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Early Morning at Hacienda Guachala - Cayambe, Ecuador

Early Morning at Hacienda Guachala – Cayambe, Ecuador

The Frizztext Alphabet has reached the letter “H” and presents a great opportunity for another Spanish pointer.

View of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

View of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

About an hour down the coast is the lovely coastal small city of Bahia de Caraquez. Several years ago I asked an Ecuadorian, “Does it bother you that most extranjeros say, “Bah-HEE-ah?”

He slowly nodded, “Yes,” and grimaced!

Like a beginning piano student forgetting to keep the wrists up, many of us forget to keep that H silent!  

“Bah-ee-ah.”   The H is silent, and I often slipped back into Bah-hee-ah until finally I nailed it.

"Hola!" - Near Rivas Nicaragua

“Hola!” – Near Rivas Nicaragua

We’ve heard “Hola” so many times that we don’t need to be reminded to keep the H silent.  Hombre/man  and hambre/hungry are words that tripped me several times – to my friends’ amusement.  I used ‘hombre’ to describe my hunger!  Those friends still remind me of my blunder!

Proud of my mastery over pronouncing ‘Bahia,’ I forgot to apply that lesson to many other words!

Hostal Palo Santo

Hostal Palo Santo – Jama Ecuador

Hostal Cruzita - Ecuador

Hostal Cruzita – Ecuador

Hotel and hostal are not HO-tel and HAH-stal; they are oh-tel and ohs-tahl.   When a taxi driver doesn’t understand my request for “Hotel California,” it’s because that foreign H surely sounds harsh! (My Costa Rican friend Elvira politely helped me with  that lesson while we visited at Hostal Cruzita!)

How easy it is to slip back into English and pronounce the H in Hamburgesa!  A native Spanish speaker will understand your request for a hamburger but will surely appreciate your attempt to pronounce it correctly!

Hambre for Hamburgesa o Helado?

Hambre for Hamburgesa o Helado? Luchi at Palo Santo Cyber Cafe – Jama, Ecuador

Helado/ice cream is E-lado – not HE-lado!

Remember to drop the H in hamaca/hammock!

Hammock - Hacienda Guachala

Hamaca/Hammock – Hacienda Guachala


HONDURAS border crossing

My creative approach turns that H into a hurdle, and -if I remember in time- I clear the random H as if it were an obstacle in my path!  Ohn-duras not Honduras!

At this point I was really happy to be wearing mud boots!

At this point I was really happy to be wearing mud boots!

When visiting a beautiful Ecuadorian family reunion,  I was surprised when my friends burst out laughing when I replied to their question, “How is the road from your house to town?’

I replied, “Or-REEEEE-blee!”  (Horrible!)

They said that I nailed that word like a true Ecuadorian!