I’m happy to report that we now have 4 hours of Spanish lessons under our belt.
Alberto, a watch repairman by day, is our teacher. We pay him $5 per hour for our lessons. Although $5 an hour for private lessons may not seem like much, it’s actually on the high side of day’s wage for a Nicaraguan. To put things into perspective the maids working in our guest house earn a mere $4 for each twelve-hour shift they work.
We didn’t want learning Spanish to feel like work so we’ve made arrangements for Alberto to come to our house just 4 days a week for one hour at a time.
We have a mutually beneficial relationship with Alberto. He’s helping us learn Spanish on our own time, at our own pace, in the comfort of our home. In return we have helped him to nearly double his monthly wage. Being Alberto’s first students ever, not only are we helping him earn some extra cash, we are also providing him the opportunity to improve his teaching skills.
On class days Alberto shows up promptly at 5 pm (if not earlier) always with a smile on his face, ready to sit down and get to work. It didn’t take Gord and I long to recognize that have two very different learning styles. Acting as our scribe I sit close to Alberto focusing intently on his every word. Gord has a bit more of a relaxed approach to our lessons; he generally sits back and casually takes everything in.
Although Alberto isn’t formally trained as a teacher our lessons are going very well. We are learning a bit more Spanish every day and the fact that we are helping out a local is definitely an added bonus!