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I Pass Driver's School Exams In Spanish!

I have taken and passed a bunch of exams in my life, not to mention grabbing a couple of degrees from UC Berkeley, but I have to say that I was just as proud to take and pass the written and driving exams all given in written and spoken Spanish.  That was then, and this is now...

In a couple of months, I have a really large birthday, and frankly, at this time in my life, it is reassuring that my ol' bean can learn enough of another language, and the ol' bod can still pass some pretty rigorous large and small motor reaction tests, and all of this can be put together to prevail on exams given by visiting examiners...so, I am giving myself a kudo...Yea!

And...the driving laws are just as rigorous as those North America or Europe... and enforced just fine. 

In the school, we are faced with a large book describing all the laws, rules, signs, and paperwork required to drive in Ecuador...and, we are given an equally large book with over 600 test questions that we must master...all in Spanish.  Here they are... 



 In the three weeks the course was going on, I went to each exam question, interpreted it, and then found the corresponding information in the instruction book.  As you can see, I marked the correct answer, and then put the number of the question in the guide book.  (by the way, almost half the class flunked the written portion the first time...)

For the actual driving part, I was impressed with the professionalism of the Instructors...and I actually learned a few things, and corrected a few bad habits acquired in 53 years of licensed driving.  And...I had butterflies in my stomach during much of the driving exam, just 'cause there is a possibility of a big goof up...but it turned out fine, and I passed.

I got to know and really like my classmates, so here we are cutting up on our last day of class...


That's our instructor getting the "rabbit's ears"...he took the next two...



Now, all of our results go to Quito, where our licenses will be issued and sent back to the local Transito Authority for us to pick up in two weeks...all in all, a darn good experience!!!


Plus...got this nice card from Rich and Nancy...



Posted on Sat, October 3, 2009 at 05:46AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

Congratulations! That's a real accomplishment.

I have been following your blog for a couple of months now and find it most enjoyable and informative. We hope to begin our (early) "encore career" in three years. We've purchased a lot at Coco Beach Village just north of Canoa near Jama, so your experiences on the beach hold great interest for us. In fact, your blog encouraged me to create a blog for our future community (http://www.cocobeachvillage.blogspot.com).

I look foward to reading of your continuing adventures.

--Ron Farmer

October 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRon Farmer

Wow, it seems that almost all of your classmates were men (I only saw one woman). It's interesting that the class and test are so hard, yet Ecuadorians seem to disregard the official laws of driving.

October 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Hi Ron...Thanks for the nice words...we wish you the best as you plan for retirement and settling in a foreign land. Remember, you can not know too much Spanish! So...begin to practice everyday...Roxanne made flash cards for us to quiz each other over verbs, and especially nouns.
We still have a lot to learn.
Good Luck,

Bob & Rox

October 3, 2009 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

Hi Michelle...

You are right to notice that there are not a lot of ladies in the driving class, and that there seem to be a lot of maniacs on the road in Ecuador.
In this society where almost every woman begins bearing children very young, it falls on the men to be the breadwinners. The bare cost of school and license is $200, so that is an investment that these young men are making in their future employment opportunities...and that does not even count the cost of "professional driver's license", which is a lot more.
The driver school requirement is new with the latest constitution and the laws that support it. Before, all a person had to do was attend school for one day, pay less than $40 and they had a license to drive--and it shows!
Things are changing fast in Ecuador...The President recently authorized the Army to help the Transit Police to stop motorists for infractions, in an effort to catch criminals with illegal weapons and to make sure that cars and drivers were documented correctly. This edict lasts 60 days. A step in the right direction, in my opinion.
Thanks for writing...

Bob & Roxanne

October 3, 2009 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

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