I am here in Guanajuato, Mexico, for the purpose of studying Spanish for one month. I have successfully survived a week of using my brain for something actually beneficial to my well-being. But I am dismayed at the language learning process. When I first arrived, I was actually quite impressed (as were others) with my Spanish-speaking ability, as I somehow managed to keep up with questions and answers with my Mexican homestay family. Ironically, after a week of schooling and exposure to native speakers, my ability to communicate has dropped severely. I think there are many psychological factors. Now I am second-guessing myself all the time, and have to pre-screen every word that comes out of my mouth to make sure it makes some sort of sense. But this over-processing is actually quite detrimental to free-flowing, correct conversations. I find myself making mistakes that I would never make otherwise, such as telling people in Spanish: "I am here to study English." There is an endless list of embarassing mistakes I have made thus far, so the pressure to speak correctly adds to the mistakes, and on and on it goes.
I have attached some pictures of this lovely city for your enjoyment. It is meant for walking and exploring, but not so much for driving. Most of the traffic is diverted under the city in a series of tunnels that were once used to handle rivers of access water that would drain into the valley that the city occupies. All of the pictures were taken from my living quarters here in Guanajuato. I have had two different locations because I had to switch homestay families, but I will write more about that in another post. !Fue muy traumatico!