After four weeks a Spanish at Habla Ya, one-on-on with a really great teacher, Yaira Munoz, Princess called … and when you work for a Princess, when she calls you listen. Going in Habla Ya realized that my assignments on ships happen, sometimes last-minute, and promised to work with me. One of the things I like about Habla Ya is that they will work with you to achieve your goals. My wife had started in a class for local expats and this is the second year she has taken this expat series of classes. Well some of the others in the class had to leave early, so wanted to speed things up, which wasn’t working for Nikki, and so Habla Ya put her in another class. It just really depends on you and I appreciate Habla Ya’s willingness to work with your schedule and goals.
Yaira was telling me about another student who came from Germany not knowing any Spanish with the single goal to learn Spanish for business. Like most Habla Ya students he was in an immersion program, living with a local family and taking private classes seven hours [7 hours!!] a day, five days a week, and on weekends taking advantage of the tours and outings, of course in Spanish, offered by Habla Ya. In three weeks he was speaking Spanish, maybe not yet with all the tenses, but Speaking “like a native.”
So, knowing I will be off on CARIBBEAN PRINCESS for a month with nothing to do but visit 16 ports of call in 12 countries, give 28 lectures, and answer port questions from 3,000 people, Jaira has loaded me down with Spanish homework [“tarea”]. Interestingly one of the options Habla Ya has available is to do classes online, which would have been a good option except for the fact that shipboard Internet is notoriously slow and expensive.
Hopefully I will find a couple of other crew members from Mexico or Spain who will help me perfect my Spanish pronunciation in the crew bar if I buy them drinks. Of course, just like English, every country pronounces things differently and uses different words for different things, not to mention that too many $1.50 drinks in the crew bar may not be that helpful for my Spanish education. Hell, I could probably visit the Cantina across from the new market in downtown Boquete on Saturday night and get the same thing!