Hola amigos!! Greetings from Antigua, Guatemala. Well I've been here a week and it's flown by.
Antigua is a lovely colonial town with friendly locals, great coffee and an abundance of tourists learning Spanish!
I've been having daily Spanish lessons and staying with a fabulous host family. They are flamboyant, friendly and ever so patient. My host mama Carolina is an amazing cook and has been feeding me huge meals of local cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm permanently full!
I would like to be able to write that I've been having nothing but fun. But that would be a lie. I am having an amazing time, but I'm finding learning Spanish very challenging. I'm struggling to grasp the basics and some days feel I'm going backwards. My brain is getting so overloaded that when I'm not at school all I want to do is sleep. Meal times are an extension of school and often I'm mid mouthful when I'm asked a question. For a few moments I need to comprehend what I've been asked, then spend the next while working out how to respond. I'm so grateful the family are so patient.
By Friday evening I was so overwhelmed that I kept forgetting how to say hola and wanted to say aloha (go figure!) even though I'd been saying hola all week!
Thankfully one of the other students Su has been learning Spanish here for 3 months and she had been unbelievably supportive and helpful. I am also proficient at ordering a latte which is a daily priority!
As always having a selection of yogic tools has proved invaluable and I've been very dedicated with my early morning sadhana, ensuring that my day gets off to a positive start with pranayama & meditation and ending the day with restorative asana and yoga nidra to ensure a restful sleep.
Practicing mindfulness and self acceptance is a work in progress when I find myself feeling frustrated and critical of my progress. It's not always easy but I need to constantly remind myself we are all different and learn in different ways and at different speeds.
I've also been a little homesick for my family and the expansiveness of Purakanui.
However, having had a weekend of cafe hopping, exploring ruins, visiting museums and art galleries and listening to Latino music in Central Park, I'm ready to face another week of lessons.
Until next time, adios.
Love Lili xx