Want to travel south this year

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

OK, so here’s my plan. I’m going down to Uruguay for a month for intensive Spanish language school.

I’m leaving on March 9. While I’ve already bought the plane tickets, I haven’t decided which school to go to. I’ve got a few options; I’m waiting to hear back from the American Embassy there to see if they have any recommendations.

Uruguay is about the size of Oklahoma, down on the southeast end of South America. The prices are reasonable; the $1,380 for the flight was the most expensive part of it. One of the schools costs $495 for a month, and a room and board with a family is $769. I could stay at the dorm with a roommate for $538.

Why Uruguay? No kidding, I don’t have a clue. There’s something about the name “Montevideo” that has always intrigued me. It’s the capital of the country, has about 1.8 million (in comparison to the country at about 3.5 million) and was founded by the Spanish in 1726. Montevideo is on the Atlantic Ocean and was recently rated the second-safest capital city in the world. The government is stable for South America.

We’ll see. This is going to be an adventure, but I’m really going down with the intention of coming back with some version of Spanish stuck in my head. I had four semesters of Spanish in college, but I’ve never had the “Immersive” experience. After my honey went to Spanish school in Guatemala two years ago, she had pretty high skills. The key will be to figure out ways to improve my fluency when I return. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I think people in the West who don’t learn Spanish will eventually have a tough time doing business or communicating with a large percentage of their fellow citizens. I don’t think willful ignorance in this matter is in anyone’s best interest.