Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spanish Classes, Volcanoes, and Boa Constrictors!

We just returned to the D.R. after a three month hiatus from the island.  We were able to visit family and friends in a whirl-wind tour of the southern U.S. and then headed to Antigua, Guatemala for language school.  Antigua is a cool little city just south of the capital in southern Guatemala.  There’s a mix of Spanish culture, indigenous Mayan peoples and ex-patriots from literally all over the world.  The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with quaint garden villas, local shops and ancient ruins and surrounded by gorgeous views of the mountains and volcanoes of the area.  Antigua is known for its fine and affordable Spanish schools so we choose to study there.
Our Teachers

Margaret and I took classes in the mornings and afternoons with 1-on-1 instructors who only spoke Spanish.  We were able to go at our own pace and concentrate on areas that needed the most attention.  In all, we spent eight weeks in language school while we were in Antigua.  We took six hours of classes a day and studied in between our classes and during the afternoons and evenings.  In all, I figure we logged about 400 hours of class/study time each during our two-month stay- something that would take a year or longer to do in the D.R. because of our job responsibilities and new way of life.  We still have a long way to go to be where we want to be language-wise, but we now have a solid foundation to build on as we serve the Lord with Makarios in the D.R. 

When we were not studying or in class, we got to break away and see some of the sights of the surrounding area. Our itinerary included: visiting a fellow missionary living in Antigua, hiking active volcanoes, touring ancient Mayan ruins, zip lining adventures, meeting the president of Guatemala, walking along a black volcanic-sand beach, riding in “chicken buses”, feeling a couple of earthquake tremors and encountering one big boa constrictor.
This was a view from outside our host home.
The school is a few doors down on the left.
Our friend, and missionary
in Antigua- Randy

These are the ruins where my
Great Aunt Margaret visited in the 1940's!

Diego was our first host who
became a good friend- We LOVED Diego

Our Host Family...We LOVED them!
We made many new friends and thoroughly enjoyed our time of study in Guatemala, but even more so, we were ready and excited to return to our home here in the D.R. to minister alongside our friends at Makarios for the sake of the Gospel.  We are truly blessed by God to be able to do what we do- thank you to everyone who has supported us in so many ways as we follow where God leads us!

Thanks for joining us on our journey...

The Becks 

We never got tired of our view!