This morning I had a delightful walk with Santi, the brother of Rebe, my Spanish teacher. Rebe and her family plus Maria Elena and her family have become good friends since our move to Ecuador.
I was apprehensive about our walk since Santi knows just a handful of English words and I have been the world's worst Spanish student. The walk was great and we managed to communicate just fine. I don't know if my Spanish is improving or I'm a great Charades player but we rarely found ourselves without something to say.
I am publicly recommitting myself to doing my homework and practicing an hour a day. Taxicab and restaurant Spanish will get you by but if you really want to flourish in Cuenca you have to be conversational.
We started at Tres Puentes (Three Bridges) and walked to Parque de Paridisio. Coming back we stopped at a local tienda and had 2 coffees and 2 pan for a total of $1.50. Coming back Santi showed me different neighborhoods. I liked the grafitti on one house. The neighbors probably did not.