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March 2018 - Joanne Rekow

With a wide smile and stellar attitude, Joanne's positive approach has buoyed her throughout her learning process. Having started in Beginner 3 over two years ago, she's been tenacious in her studies, consistently gracing her morning intensive classes and building Spanish skills that are now impressively strong. She is a caring classmate who forms close relationships with her fellow students, even traveling to Oaxaca with one of them! When she's not practicing her Spanish, Joanne enjoys making art as her hobby, including wood carving and painting, and is also an avid gardener and dedicated chicken keeper. We are proud to be witnesses to Joanne's hard work to pursue her Spanish goals, and look forward to continuing to see her inspiring progress.


Name: Joanne Rekow
Occupation: Retired
Time Studying at Tierra: Since Fall 2015

1) Why are you studying Spanish?

"I’ve always loved languages and I took Spanish in high school, but now I also love the process of learning one. Like everyone, I have to make myself learn grammar and look up endless words, but while doing so I have discovered the amazing transformation of beginning to hear the meaning and see the words go away. It really is a mind-boggling experience to realize you can understand another language".

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra?

"My favorite part about Tierra is all the nice people here.  I have met so many interesting people who are involved in many different things but who have come together with their shared interest in Spanish.  And of course, I have to thank my teacher, Laura, for being the best teacher ever, and for being kind, encouraging, fun and patient for the whole two years plus I’ve been here.  She has made me aware of a whole world out there I barely thought of before.  ¡Gracias Laura!"

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here?

"Yes!  I went to Oaxaca, Mexico in January with a friend I met here at Tierra.  When I got off the plane in Mexico City I was confronted by my total lack of a sense of direction and my inability to speak Spanish when tired.  The airport security guy actually patted my shoulder and said “Vaya con Dios”!  But, during the week, I was able to speak in Spanish to our Airbnb hosts (lightbulb is “foco”), our taxi guide ( he loves American hits, 70’s through 90’s), a weaver at a beautiful rug making studio with parrots walking around a fountain ( she picked a cochineal bug from a cactus and crushed it in my friend’s hand and it turned into a pool of red dye), and all the very friendly people around Oaxaca. It was really fun!"

¡Felicidades Joanne!