Vamos Spanish Academy (chapter 9)

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The Vamos Spanish Academy runs group spanish course 5 days a week all year round excluding national holidays. They have all kinds of courses to fit the different needs of spanish language learners who come to Buenos Aires. With BA becoming so popular in the past few years, not only are restaurants popping up everywhere but language schools as well. This is why it is important to know the name of reputable institutions who will no doubt give you your money's worth in tuition.

As I walked through the doors of the Vamos Spanish Academy for the very first time, I knew that I was good hands.As someone who teaches another language myself and seeing how difficult it is to find good teachers, schools and resources in the midst of so many bad ones, I truly cherish dearly any institute that shows commitment to language learners. And the Vamos Spanish Academy is just that :)

On the theme of language learning, you may wonder what are the signs of a good school, program, or teacher. No doubt you've seen ads for all kinds of programs that claim to teach you another language in two weeks. As you venture out to learn a language, you will no doubt hear stories of people who have spent thousands of dollars and hours on language material and spent years and years sweating it out and after all that couldn't survive in another country.  Then you get those like me who bought a few books a programs and studied diligently without breaking too much of a sweat and then threw themselves into a foreign country where barely anyone spoke a word of english and did just fine. So what's the difference?

A little known fact is that part of learning a language isn't just studying in itself, it's psychological. What I always teach my students is that to learn a language successfully, you need these two factors, you need to read the words and write it down. And you must also hear the sounds and say them out loud. One's mind is like a factory with a secret code and in order to turn on the factor, you must do these two things. Any course or method of study that does not incorporate these two factos is setting you up for failure.

I was not a failure as a language learner but I did feel like a failure when it came to success in a cross-cultural relationships. You must understand that Marisa and I were not angry at teach other. But the cold hard facts is that we did not understand each other or each other's cultures in the least. Both of us badly wanted to make this work and we were doing the best that we knew from our respective cultures.

Sometimes I sat there in the Vamos Spanish Academy, my physical body there but my mind was on Marisa. The basic law of the universe is that when two people want something with all their hearts, soul, and being, the answer will come to them. And she and I desperately sought understanding for this mystery.  I had already been learning spanish two weeks when something interesting occurred.

Alot the spanish instructors at the academy are native to Buenos Aires. My course went for a month and one day when I went for my course, there was a new teacher assigned to teach us. The moment I walked into the room, I knew there was something very different about her. She was tall and lanky with blonde hair. I found out during that first session with her that she was actually a surfer. Her eyes lit up whenever the subject of surfers or surfing came up.

"There's no activity in the world that's anything like surfing" she would say to us in spanish.

Unlike Marisa, she had plenty of experience with other cultures and themes like energy and spirituality and the world unseen....something that isn't talked about much in the Argentine culture. Being a surfer she understood connection the way North Americans do.

We had some neat chats about the culture of surfing. But something in my heart wondered if she could be the key to helping me understand my friend's behavior. If she understood both cultures, then this was my one chance to have someone maybe explain to me and give me some insight to what was going on.  I knew that this may be one one shot and this chance may never come to me again. One day while we had a brief chat before a class and we somehow got onto the subject of energy and connection.  I told her about Marisa's behavior and that her entire face changes in front of me and yet she doesn't know it

Truth be told, at that point the subject of Marisa was the last thing I wanted to talk about. But because of my love for Marisa, I do things even when I don't want to. And this is where we need to understand the difference between love and feelings. Feelings come and go, love is there ALL THE TIME.. I love Marisa, all the time, nothing can change that. But I don't feel an emotional high in our relationship 24/7.

Because of my love, I chose to find a way to get the answers that I needed. When actually talking with the teacher and trying to get some answers, in that moment I wasn't feeling lovey dovey emotional about Marisa with stars in my eyes. But because of love, I would make myself go do something even though I wasn't in the mood to do it. While chatting with the teacher, my love for Marisa was still there even though I was tired and didn't want to broach this subject. That is the difference between love and simply having feelings. One thing this relationship taught me is that love and feelings are not the same thing.

Anyway, back to the conversation. So I was telling the teacher that I had this Argentine friend who has some strange behavior that I don't understand and her face changes completely without her knowing it.  Her two word reply that came next was one that would change the course of things forever

"Es asi!!!" she replied without skipping a beat (meaning "that's the way it is")

She was neither surprised or shocked when I described Marisa's behavior. Her response to me in a tone of voice that indicated that it was the norm and nothing out of the ordinary.

As I went home that nite and thought about our chat, it was then that it all clicked in and I began to understand what was going on. Everything we do in the physical world affects the natural world. But sometimes things that go on in the natural affect our behavior. And different cultures have different ways of dealing with the world unseen and responding to the spiritual world. When something is going on or affecting someone, Argentines will manifest it in a completely different manner than North Americans.

I was once told that when Argentines deal with feelings, it manifests physically in the body. When I was told that, I thought that it was in terms of feelings like sadness or anger. I did not think of it to applying to the Argentine response to things supernatural or unexplainable. To summarize it, something did happen inside of Marisa on my last trip. And unbeknown-st to her, everything that is going on in her soul and in her subconscious will manifest directly through the expression on her face. It is something that she has no awareness of or no control of. 

When something like what happened in that moment between us in the church at the last trip, for me those seconds are a window into Marisa's soul beyond her exterior. Then that window of time passes and she goes right back to normal. All this time I thought the expressions on her face and her whole conduct was intended. This is why we ended up have a big disagreement where no body knew what was going on.

I did not tell Marisa immediately about my theory. I still had some detective work to do. I needed to find out more about this connection between us. I felt like a little shib inu waiting by the pond for hours and hours for the perfect moment to pounce.....

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