I have been back for a while and for a while I had a glow from studying spanish. The trip back was longer than I expected it to be, as I took the northern toll road from Ensenada to Mexicali through the Guadalupe Valley. The Guadalupe valley is the wine and cheese region of the Baja peninsula so lots of vineyards and cheese making. I stopped to get coffee at one place and sample their wine. The wine was excellent and so was the coffee. However the wine was too expensive for my taste. I found out later that the prices are inflated because of the tourist traffic.
Upon arrival at my house I didn’t see a huge difference in how the extension to the house looked before and after the two weeks. I take it that there is a competing project for my contractor’s attention and things will go slower for a while. One good note, I hope, is that the water company came by and fitted a water meter to my pipe to the main line in front of my house. I talked with my contractor and he has plans on how to make the connection with the least labor and fuss. We have been told not to use the water yet as the lines need to be purged and that won’t happen till everyone has a meter and at ten meters being installed per day things are still a long ways off before we get city water. We will get the water, not as soon as we all would like, but we will get it.
On another note; after being home a while and thinking about my experiences in Ensenada I’m less inclined to feel satisfied about the whole event. The living with a Mexican family part was a total disaster; no family and not enough food, not enough hot water or water for showers and sharing the shower with buckets wasn’t pleasing either. The classes themselves did get me using spanish more than my self-study. However it was not an intensive spanish experience that I was expecting I didn’t speak spanish all day. The instruction was in english which was fine for a beginning student, but I’m passed that stage and wanted more, even though I would have struggled a lot more. Value for the money-wise I’m disappointed. The same teachers made a big deal about coming to San Felipe to teach for two weeks and said over and over they wanted me to be in their class. We exchange telephone numbers and they had my email and said several times they would send me an email about the classes in San Felipe. None of that happened I guess I was forgotten, why I don’t know. Maybe I’m too much trouble to deal with or they were just being nice.
I think that my being sick while in Ensenada also colored how I felt about the experience; for several days I was concerned about my health and that took away energy from my studies.
So as far as spanish goes I will struggle on learning what I can where I can until I can communicate in spanish with Mexicans without screwing it all up! I can get my point across in simple situations, but I want a lot more than that I want to understand and be understood at a functional level. I will always make mistakes and mispronounce some words I just don’t want it to impede communication.