Spanish school and family stay: the wrapup
It wasn't short. It wasn't cheap. And it was a big chunk eaten out of my travelling and exploration time in South America. But it was definitely worth it. In my four weeks at Amigos, and with the Polar Covarrubias family, I learned a lot of Spanish, I made some great friends, and I got a lot of love (and plenty of food, too!). Plus, during the whole thing I was in Cusco, where I could party at night, explore the area on weekends, get by pretty cheap, and stay fairly safe. All up, a great experience, and one that will surely benefit me in the rest of my travels.
I really couldn't be happier with my choice of Spanish school. The quality of teaching is top-notch. The activities are great fun. And the place is small, cosy, warm, and as friendly as you could ask for. After four weeks in a place like Amigos, you can't help but feel like more than a student there — you feel like a part of the institution. And, of course, the English program for the local youth makes Amigos a unique and charitable non-profit school.
Getting a good family to stay with is a bit of a lucky dip; and I certainly got lucky here in Cusco. Great meals, lots of love and care, and a tonne of Spanish speaking practice. The fact that I was treated like a prince (couldn't help with anything, in the kitchen or anywhere else), and that I was being mothered, was starting to get to be a bit much by the end — but it was nice nonetheless. And staying with a local family is really the only way to get to know the local way of life properly: because here in Peru, family is life.