At 7:30 a.m. Monday Morning, Jay, Rubi, Jenny, and I piled into Rubi’s car for the ride to school. The plan was for Rubi to drive us to school the first morning so we would know where the school was– after that we would be on foot. Rubi drove a confusing route of back streets and I thought “we should have left a trail of bread crumbs because we will never find our way home”! Fortunately, I had purchased a Cartagena map before leaving OKC. Secondly, I always carry a compass with me when traveling. The school was very small with probably 8 classrooms.
It was located in a neighborhood named Getsemaní.Here are some photos of the neighborhood:
Inside the school we met Jesús, the director, who gave us a brief interview in Spanish to check our verbal skills. After that we took a grueling, written exam. It was one of the toughest Spanish exams I have ever taken at any immersion language school. There were a total of 10 students in the school. I found the administration to be friendly and helpful and I liked all the other students and teachers.
Jay was assigned to a class with 4 other students, all of which were from countries other than the U.S. I had 2 classmates: Margarite who was a 60 year old doctor from Manhattan and Travis, a 42 year old software engineer from California. Travis was retired and just traveled the world. Rough life.
Class was 4 hours per day and totally in Spanish. The teacher allowed us to structure our own curriculum which we all agreed should be made up mostly of conversation. Travis and Margarite were both more advanced than I, but I felt it was a good opportunity to learn from them.
Here is a photo inside the school and their website address.
After class on the first day, 5 of us walked to a small neighborhood restaurant for lunch. Inside it was hot, busy, loud, and chaotic, but it was exactly what I like to experience in foreign countries! We were now totally immersed. There was not another foreigner in sight. We had become just another group of neighborhood people doing their own thing in Cartagena, Colombia. Life had become seamless.
Next-Cartagena-Living our Daily Lives
See my other travel blogs on NewsOk.com:
Caribbean island of Barbuda: http://blog.newsok.com/thewanderer/category/barbuda/
San Juan with a 5 hour layover: http://blog.newsok.com/thewanderer/category/san-juan-puerto-rico/
Fly around the U.S. for the day: http://blog.newsok.com/thewanderer/category/day-trip/