Laura P. Eshelman
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Faces of Jerez

Antonio Silva tends to his horses on the outskirts of Jerez de los Caballeros. Silva owns seven horses and is expecting the birth of another one in May. Every day after siesta, Silva comes to the field to feed and water his horses.

Silva says each horse has a different personality. Silva is a native of Jerez de los Caballeros. He is one face of Jerez.

I intend to do more work with Silva by talking with him more and taking more photos. I can tell he is incredibly proud of his work. Of course I encountered one problem:

I’m not completely fluent in Spanish.

For communicating, I can get by. For communicating and reporting, that is another story. I am not fluent … yet. That leads to problems when trying to practice journalism.

Brainstorming a solution to this problem, I came up with one. Record the interviews. Write down the questions — the basic information I need to get — in Spanish. Record it on my iPhone. That gives me the capability to build a sideshow or to have an audio clip. At the very least, I can check my work.

Meeting people like Silva is great. I say, “Hi, my name is Laura. I am a journalist and I have a blog about my experiences here. Can I come and take photos and do an interview. I want to practice Spanish AND journalism.”

Usually I get : “Cuando tu quieres” (when you want). Vale.

People here are open to talking, which is cool and not the impression I get walking in the streets. Getting past the introductions are hard but also kind of fun. I do have several goals while I’m here. One of them is improving Spanish. Check. Another is improving photography. Check. Meeting the people of Jerez will help me achieve these goals in greater ways.

Keep an eye out for my English video guide to Jerez. It’s in the planning stages now, but with a little help from the mayor and TV Jerez, I should be able to accomplish that as well.

Four months left. More faces of Jerez to come.

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