Friday, July 08, 2005

One Brick Short...

...not of a full load, but of a wall. Yesterday I finished building the little brick retaining wall by the hot tub. I was within one brick of estimating the amount of mortar correctly. Not bad for my first brick wall. It looks pretty nice for something that most people will never see.

Today I worked with Naun again, leveling and otherwise fine-tuning the foundation trenches. We also dug a little bit under the existing foundation footing, which will be used to tie the two foundations together. And I began the tedious process of drilling into the existing foundation to insert some rebar as part of the tie together.

My Spanish is improving rapidly. No, that's not quite right. My comfort level with speaking Spanish is improving rapidly. I've had a couple of full-fledged conversations in Spanish, and besides not remembering a word or two, I didn't even stress. But I know that I'm frequently butchering the language. My Spanish instructors would be pleased that I'm still speaking Spanish, but probably be appalled at how much I've forgotten. I do pretty well in present tense, but I've forgotten conjugating for past and future tense, and I frequently forget to use the command form when it would be appropriate.

I've begun teaching Naun English. He's no dummy, and knows that knowing English would help his job prospects. I told him at lunch that when the house is done, he'll be speaking English and I'll be speaking Spanish. And if my project takes as long as Rob and Ginger's, that may not be far from the truth :-)

As evidence of my comfort level with Spanish, I've even said a few things (intentionally) to get Naun to laugh. Part of today's English lesson was some of the foods at lunch: rice (arroz), beans (frijoles), juice (jugo). And the simple phrase, "more juice, please." We were reviewing words while I was driving him home, and I asked him to say "more juice, please." in English. He'd forgotten 'more', but prompted with that, came up with "more beans, please." OK, now for the big laugh. I corrected him, and he chastised himself for forgetting 'juice'. I responded in a very deadpan way in Spanish, "What would you like to drink? Hmmm...beans, please!". OK, so it's not the funniest joke in the world, but it was a start.

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