Life is good here in Mazatlán. Warm but not too warm. Sunny but not too sunny. Breezy but not too windy. We love it.
What’s been going on? Not too much. I’ve been watching my pineapple grow… I would say it’ll be ready to eat in about another month. This is the second one I’ve grown by planting a pineapple top – the first was delicious so I hope this one is, too.
I’ve been keeping up on the walking and feel like I am just about ready to start a bit of jogging/running as part of my walk. I finally feel like I am back to a decent level of fitness after my year of ovarian cancer. As a matter of fact I have my one year post chemo appointment this afternoon, and since I feel great and my lab results were great I’m sure the doctor will be pleased.
I have renewed enthusiasm for studying Spanish. I have finally realized that I won’t progress much further without actual study. Osmosis just won’t do it, or at least not as fast as I want. So I have been listening to audio Spanish lessons as I walk every day. That means I’m getting at least an hour a day of lessons, and sometimes more if I listen while I knit or cook or something.
In conversations I have around town it is easy as pie to avoid using tenses I feel insecure with and stay with my tried and true vocabulary. I know I need to push myself more.
The first audio lessons I started with were Learn Spanish With Paul Noble. This 12 CD course is interesting because he starts out in the past tense, teaching you the present perfect (he-has-ha-han-hemos with ado or ido.) This was just so refreshing, rather than re-hashing all that beginner stuff again! His two speakers are both native speakers, one from Spain and one from Mexico. I liked them a lot.
I am now listening to the Michel Thomas Speak Spanish Advanced 5 CD course. His two speakers are non-native speakers, which gives him a chance to point out their errors, which can be helpful. The first bit of the course is review and then he moves straight in to some intense work on the past, future, and subjunctive tenses. I really like his style as he uses mnemonics to help you remember things. Thefirst 8 CD course was vital to getting us started learning Spanish before we even moved here. (I took the CD’s out of the library) I’ll never ever forget the little song he sings to remind you of the past preterite conjugation endings! I highly recommend them.
There are lots of free podcasts and things like that online when I get done with all this. Then I think I’ll try an audiobook in Spanish. Maybe I’ll start with something simple, does anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking something like Nancy Drew but I haven’t found anything yet.
A am pretty fearless talking to people so I get a fair bit of practice that way, and I do watch videos in Spanish sporadically too. But I want to improve and become more confident.
I hope you are enjoying Spring as much as I am. See you!