Hola! Como estas? That was all my Spanish prior to arriving to Venezuela. I couldn’t even answer it myself! 5 months later I can answer it, and continue the conversation a lot further than I ever thought possible. Living with the language, the culture, the various people who help you succeed in expanding your Spanish language and the locals who give you credit for trying to speak their language. It’s the fastest and easiest way to learn a language.
I learnt German for three years in secondary school. Sitting in a classroom an hour a day, four times a week means you don’t learn enough. You leave the class, and speak English. In Venezuela it’s a whole new playing ground. The teacher understands the whole environment you are in, and works around this to give you the best lessons possible. Perfect English with excellent Spanish combines to make the teachers a true treasure to Jakera.
What makes Jakera even better is the fact while you are in Venezuela you get to do once in a lifetime opportunities.
One of the main trips involved us to sea kayak down the Orinoco Delta River. It runs deep into the jungle far from the cities and roads. There is nothing out there but great wildlife and adventure. Learning the survival of the jungle. Yet always safe with our two guides, and a local Warao Indian to point out the amazing insects and wildlife living in this mixed tropical rainforest. Living with local Indians in the second half of the trip made you realise the life you lead is so much easier than theirs, and you are greatful for the things you have at home. It’s a touching experience to see people live such an interesting lifestyle next to a river, with a few canoes they have made from moriche trees, sleeping in hammocks all their life under a roof of fern leaves and branches. They really survive on nothing out there. Then 10 days later you hop out of the river back to 'civilisation'.
The second main trip and my favourite was the hike up Mt Roraima. Don’t ask why it’s my favourite because sure its tough, but the rewards reep at the top. On top of the world, you can see so far. It really does feel (and looks) like the moon. It’s a fun six days. One trip I will never forget. The two guides and local Pemon Indian guide make it so much better than just a walk up a large 2800m Tepuy.
The 2 months of work experience I chose to spend in Merida taking full opportunity of Merida. It’s a lively student city, with plenty of great bars catering for all types of music and people. But not only that, it has plenty to offer for the tourist industry let me tell you! I went parasailing 1000m up one of the many hills surrounding Merida. I wanted to take a weeklong parasailing course, but time wasn’t on my side. I also went white water rafting a few times down some great rivers. I also went off the course for ten days to visit Colombia.
Overall Jakera offers an excellent way to learn a language that’s different, and while doing so you can have fun, and have so many opportunities to do the things you have always wanted to do. I shall return someday for another taste of Venezuela. - Daniel White - Wellington, New Zealand