I thought since we were in our last week of language school that we would take you on a walk with us to our language school. Our morning and afternoon walks to and from school are something Dan and I have really enjoyed. We kind of wish that we could get by without a car when in Lima, just walking most places and using public transportation and taxis for longer trips. Its so nice to be car-free! But that won't be possible in Lima due to the childrens home and care center being located on the outskirts of the city.
We have school every day from 10am-2pm. The walk takes about 10 minutes and its always a pleasant walk with mild temperatures and the sun shining!
First we leave our apartment complex, and turn down this residential road. This road is always quiet with few cars.
That road eventually brings us out to the busy avenida, where there is a lot of traffic.
Next we turn off the busy avenida and take a short-cut through this alley way, which leads to a nice little park.
We pass through three parks like this on the walk there. Peru (at least Arequipa) seems to be full of these little parks, with grass, flowers, benches, and sometimes play areas. This park below isn't the nicest of the parks we pass through, but its the only one I remembered to take a picture of.
After the above park we reach the language institute, which pretty much just looks like a house.
We ring the doorbell, enter, greet everyone, then go upstairs to be greeted by our sweet, smiling grammar teacher Abbi!
The language institute in Arequipa is specifically tailored to help new missionaries. It is not very big, and there are probably (Im guessing) around 20 people from different countries (Germany, Norway, Denmark, England, Australia, USA...) here learning the language in order to serve as missionaries in different parts of Peru.
Our classes are small (just Dan and I in our grammar class!) and we have two classes each day. Our first class is grammar, and our second class is a practice class, where we meet individually with a teacher for conversation. Our teachers help us with our speaking/writing/reading/understanding, but also spend time helping us to learn and understand the culture and to help prepare us for some of the cultural difficulties we will face ministering here in Peru. My practice teacher's name is Karen, and she is a hard teacher! She gives me the most difficult assignments, though I know they'll help me. For example, this week she had me disciple her (in Spanish of course) as if she were a new believer, and then besides guiding me in the language, she gave me tips on how my words came across culturally as well. It has been challenging but very helpful. It has been nice to have someone to ask uncomfortable questions to (ie; why do peruvians do this...and how do I respond when they...) and know that she will not be offended, as well as to have someone to tell me what Americans do and what specifically I do that puzzles or could offend Peruvians. SO helpful! Dan's teacher's name is Edgar and Dan has found his practice session equally helpful.
We are thankful that we had such a good experience here in Arequipa learning the language!