We have just heard about a Spanish language school in Guatemala from some former missionaries who have some experience with Nicaragua. This school uses a one-on-one tutoring style of language training, mixed with living with a local Spanish-speaking family and taking field trips with opportunities to use your Spanish. The costs are quite reasonable and a person  could go for a week or a month at a time because of the flexible nature of the program.

So Gail and I are wondering/praying about whether this would be a good idea for us. Gail has a good background in Spanish and can actually manage a conversation, but she needs a lot of tightening up and updating. It’s been a long time since she has had any extended exposure to Spanish, not counting, of course, the mission trips we’ve taken in the last two years. There, however, we are English teachers, and if we speak Spanish, we’re supposed to keep it on the down low because the students tend to speak Spanish to you if they think you can understand them. And, after all, we are there to teach English. So this language skill could backfire on our actual reason for being there. However, there are so many situations when a little Spanish would go a long way when we’re not in the classroom with our students.

Bob, on the other hand, can say Feliz Navidad (sp?), and a few phrases and words, and maybe he could even count from 1 to 4  – learned mostly from Wooly Booly by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs in his youth on a long bus trip from New York to Idaho with his brother. But otherwise, he has to fall back on his high school French, which isn’t very helpful in Nicaragua.

So we’re thinking about this as an early part of our mission career.