Despacito! Learning Spanish in Rathvilly

Despacito! It means ‘slowly’. Maybe this is how some people imagine life in a small rural Irish village. He slowly wanted to breathe on her neck and undress her with his kisses? Em! This was my homework last week and I returned to the tree-lined avenue of Rings Coach House to meet my fellow students and our Spanish teacher Annette Heydon, to find out if I was reading the lines correctly. Did he really intend to make her forget her surname and was it so that he would take things really slow at first and then go wild?

We sat around the lace-lined table of the drawing room with subdued morning light glimmering through the bay windows of Annette’s period style home. Freshly ground coffee awaited us, presented in white cups with saucer and spoon, while we eyed Annette’s home baked goodness on the plate in the centre. Muffins made with seeds, nuts and cranberry and chocolate brownie fingers that were actually made from courgettes. It all tasted delicious.

Rings Coach House 2

As we eased ourselves into the speaking of Spanish and devoured the delicious treats, I was reminded of the movie ‘Chocolat’ in which Juliette Binoche plays the young mother who moves to a small French town and slowly changes the lives of everyone there with her seductive chocolates.

I first learned to speak the Spanish language during my time living in Peru’s Sacred Valley. A recent visit to Spain showed me that I had retained quite a bit of what I had learned. When Annette invited me to join her class I was certainly interested. I had not expected to find this on my doorstep, a fluent Spanish speaking teacher who has spent time both in Spain and South America now residing on the edge of the village of Rathvilly. Co. Carlow.

Annette teaches all ages and all levels of Spanish language. She currently provides classes to children after school and an adult’s class at her home, which also serves as a fabulous guest house, perfect for a relaxing get-away.

Rings Coach House 3

Rings Coach House Retreat – Rathvilly, Co. Carlow

Our classes are mixed with discussion, about the homework to see if we understood the meaning, in this case, we were discussing the lyrics of a ‘racy’ pop-song by Justin Bieber entitled ‘Despacito’. Other exercises involve watching videos with dialogue concerning a particular topic and sometimes we have our own tangent discussions always using the Spanish. Annette keeps us on track at all times and moves us along to the next stage.

If you are considering learning Spanish or improving what you have already learned you would certainly enjoy Annette’s classes which are fun and varied and certainly dynamic. Entering her home is like stepping into another world.

My homework for this week involves looking at property in Spain. I will certainly be getting ideas!

For Spanish classes or to find out about taking a break at Rings Coach House, contact Annette at Rings Coach House.

© Caroline Cunningham

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