Boquete, Panama; Day 18

Aside from the Spanish immersion classes in August, the 5 Adventurers also installed Duo Lingo to their devices to improve their intake of foreign languages. Tiffany and Brian have continued to dabble on the app but prefer the real world to build that language “muscle”.

For the kids, however, they go beyond mere dabbling. They compete against one another and others on leaderboards and to gain achievements like crowns, hearts, and jewels. They are the prime audience for the ‘gamification’ of learning and they love it.

The kids have also learned that studying multiple languages can be an achievement-multiplier. CreeperKitty was the first to discover this so now he is learning Vietnamese and Portuguese as well as Español. He picked Vietnamese because Duolingo doesn’t offer Thai and we’ve got our fingers crossed we’ll be able to go to Vietnam at some point in the trip.

He was also the first to discover that by changing his default language in the app, he can also “learn English”.

Suaram “Learning” English from a Spanish Interface

The parents haven’t determined whether we should consider this activity inventive or cheating. The truth is that after watching over their shoulders and seeing them needing to interpret the Spanish instructions prior to answering, we pretty much just shrug our shoulders, scratch our heads and wonder “why”?

In addition to Duolingo, today was another trip to town. This time was for more mini golf – same course as before but more Adventurers. The weather was perfect and we logged 4 hole-in-ones between us.

Tiffany went to the market for food supplies and some different color thread to augment her mending kit. She only brought the thread that came in an old hotel freebie sewing kit – black, white, grey, pink and light blue. Those aren’t nearly varied enough for all the colors on the kids’ cuddles which to date have been all her mending projects on the trip. But Coral the Octopus has been patiently hanging out in the cuddle ‘repair waiting room’ for several days. This is a terrible place for a cuddle to be – they can’t play in any games, can’t sleep with their owner. She even had skip the cuddle chess tournament.

The challenge is that Coral is hot pink. Not the gentle pink of the thread in the mending kit. So rather than use that pale pink, Tiffany decided to look for more thread choices.

Turns out the store had a couple of options, and she brought home a Medusa house hotel repair kit imported from Japan. While the pink wasn’t quite as hot as Coral’s it was pretty close and at $1.25, the kit seemed a good deal. It even comes with a circular mattress needle and a packing needle – neither of which Tiffany even knows when to use.

Coral got her repair and seemed pretty pleased. The evening ended with the kids playing a new board game Suaram created yesterday called The Mad Hats. Mom played for a while and it’s pretty fun. It’s played with chess pawns and the pieces from other games and a board Suaram designed herself. Maybe we can get her to describe the gameplay in a future post.

One thought on “Boquete, Panama; Day 18

  1. Hi all, I noticed you mentioned Vietnam in this post. I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful country, and surprisingly welcoming of US Americans. Most of my time there was in or near Danang. There are MANY resorts there now, I knew that would happen. The weather there is more mild than the South. I spent a fair amount of time in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, probably worth a visit but expect much higher temps. Hope it works out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: