To give you an impression of scale, here is a photo of me and the agouti. I haven’t seen any agoutis on the street, but I’m sure they live in the wooded areas of the city.
The past week I’ve been trying to study Spanish, but I have found that what I know on paper does not come out as easily when I speak. I memorize the spelling and meanings of verbs all day but find hard to retrieve those statements when I try to articulate myself to my classmates. We are all in the same situation, but I always pride myself on choosing the best possible word for what I’m thinking or feeling. Here I’m relegated to only the most basic of terms–and only to the present or past tenses. Most porteños are very understanding, and they don’t automatically revert to English, which is best for me to learn.
Nine students attend my class–two Brazilians, one Japanese, one Swiss, two Danes, one South Korean, and one other American. The American, Veronica, is from New York City. I find it hilarious that we only speak to each other in halting Spanish–knowing it’s the right thing to do. Without intending to do so, E. and I have started speaking to each other in a patois of Spanish and English.
In our daily routine, E. works from the dining room during the day, and I usually go out to class and to study at a cafe. At night I catch up with my teaching–grading and commenting in the online classrooms. I am ending three classes for one of my online schools on Sunday. Three more begin on April 7. Those classes contain 30 students each with a natural disappation to 25 by mid-semester. The classes keep me busy with actual “work-work” when I’m not wandering around.