Want to Learn to Speak Spanish?

Experts found being bilingual helps build brain power. These greater “cognitive reserves” mean a person is able to keep dementia at bay for longer.

Spain is one of my most favourite countries in the world.

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I’ve lived and worked in Gran Canaria – visited and scuba dived the beautiful Balearic Island of Ibiza and taken a road trip through mainland Spain with the fam, camping the coastline along the way in some of the most amazing places.

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Twice my desired visit to the top of Mount Teide on Tenerife has been scuppered – the first time when my daughter developed a painful ear infection and needed a nasty injection from the doctor to enable us to leave the island and fly home on our departure date and the second time, the little island was hit by the worst storm in over 70 years and although we managed to reach high into the national park – you couldn’t see the peak of the volcano and the surrounding area looked like a moonscape covered in snow as the rain thundered down the through the tree line. Needless to say, we didn’t stay up there for long. So I still have the desire to reach the top and will be visiting again.

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We scuba dived the atlantic shoreline on the island and although we didn’t enjoy the company we dove with, it was the first time I found myself staring up at the surface in deep blue clear water, as we watched a ray fly by, realising that any problem with equipment down there would need to be dealt with, down there. It was a sobering moment

I’ve had some amazing travel moments in destination but the one thing I can’t do, is speak spanish well enough to enable me to communicate with the locals and engage fully with the interesting people I meet along the way.

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Working with Victoria, the Owner of Barcelona Shopping Scouts in Barcelona city, gave me a taste of what it would be like – as she conversed quickly with the restaurant owner about the meal we were going to eat. The queue was so great for locals to eat in the little hole in the wall – she didn’t need to speak my language as she made a shooing hand gesture to get us to leave once we’d paid the bill. There was no hanging around here.

The team from Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Italy also found the longer a person was bilingual, the stronger the protective effect. “It suggests the earlier you learn another language and the more you use it, the greater the protective effect.”

Trying a cooking experience with Social Cooker Yves… was another way I began to explore the language of the culture.

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Working in the RIU Palace hotel for TUI was an interesting experience and the bell hop made it his mission to ensure every single day, I learnt and spoke spanish.

“Ola, buenos dias ?” He would say.

“Buenos dias,” I would respond beginning to feel nervous.

“Comos estas?,” He would ask.

“Moy bien,” I would reply. Thinking, it’s nearly over!

Y tú?” I’d then ask

“Bien.” He would respond. Phew it was done. There were days when I won’t be ashamed to admit that when I heard his trolley coming I walked quickly in the opposite direction. Making the most of the sweeping curves of the hotel!

Yet I miss learning and speaking this language and on meeting Emily, Spanish teacher and owner of a business called ‘The Language Gap,’ it once again opened the doorway and the possibility of speaking spanish.

I’ve now decided this needs to be done, so I thought I would create a spanish class – just a small group of ten and then if there is enough interest, at the end arrange a short trip to Barcelona to put in practice what has been learnt and to experience cooking catalan cuisine with Yves the Social Cooker. 

What do you think. Who’d like to learn spanish alongside me?

THE SUN – Quotes used above are from The Sun newspaper

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