I have zip, squat. Except that I can count to twenty, which I know will be terribly helpful when I'm there. As long as all the kids line up and stand still so I can count them and stun everyone with my handle on their language.
To prepare for this trip - and when you're married to an engineer, trust me, you prepare for everything - we're doing Rosetta Stone every day. Don started after me and is way ahead of me. He made the logical decision to skip the writing part, since we won't be writing there, and has also decided he needs to complete the entire program - all four units with four lessons each, in the next 25 or so days.
He's suggested I do the same.
He's also decided it's a good idea to speak to me in spanish at every available opportunity. If I ask him something he tends to come back with an answer I cannot understand. Then I ask him what he said, and he tells me, expects me to repeat, and then corrects my pronunciation.
I have no background in Spanish, except for that previously mentioned counting to twenty. I have learned about twenty words over the past year of working at the food and clothing pantry. I can now, with a combination of using the words 'comida' and 'ropa' and leaning my body in different directions, convey to the clients that they should take their comida to el carro before they enter the ropa area (which, believe it or not is terribly helpful.) If they would ask me, I could tell them mi gato is muy gordo, or bonita, or duerme. I could greet them 'como esta?', or tell them 'buenos dias' if it's before lunch. I could send them off on their way with a rousing 'adios!' But I can't ask them about their families, what their favorite foods are, do they believe in God, or think the color of my skin or how I sound is funny?
But I'm working on it. One lesson at a time. When my husband is not in the house or at least within hearing distance. Pretty sure at this point I don't want him to teach me to play golf, or drive the boat, or play bridge. He'd probably just give me directions in spanish anyway.
I have also decided, if I live to be 100, I will not learn to roll my r's.
So would you like to talk about my gato?