We have had a really hard week doing lots of work, 5hrs a day is a lot of spanish and then we have homework!
We also had a private salsa lesson on thursday, and we got as far as Chris spinning me round a bit, so i do not think we did too bad…and a weaving lesson on Friday, as there is a weaving project for local women at our spanish school -I think this was one new skill too many for Chris, as he got a bit tangled up..
It is quite cold here especially when we have to be up at 7:30 in the morning and the sun has not come yet, but then later in the day in the sun it is boiling. We go from a cold winters morning in England to a hot summers day in 5 hours! and then back again. we have lots of blankets on our bed so are nice and warm in it, but going outside to the toilet in the night is quite chilly.
Our lessons are outside in a court yard at the school, so we have to have our jumpers on in the morning, my teacher was amazed to hear that they have heating in the schools in England, as they do not even have it in their houses here, as electricity is so expensive.
Off too do our home work now, as we are climbing a volcano tomorrow morning. I have about 50 verbs to remember for Monday, and that is not including our homework, but hopefully some of it will sink in.
On a clear day we can see the mountains to the east of Xela. Weve been learning spanish for 4 days now and it aint getting any easier!We start at 8am and have been studying at home in the afternoons and evenings as we get a lot of homework. Tonight is our first night off and were going to our first salsa dancing class !!
After 5 busses 2 boats and 2 taxis we have arrived in Quetzaltenango (also known as Xela pronounced shela) to learn spanish !
We have found a nice room in a shared house, the room is actually a small cabin on the roof so its a bit more private and its only 55 quid a month, with hot(ish) shower and a kitchen !
We have taken it for a month and enrolled at a spanish school- we start at 8am on Monday and will be doing 2 , 25hr weeks. lessons are 8am-1pm each day and hopefully after 2 weeks we will be able to do more than order a beer and ask for a room ! we may even know what all these weird symbols on the keyboard are ?¿ñÇ ! we are a bit nervous about it as the teachers will only speak Spanish to us, but gemma enjoyed shopping for coloured pens and a notebook.
Xela is a nice town, up at 2400m alt in a valley between 2 Volcanoes (which we are looking forward to treking up !) so its hot in the daytime but pretty cold at night no chance of snow though !
Livingstone is a lot more vibrant and energetic than Punta Gorda. We have get a really nice hostel which has lizards running round it.
It has been quite wet and cold here (so cold we have even had to sleep in our sleeping bags) for the past 2 days, but this morning the rain stopped and the sun has come back..
We have just bought tickets for the boat to Rio Dulce tomorrow morning, which is suppose to be a fascinating journey through the jungle, where manatees live.
We caught the water taxi from Cay Caulker in the morning, which was a really good ride past mangroves and tiny islands which just had 1 hut and 1 tree on them. We then got the bus (7hr) right down from the very south of Belize to Punta Gorda, a very small quiet town on the coast. That night the temperature went down to 10 oC which is a record low temperature for Belize. The locals are talking about how it might snow, they have never know it so cold.
The next day we got a speed boat (1hr) with 7 other people to Guatemala, this boat ride was a lot more exciting than yesterdays, as the waves were a lot larger and splashed over the boat soaking us, and I was starting to feel a bit queasy by the end.
Enjoyed the new year on Caye Caulker, but were aching a bit from canoing to the reef the day before, 1.2 miles against the wind! and back again.
Then on the last day there we woke to find the wind had changed and was coming down from the USA, and overnight the weather had changed to be stormy and cold!!! .. we were forced to put a jumper on and head for the mainland.