I've always wanted to learn Spanish, but never have. In the 5th or 6th grade, I got a think Spanish/English dictionary and tried to learn it a word at a time. That didn't work out. Since then, whenever I've had the opportunty to learn a language that language had to be something else: German, Russian, or whatever. Now we are up to our necks in it.
We are fortunate that Leo, the custodian at El Rinconcito, is eager to learn English. He has a Espanish/Ingles dictionary and is trying to learn a word at a time. He is teaching us Castellon (this is how he refers to Spanish), and we try to teach him English. He is a very pleasant and patient teacher. As a bonus, he will throw in a word or two in Guarani, the native Indian language, now and then. We've learned meechi is the Guarani word for cat. Meechi is the name of the cat in residence at El Rinconcito.
By way of ethnic mix, Asuncion seems to be a reverse of the mix in Oklahoma. I mean to say, there are about the same number of Indians in Asuncion as there are whites in Oklahoma and vice versa. There are also quite of few of those who it my younger days we would have said "have just enough Indian to make them pretty." I look at that and don't know whether it is a racist statement or not. What I do know is, there are quite a lot of pretty people.
We've also been impressed with the number of people who will continue in their attempts to communicate with us in spite of our lack of Castellon. A general contractor who noticed that I was admiring the work he was doing across the street came over and talked to us in Castellon for about 20 minutes. He trotted out floor plans and the whole bit. We understood a shocking amount of what was being said. However, I am discovering that I am cursed with a good ear. I can pick out important words from a sentence, repeat them back, and they think I understand.