Spanish lessons just kill me!

Let’s call it a rough Monday. A very rough Monday. Seriously, I couldn’t take it. I just couldn’t get with the program. Couldn’t understand my maestra (teacher), and struggled mightily with simple words from the alphabet. “What am I doing? Maybe I should just pack my bags and hit the trail.” Felt like crap. Felt stupid. Like I was incapable of learning. Yeah, I was ready to quit.

But stuck it out. Spent Monday night studying hard and practicing as much as I could. Other students confided that they, too, had the same “What the hell am I doing?” thoughts. We all go through it. My friend Mitzy came down 5 weeks ago. Her husband is in Colorado, and she said that her first week mirrored mine. We all have our moments of pure frustration, and other days that turn out fabulous. Yesterday, Tuesday, was good. And today, well, it was almost a repeat of Monday. Up and down, up and down.

Perhaps I’m putting too much pressure on myself. It has, after all, been close to 7 years since I was last in school. I have pretty high expectations that I can get this language stuff down. But it has been very hard. My learning curve is slower than what I am accustomed to. My brain tries to formulate all the right word combinations and I try to remember certain words and vocabulary, and it just doesn’t come out of my mouth correctly or quickly enough. And listening to my teacher, I just can’t process. Frustrating.

I’m not quitting. But I have been so itchin’ to hit the trail. I have purposely avoided reading up about surrounding areas and towns and things to do and see. I’ll have plenty of time for that later. For now, I want to get my Spanish down. And I have a LONG ways to go. It’s like my mind is overloaded and can’t take in anymore. Luckily, I have some great student friends that can share in my lows, as well as highs. I’m hoping tomorrow will be much much better. Here are some pics of my school…

My school’s exterior

The downstairs interior. Upstairs we have our classrooms. There are currently about 15 students, all working one on one with teachers.

I’m starting to get a bit of a routine down. Wake up at 7:20. Breakfast at 7:30. Out the door at 7:45, in school at 8am. Private instruction til 10:30, break til 11, then more learning 11-1pm. Lunch back at home at 1:30pm. Back to school around 2:30 for the afternoon activity. Today it was at 3:30. Salsa dancing. My two left feet didn’t help me any. Dinner is usually around 7:30, though it has varied depending on when my mom gets home to prepare dinner. Once it was around 9:30. It’s funny calling her mom. She’s 27, 5 years younger than me. I’ll usually study til about 11:30, then hit the sack. And it’s repeat for the next day. At least I have my morning break fruit to look forward to (less than $1 for a small bag of pineapple, watermelon, coconut, mango, papaya or other fruits she decides to offer for the day).

This is the only fruit I get in my diet. I don’t know how much longer I can sustain on beans, tortillas, eggs, hot dogs, eggs, beans, tortillas, and eggs. I have yet to set foot in Mickie D’s, but oh man…..


3 responses to “What the Hell am I doing??”

  1. Mike says:

    I remember when I first went to Mexico and I was so glad I had someone to be my crutch. I am still in awe of what you are doing and a bit jealous. I can’t imagine you giving up so I am not worried about that. keep studying and all of a sudden it will hit you.

  2. Monica says:

    Que pasa mi amigo?

    Don’t give up cuz Beavers never give up! (they just get beat up by the Cougs!) Anyway, when you get home I’ll make you lasagna with some yummy sardines on top. Hang in there.

  3. Amy Reyes says:

    Hey Edwin, just wanted to say “chin up,” the language issues will get better. I had the same experience in Japan doing school all day and a homestay. At the end of the day, my brain would just hurt, every day. I never knew how sweet the sound of English could be or how the sight of a USA Today was like an oasis. But it gets better, just keep going!

  4. Jonas says:

    It sounds more and more like the perfect time to grow a mullet. No one knows you there and since you don’t understand the language, the taunting won’t hurt as much.

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