I say all of that to say this: Learning a language is not just about learning vocabulary, conjugating verbs and the like. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is important, but learning a language is about learning the culture of the speakers as well. For me learning the language with hand in hand with learning the culture of those who spoke the language, from learning how to make tortillas from scratch, to understanding their connection with the land and crops. The bond between language and culture is inextricably linked and immersion gives you the best of both. The curve, though steep, is surrounded by hands of those who are willing to grab you and pull you up to help you with the language. They see you working hard, they see you trying, they see you failing, but they also see you getting better, and they are there to help! This was my experience, the words and phrases stick, long after I’ve left the country, and I still speak to this day, because of the time and effort put in to the immersive experience.
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Hola, great PC story Billy. I never knew that you were intimidated of anything, especially to speak since you were the go-to guy for fun conversations, you are an excellent storyteller and we all loved you for it. The best part is despite how low you believe your skill level to be or being intimidated is that people are willing to help you, but you need to make an effort, even the slightest one will do. I am glad you overcame all of that to share your whole self with your local family. How is your Spanish, now by the way? It has been awhile now.