We met some exceptionally nice people in Bariloche. They made us feel welcome, they made us feel more secure, and they helped us experience Argentine culture more deeply.
We saw beautiful scenery from on foot every single day, and we spent more time outdoors than we ever do at home.
These things you may already know from reading the blog. So, how’s our Spanish, right?
After 15 weeks in Argentina, Lou effortlessly switches back and forth between English and Spanish. His solitary play is often in Spanish. In the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, when he’s still groggy, he uses Spanish if he’s talking to Pete and English with me (someone should tell that kid I graduated with a B2 level in Spanish!). He has an American accent, most notably with Rs, but he chooses constructions that are more native-like than we would come up with. He doesn’t make mistakes between ser and estar, the two verbs that both mean to be.
Pete had a stand-out final week and left Bariloche on a high note. He would like to go to Chicago in May to take an internationally-recognized exam called the DELE that is designed to measure proficiency. He’s hoping to qualify as “advanced.”
And then there’s me. All along it was difficult not to measure myself against Pete—who is charming and funny in any language—even though he has 10 years of study and practice behind him. And it was difficult to be a perfectionist who loves language and also says things like “I’m going to revolver” and “She lost her bank card” (talking about myself). But I can say that I made a respectable amount of progress and have a good foundation to build on. To keep me motivated I’ve got two books waiting for me at home: a novel written in Spanish and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir translated into Spanish.