As promised, here is my journal of The Purple Chicken 14 Day Challenge.
The games I play for Learning the Spanish Language.
Day 1 – I awoke this morning a nervous wreck knowing my post about the challenge was going to publish today. That means I really have to do this. UG!!! Maybe I can just cancel the post. After all, I am a good 6 hrs ahead of the East Coast USA, so no one would know the difference. In my mind I am just tormenting myself over this silly challenge of learning the Spanish language.
I walk the kids to school and then continue for about a 1 hr walk along the coast to clear my head. I pass so many people, but no guts to just chat with them. How am I going to do this? Upon my return home, the gardener/maintenance guy was out working. I always say hello, but today I stopped to ask him if he works just here or other places. How big is the property and where does he live. All of that kind of stuff, in Spanish of course. As I was walking away, I just realized I Did It! I had my conversation and I didn’t die! I didn’t even realize I was going to have the conversation.
Alan even had a couple of conversations too. Maybe this will work for us.
Lesson from day 1 – Don’t build it up so much. Just let natural conversations happen, rather than trying to seek one out. No one is judging me on this other than ME. Oh, I can be my worst enemy sometimes.
Day 2 – Life was a bit easier today on the speaking with strangers front. They actually came to me today. I was picking the kids up from school and a few of Anya’s friends came over to say good-bye to her. They started speaking with me too. Next thing you know 10 minutes went by and we were still chatting. Hey, I didn’t place any age restrictions on the conversations LOL Actually, I got along well with the 8 year olds. I think I have graduated from K to grade 3! 😉
Later in the day, there was a very elderly woman who approached the kids and I. She was full of complements about the kids and asked if I had more children. I informed her 2 was enough. She said I should have more Guapo children :-). Oh goodness. I am too old for that! A good day for Learning the Spanish Language.
Day 3 – Today wasn’t a spectacular day for the challenge, but it was a great day for Alan and I to be out exploring. I did have a few conversations in Spanish here and there, but no as long as I hoped for. The one I liked the best today was after we dropped the kids off at school. The Mother of girl in Lars’ class came to us and said “Lars is famous in our house. We are all talking about how well he is doing with Spanish now”. It was a nice start to the day not only to hear that info, but to completely understand what she was saying!
Day 4 – Hey this isn’t as difficult as it once seemed. Today I nearly needed to use a purple chicken. You see we were in class for a couple of hours and hung out after to chat for a while (in English). Next thing you know it was time to get the kids and the day flew by. As a family, we did practice Spanish for about 1 hour at the beach, using a workbook I printed out. It was too nice out to stay inside. Usually there are loads of people walking on the promenade, but we were so into the Spanish I didn’t notice everyone. I did manage a conversation with the fishmongers at the grocery store. I had no clue how to cook the fish, so we had a long conversation about that.
The reason it was a long conversation is because I stepped way out of the usual comfort zone with the topic of cooking. I have the vocabulary down for the food and oils etc, but not (Frying, Baking, Steaming, Pan, Pot, Oven etc). I found those are also very difficult words to play charades with too. LOL Anyway, the lady was most helpful and finally understood what we were asking. We then learned a few new words like Frying Pan – sartén and Oven – horno. I should have known that one as it is on the roasting spice package I buy for chicken (Horno de pollo). I know it looks like something completely different to the English speaker.
Day 5 – Ditto today, a few small conversation. Anya and I walked to the tourist info center to pick up our weekly papers to read. The Lady that works there (fluent in 8 languages) knows us and chats with us in English each week. I asked her to chat with us in Spanish from now on, so we did. Anya even asked her how she was doing in French! Anya wants to learn French too, so has been practicing.
Day 6 – I guess I need to forfeit a purple chicken for this week. It has nothing to do with me being in fear. It has just been dumping buckets of rain for 2 days and we really haven’t been out of the house much. We did however practice Spanish quite a bit and I did have small conversations at the grocery store and El Corte Chino, but nothing I should actually count towards the challenge.
Day 7 –1st Week Done! The rain finally stopped late in the afternoon and people were out and about. We went out to the promenade. I practiced Spanish with one kid, while Alan played paddle ball with the other. Then we switched kids and repeated. I did manage to have a conversation with a mom and her little boy as they were slowly walking by. They were very kind. We also had a bit of a conversation with the guy at our favorite little pizza place. He is Italian, but fluent in Spanish.
I need to Ramp it up for week 2. I need to have longer conversations and make it a bit more challenging.