Spanish Classes Continue

Marina Carenero
Bocas del Toro, Panama

The highlight of the month has been Spanish class for me.  I opted to continue for 3 weeks to stay with the other two women in my class, and worked my way through the preterit, imperfect, future and conditional tenses, none of which I understood back in college.  It’s becoming clear though that what I’m missing is vocabulary, so I’ll have to start reading the paper or find myself some children’s books to start to grow it.  But the confidence is coming.  I also like the way the classes are structured – the first two hours are grammar, and the second two hours are conversation.

The instructors are all very young and enthusiastic, most from Costa Rica, and most of them quite good at prompting and coaching when we make mistakes.  One of the instructors is a young man named Andres that reminds me of the actor that played Frodo in the Lord of the Rings  — tiny, bright-eyed, with a mop of choppy brown hair.  I keep looking to see if he has hairy feet…he instructed one of the women in the class to watch South Park and bring back a report, so we spent two hours discussing the characters in South Park in Spanish.

A travelling veterinarian came by the marina early in the month to update Barclay’s rabies shot and have a look at poor little Maggie.  I never thought it was possible to see hollows under the eyes of a cat, but she’s really a shadow of her former self.  The vet proclaimed there was nothing to be done for her but lots of love, and gave her a 6-8-month window until she heads for the “clearing at the end of the path.”  Bless her, she still purrs like a diesel, talks more than ever, and lets me know when it’s bedtime, joining me on the pillow and giving me about a 10-minute scalp massage before settling down for the night in the cool of the bathroom floor.  As long as she still yells for food in the mornings and evenings, and drinks lots of water during the day, it indicates to me that her mood is fine and she’s not in any pain.  As an old lady, that’s better than most people do.

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