April 2024 Newsletter

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Happy April! Did you do a review of Q1? I did on Wednesday, and I’m fairly happy with my results, despite not hitting all of my personal goals. But I do have a better idea of my focus for Q2.

This month’s newsletter includes:

🤧 Visiting the pharmacy

🗓️ Managing extracurriculars

❓ Am I doomed to fail?

👨‍🔧 April prompt

🤧 I’m not yet sick and tired of speaking Spanish

Something a bit intimidating about being in Latin America is that when you go into a store, you will definitely have to interact with somebody. Especially at the pharmacy.

In a lot of stores, you have to directly ask someone for what you want, so they can get it behind the counter. Not for the faint of heart or the weak of vocabulary!

After 1.5 years in South America, I’m used to this operation. Though I did have a brain fart when I went to the pharmacy two weeks ago. I started out very normally after exchanging greetings, “Necesito dos cosas.”


“La primera es una caja de melatonina. El segundo es…”

And immediately I heard my interior voice ask, ¿why would you do that to me? Awful. One of those silly moments I will continue to shake my head about 7 years from now. 

Here’s a few vocab terms for you, particularly if you find yourself with a cold:

El resfrío

La gripe

Un medicamento (antigripal)

Un comprimido

Una receta


🗓️ How to keep up with your language exercises when you don’t have time

Beyond having a cold slow me down, I was soooo busy with work this past month. Including a deadline on March 31, the same day I’m finishing this up! Which meant my active Spanish practice was much less than usual. Although I kept feeling guilty, I realized that at least I didn’t regress. 

All I managed to do was memorize about three short passages, I did a few pages in my Verb Drill book, and read out loud maybe ten times. 

(That being said, I did create and publish a few phonology episodes too.)

In my experience, I’ve always benefited from a rest period or a break from my routine. So when I was out and about, I listened to Language Transfer’s Spanish series. 

If you haven’t heard of it, you should give it a try. It’s aimed at beginners, but I really enjoyed learning about the commonalities between English and Spanish, usually from our shared Latin roots.

Reinforcing the basics has always been a go-to for me when I feel a bit stuck. In my professional life, when I take an “easy” course, I usually find myself unlocking a breakthrough.

❓Do you have to work in your target language to be truly fluent?

I wondered this a few times during March because my work is in English. And anything I need to learn related to work and my hobbies is also in English. Sadly, it’s a lot of intensive work that only uses that side of my language brain.

I keep feeling like I’m missing the secret sauce to a more complex range of vocabulary and the ease needed to explain complex things.

So what’s my alternative as a busy adult? I think for now, just knowing that this journey will take a very long time. As a freelancer, I could pursue Spanish-language projects, but I can’t say I’m comfortable enough to try.

Maybe next year.

👨‍🔧 Vocabulary list: technical aspects of your job

Over the course of a week, review the emails, chats, etc. that you sent to your colleagues and clients. Make a list of the words that you don’t know off the top of your head in Spanish.

Alternatively, write a guide on how to do your job well for a Spanish-speaker.


Despite not having any social media apps on my phone, I barely have time for anything. From what I’ve seen in South America, the people here are just as addicted to their phones as anyone else, but I still think it’s odd how they depend on contacting businesses via WhatsApp or Instagram, instead of a website. 

So if you come down here, be prepared to communicate at any time in any medium.

Have a restful April!


Founder, You Have Homework

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