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Saturday August 11, 2018
About a month ago I was walking the dogs when a very nice man greeted me in almost perfect English, probably because I still look "gringo". He turned out to be Juan Pablo, the owner/operator of the Cross Way Center, an English teaching school on the corner, facing our Lago Chilicote.
We chatted for a bit and then he asked if I would be interested in talking to his students, maybe giving a presentation, talking about myself and taking questions. He said that most of his students have probably never even seen a North American, much less talked to one.
I saw Juan Pablo again this week near the lake when he was walking his dog and he brought it up again thankfully, because I had been waiting to hear from him. Since I have less than 2 weeks available easily here, I pressed him to set a date and time. He suggested Saturday at 10:30am after his student come back from a break, so today was the day.
I thought of bringing a laptop presentation but I had visions of a large room with many people fighting to see a tiny screen. I was hoping that they had televisions hooked to Internet or at least a blackboard or whiteboard. I brought along the URL for the YouTube show "Remember to breathe" done by Alberta Tourism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThFCg0tBDck
I went over a few minutes early, wearing my Team Canada '76 jersey, to see what, where, how, etc, only to find out that I would be talking to several classes at different levels of learning, starting with a beginner class. Each level had students from multiple age groups, right up to adults.
We got to show the video in 2 different classes and they were mesmerized. Most of the classes were prepared in some fashion for the students to ask questions of their own, like "What is your name?", "Why are you in Colombia?", "Is it cold in Canada?", "What Colombian food do you like?", and "Show me a picture of a moose, please."
It was great fun and I could see the pained expressions when I described the winter of 68-69 in Edmonton when we had the 40 days of -40C, or -40F, it didn't matter... They were fascinated with the description of a warm chinook wind in the winter and the incredible chinook sunsets (using my own photos).
I was led around by one of the teachers named Juliana, who had a wonderful grasp of English and we ended with her class of the most advanced students. They were the most comfortable asking questions and really enjoyed when we brought up a map showing how tiny Colombia is in relation to Canada. With them I was able to show the moose, muskox, and the chinook clouds. Overall I was there 90 minutes talking to 5 different classes and I think they had as much fun as I did.
I hope you enjoy the pictures. That was the day’s excitement.
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|This is the Cross Way Center photo from their website. Our present house is just down that street in the center.|
|This first class of newbies got to see the video|
|This class of absolute newbies had written questions ready on a whiteboard|
|I don't think that any of these admitted ever meeting a gringo|
|2nd from left is Juan Pablo's son. Disabled teacher spoke great English|
|The advanced class got the most out of me, as expected|
|This is the CWC center as seen from our bedroom|