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20. Shauna’s Story: Holidays where the Heart is

episode 20 - Into the story- podcast para aprender inglés - AC inglés

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

episode 20 - Into the story- podcast para aprender inglés - AC inglés

Episode 20: Shauna's Story: Holidays where the Heart is

Nivel de inglés: Intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés canadiense

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes escucharemos los recuerdos de Shauna durante las fechas de Navidad. En el episodio de hoy aprendemos vocabulario relacionado con estas festividades como sleigh y bundle up.

Shauna recuerda cómo celebraba la Navidad en Canadá con su familia y cómo ha cambiado la tradición para ella. Un año más tarde se encuentra en Barcelona y nos cuenta cómo prepara la comida del día 25 retorciendo el pavo para que quepa en el horno. ¡Escuchemos la historia navideña de Shauna y su familia!

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: Hi everyone. It’s Bree.

Bec: and Bec here from AC Inglés.

Bree: We’re both here today to introduce the last episode of Season 1 of Into the Story!

Bec: The team is taking a short break over Christmas but Season 2 of Into the Story will return in the new year.

Bree: In Season 2, we’ll bring you more exciting travel adventures and also unique stories from everyday life; historias para mejorar tu inglés de forma natural y conocer a gente de todo el mundo.

Bec: Christmas time for me growing up in Australia represented barbecues with family in the backyard or lazy afternoons at the beach playing cricket with my cousins. For our episode today, a very special Christmas edition of Into the story, I spoke to Bree’s mum, Shauna. For her and her family on the other side of the world in Canada, the holidays usually felt much colder and looked a lot different.

In today’s story, Shauna shares her favourite memories of a white Christmas in Canada and how her holiday experience has changed over the years as her children grew up and the family expanded. We’ll hear about Shauna’s first Christmas in Barcelona and the unexpected complications that came with trying to order a Christmas turkey from the local butcher and having people speaking in different languages around the dining table. Shauna’s story reminds us that holiday traditions come in all shapes and sizes. We’re calling today’s episode ‘Holidays where the heart is’.

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Shauna say:
1. Firstly, a sleigh. A sleigh is a type of vehicle used to travel through snow – un trineo en español. Traditionally a sleigh was pulled by dogs or, in the case of Santa Claus’ sleigh, by reindeers. Today you’ll hear Shauna talking about a sleigh that her children used to visit neighbors and sing Christmas carols – los villancicos de navidad.
2. Next, to get a kick out of something. To get a kick out of something is a phrasal verb that means to get excited about something or to enjoy something very much. For example you could say, ‘I get a kick out of spending Christmas with my family’ or ‘the children get a kick out of putting the star on top of the Christmas tree’. To get a kick out of.
3. To bundle up. To bundle up is a useful phrasal verb for winter time. It’s a phrasal verb that we use to mean dress warmly. We’ll hear Shauna talk about needing to ‘bundle’ up’ before going outside in Canada.
4. To be a whole different ball game. If you hear someone describe something as a whole different ball game, they mean to say that a situation or thing is completely different to what it was before. For Shauna, trying to cook a freshly-caught turkey in Barcelona for the first time was a whole different ball game to what she was used to doing in Canada.
5. And finally to tear up. To tear T-E-A-R up is a phrasal verb to describe the moment that you are about to cry and you have tears appearing in your eyes. You might hear people say that they teared up during a sad movie or that they teared up while listening to their favourite song. Be careful there with the pronunciation difference between ‘tear up’ que significa lagrimear and ‘tear up’ que significa destruir o romper algo en mil pedazos. Both these verbs are pronounced in different ways but are spelt in exactly the same way. Tear up.

Si quieres aprovechar al máximo este episodio visita acingles.com/podcast para bajar la transcripción, vocabulario clave y ejercicios. OK guys, let ‘s get into the story…

Shauna: My name is Shana MacDonald’s and I live in Calgary Canada. It’s where I was born and it’s where I raised my children. We lived on an acreage and so we had four acres of land, we could see the mountains in the background. It would become of this winter wonderland and every Christmas we would plan a sleigh ride. So the kids’ dad would, would build a sleigh and we would have blankets and all our friends would come. We would have hot chocolate and go to the houses and we’d sing carols to our neighbours. And the neighbours loved that and we loved it and the kids got such a kick out of it. And then every year we’d go pick our tree and the kids would come and then we’d set it up. And so decorating the tree with all the traditional ornaments that I started collecting when my oldest Jacqueline was a baby. And so every year I would buy them new decorations that they… I would buy four, one for the house and one for each of the girls and so when they left home they would have this collection of maybe 20 decorations that they could remember. And then every year we had an angel. Each year, one of the kids would get to put the angel on top of the tree and it was a real honor to be able to put the angel up there. There was always this ‘well you did it last year’ ‘no you did it last year’. Once in a while we got it wrong and we actually had to look at the pictures from last year. Friends would come over to do tree decorating and we’d always listen to the Christmas soundtrack by Boney M and so that meant if you had an eggnog in your hand and the Boney M Christmas track was on, it was time to start decorating the tree. It was just a very traditional, idyllic feeling of what christmas is on a postcard.

So my youngest daughter decides that she is going to take a year off of school and she ends up absolutely loving Barcelona and she said, ‘Mum it feels like home’ so that was the start of her journey. Never imagining that this child would move away and start her own traditions.

Bec: With Bree now happy living in Spain, Shauna and the family decided that they would join her and Raül for the holidays!

Shauna: Everyone has a bed but some of them are on the floor and it’s comfortable and it’s beautiful there. We can walk out and we don’t have to bundle up as we do in Canada. And there are night markets and parades or fireworks, people everywhere. They’ve designed games and there’s always the caga tió. So you’ve taken a log, you’ve dressed it up and then you hit it with a stick and out come the gifts. It’s literally pooping out the gifts. We don’t necessarily have to understand one another’s traditions but they are fun.

Bec: Christmas traditions were always a special part of the holidays for Shauna. Everything from tree decorating to the preparation of pumpkin pie and the roast turkey of course.

Shauna: Our food when it came to dinner, it was very specific. Just it meant like it was Christmas now that you were eating these specific recipes, these specific dishes. SO we’re preparing for the day and Raül is being very accommodating. So we’ve asked him to get a turkey. So he went out and they have a butcher in town and he got a turkey. He ordered it. And so the day before I asked him, so what size is the turkey I needed to know so that we could have the right container to cook it in and he said I don’t know. And I said they must know approximately and he said no. Why? It’s because they haven’t even caught him yet. The poor little guy is still running around thinking his life is going to be okay. And so then he goes… they’ve butchered the turkey and he goes to get it whereas in Canada, our turkeys come in a ball. Their legs are tucked up, their wings are tucked up and everything is in neat, little, tidy balls. So Raül comes into the room and it’s this long flat thing, well not flat, but it’s long and it’s wrapped in this stunning paper with a ribbon around it. I’m looking at it. It doesn’t look like a turkey. And so I opened it up and not knowing our tradition, the turkey is flat and his legs are sticking out straight as if he could stand up and so now this is a problem because when something’s been butchered it goes hard. So the legs are hard and not bending. So for us to even get it in the oven we have to tie it up. The wings have to be tied to the legs and the legs have to be slightly bent in order to get it into the oven and we are laughing and wondering this, this is a whole different ball game here. We made it work. We didn’t break his legs. We actually got him into the oven but it was a bit of a challenge. I think it took 3 of us to get him in there so that once he was stuffed and so… it was just funny. It was one of those… this makes it fun.

Bec: The house at this point is full of noise and action as everybody is busy making last-minute preparations for Christmas everyone including Raül’s family are now seated around the table to eat.

Shauna: The sun is streaming, in all the windows are open we can see the ocean. And of course the tree is all decorated with… with new decorations that’s now they have and I have brought some of the decorations from Canada for Breeanne and I’ve found an angel to put on the top of the tree. It’s not the snow-filled idyllic Christmas but it’s so idyllic in its own way. There’s different languages. There’s Spanish and English and not everyone understands but it… we made it work. After we had eaten the sun had set and the windows were open and we heard some singing outside. So we went out on the front balcony and there were four young girls. They must have been teenagers and they were singing carols. They could see that there were all these people in the house and they were singing carols. They were singing in English. They had some carols that they sang in Spanish. And I… I know I teared up because it felt like this full circle gift had come to us. They would have had no idea how they had brought Canada home to us and in a new and special way walking around just singing to people.

So it was no different than, I guess, us being in our sleigh in Canada but it was so different and so precious. It was Christmas. It was the smells. It was family. And it’s a new family and it’s a new location and there’s no Santa. There’s a log under the tree. It doesn’t have to be snowfield rides in the mountains with sleigh rides. It could be turkeys with straight legs and girls singing in the streets and why should, why should one be better than the other.

Bree: Since that Christmas in Barcelona, my mom has brought Catalan traditions home to Canada. She loves telling her friends about the log that poops presents for children. And for me, continuing with the traditions that my parents started, makes Christmas feel like Christmas, especially when I can’t be with them for the holidays. This year, we have an angel on top of our Christmas tree, caga tió sitting under it and Raul will order the Christmas turkey, with clear instructions so that we can fit it in the oven!

Bree: Si aún no lo has hecho suscribete a Into the Story en Spotify, iTunes o tu plataforma preferida.

Bec: Gracias a cada uno de vosotros por vuestro apoyo y por hacer todo esto posible. To all of our lovely listeners, we wish you a very merry holiday season and a happy new year.

Bree: And as always, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

Quote of the episode

‘If you had an eggnog in your hand and the Boney M Christmas track was on, it was time to start decorating the tree. It was just a very traditional, idyllic feeling of what christmas is on a postcard’

Shauna

Bundle up

La expresión que hemos escogido para el último episodio de esta temporada de Into the Story es… bundle up!

‘Bundle up’ es un phrasal verb que tiene dos significados principales en inglés. Por un lado, bundle up significa abrigarse. En la historia de hoy, Shauna nos habla del frío que hacía en invierno en Canadá y como se abrigaba bien antes de salir de la casa. Podríamos decir, ‘Make sure to bundle up before going outside in the snow!’ asegúrate de abrigarte bien antes de salir fuera en la nieve!


Por otro lado, si alguien dice bundle something up esto significa que recoger alguna cosa. Como por ejemplo, si decimos ‘bundle up the toys’ recoge los juguetes o ‘bundle up the dirty clothes on your bedroom floor’ recoge la ropa sucia del suelo de tu cuarto.
En este episodio, Shauna compara la Navidad invernal en Canadá con su experiencia en España, donde hace más calor y la Navidad se celebra de manera distinta. Veamos cómo usa bundle up para describir su nuevo entorno en Barcelona:

‘it’s comfortable and it’s beautiful there [in Barcelona]. We can walk out and we don’t have to bundle up as we do in Canada. And there are night markets and parades or fireworks, people everywhere.’

Learning materials

¡Suscríbete a nuestro podcast Into the Story para que no te pierdas el próximo episodio!

Este episodio fue producido por el equipo de podcast de AC Ingles: Bree, Bec, Marina, Raül y Eva y ¡nuestra storyteller Shauna! 

Cambridge exams with Bree and Raül AC inglés

Apúntate a nuestras clases de inglés GRATIS para conseguir un nivel upper-intermediate o aprobar el B2 First de Cambridge

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19. Christie’s Story: Ballet and Better Days

episode 19 - Into the story- podcast para aprender inglés - AC inglés.

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

episode 19 - Into the story- podcast para aprender inglés - AC inglés.

Episode 19: Christie's Story: Ballet and Better Days

Nivel de inglés: Intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés canadiense

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes escucharemos a Christie hablando sobre sus aventuras en Europa y aprenderemos expresiones interesantes en inglés como ‘out of the blue’.

Christie es una bailarina profesional y, en este episodio, nos cuenta cómo se enamoró del baile cuando era pequeña y cómo consiguió una oportunidad única: bailar en Europa. La protagonista se encontró con experiencias alucinantes y otras, más complicadas. ¡Escuchemos sus aventuras!

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: I remember visiting my uncle’s firehall where he worked as a fire firefighter when I was little and I thought ‘when I grow up I want to be a fire firefighter’. Then we studied oceans at school and I thought ‘maybe I’ll be a marine biologist’. But for today’s guest, Christie, she always knew she wanted to be one thing, a dancer.

In today’s episode, Christie describes how she fell in love with dancing while listening to Swan Lake and watching performance programs on television. Many years later, Christie tells us about the moment she received an amazing opportunity to work for the same company she used to watch on TV all those years ago as a child. From there, Christie encountered some unexpected highs and lows: from flying to Europe in first class to spending a night in an immigration deportation cell waiting to be deported back to Canada. We’re calling this episode ‘Ballet and Better Days’.

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Christie use:
Firstly bread and butter. We can of course talk about bread and butter as a food but also in English the phrase ‘bread and butter’ refers to someone’s main job or source of income. In today’s podcast episode, you’ll hear Christie talking about doing ballet performances in the Nutcracker as being the ‘bread and butter’ for many professional dancers.
Next out of the blue. If something ‘happens out of the blue’ or if someone ‘arrives out of the blue’ it means that they arrive suddenly and unexpectedly. For example you could say ‘I wasn’t expecting anybody to come over last night but suddenly my friends arrived out of the blue.’ Se puede decir ‘sin avisar’ o ‘de la nada’ en español.
Bump up. Bump up is a phrasal verb we use to mean upgrade or to move to a higher position or level. In today’s episode, we’ll hear about how lucky Christie was to get bumped up to first class on the plane journey to Europe. Bump up.
Next long story short. Long story short is an expression we use in English to say that we are explaining only the most important parts of a story or situation and leaving out unnecessary details. En español sería ‘en pocas palabras’. For example you could say, ‘We were shopping all day. Long story short, we didn’t find what we were looking for.’ Long story short.
Finally to burn out. To burn out is a phrasal verb that can be used in different contexts. If a fire burns out, it means there are no more flames. Or if a light bulb burns out it stops working because it was old and needs to be changed. In Christie’s case, she talks about burning out after she exhausted herself during a dance audition tour around Europe.

And alway if you need more help with understanding the podcast, you’ll find a full transcript, vocabulary list, and listening comprehension activities on our website acingles.com/podcast. OK let’s get into the story…

Christie: My name is Christie Cunningham. I started Loving ballet when I was about three years old. My granny was Scottish and she had been traveling and she brought me back a tutu from Scotland and she used to have a record player and she would play Swan Lake and we would dance around the living room. So I started going to professional ballet school when I was 4 years old in Vancouver. We had this show in Canada in the 90s called Adrienne Clarkson Presents and one of the things that is on this was a company called La La La Human Steps and I watched everything. I remember I would jump on my mum’s bed. I had a single mother at the time. And we were in a basement suite and we didn’t have a lot of money. But I’d just be practising barrel turns on my mum’s bed. They were always my idols. I never thought that I would ever do something like that in my life like I love dancing but I was also very realistic.

After high school, I was still dancing, I went to University. After I finished my BA then I went and started to try to make it as a dancer. I was training in Montreal although I wanted to be a contemporary dancer, I still had to pay my bills and the big bread and butter for dancers is always the Nutcracker and I wound up being in a local production of the Nutcracker and having to really work on my ballet skills and I was getting really strong.

Then I guess somewhere I saw this poster for La La La Human Steps that they were having an audition in Montreal. I was like oh I’m just going to do this, like just as a joke. Just for fun. I just went right up to the front super confident and there were about 200 people in the room with me. And at one point they opened the door and the director came in and he was watching us a little bit and then he just, out of the blue, he just walked over to me and said you know ‘hello my name is Édouard Lock’. I was like yeh, I know who you are. And he was like, ‘can you try this and this for me’. Long story short, in the end I was the only one that made that audition out of the room of 200 people.

I had a solo choreography and it was always you need to do it faster you need to get your legs higher. I was working on it outside of hours. I was late one night in the studio and I was just getting really frustrated cuz I couldn’t…. I was trying to get this grand battement faster faster faster and I was doing it again and again and again and I hear this pop! Something just happened in my hip. So I wound up going for an MRI and they said yeah you’ve torn your labrum. It’s a mess. I had a pressure because we were going on a tour and so I wound up… the company arranged for me to have an operation. The operation went well. Two months after the operation I was back in the studio. But in the time that I have been away, they had found another dancer to take my part. Eventually they said okay, we’re not really sure what we’re going to do with you by you’re going to come on the tour with us anyways and you’re going to be in the core. You’re going to be in the background and I remember it was Christmas… we’re working over Christmas and there was really just a lot of stress and a lot of pressure. Eventually we pulled a show together and then we went to Amsterdam!

It was my first time in Europe. I was 24 at the time. I was excited to see Amsterdam, to travel. Somehow I got bumped up to First Class and the other dancers had to stay in economy class. Yeah I think some people really hate me but I had a great flight to Amsterdam in first class. So then we were in Europe and we had the show in Amsterdam and then we went to Norway and then suddenly there was a problem with money and as I was sort of not doing a big role my salary got cut. I remember we went to Burger King, one of my friends in the company and we split a hamburger. We cut it in half and that was our meal for the day. And we are performing at a high level on very little sustenance.

Then, we were in Germany and then by the time we got to Italy, Édouard called me down for a coffee and he said you know Christie, it’s just not working out. We’re going bankrupt here and we can’t afford to have you on the tour. But we’ve arranged for you a ticket to go back to Canada. And at the time I just didn’t, I was just like hell no, I’m not going back to Canada! I’m just going to get another job, you’ll see! I’m going to get into another company and so I packed up my suitcase which at the time was full of some evening gowns, pointe shoes and dance clothes and I just walked away! I booked myself a hotel and I arranged this crazy audition tour for myself. But at that time I was recovering from a major injury I wasn’t strong so I was really not in a place where I should have been doing that and so I really burnt myself out. Eventually I got in touch with my cousin who is living with her husband and in England at the time. Can I come by and crash for a while by you? And she said yeah like for sure we’ve got space come on by we would love to see you.

So I got to Heathrow and got to immigration and there was just this really nice lady working there. She was friendly and smiling and asking me about things. And I just was so happy to have someone speaking to me in English and smiling at me and I just opened my big mouth and said you know my grandfather is actually Scottish and I could actually qualify for a heritage visa here. Suddenly appears like three men and they are like, ‘excuse me can you come with us to this back room’. So this guy, you know, was just asking me, you know, about what I was doing and I said you know, I came here with a dance company and I have been on tour and he was like ‘your whole story is a lie’.

They wound up taking all my things away and they put me in some cuffs and they took me to an immigration deportation centre. I had no idea where I was going. I was in the back of a track to essentially a jail. It was a prison. It was like you know big, with wire fences. The cell was, it was just me and some bunk beds and a really dirty nasty toilet and there was a TV. Really weird cartoons playing loudly and the lights were always on so you couldn’t sleep. And then I guess at some point someone came and said that we’ve arranged for you to be deported back to Canada.

Then the next morning they got me out of there and took me back to Heathrow and they loaded the airplane first and then I was with two security guards and they had me in plastic cuffs and I came on last and I just remember all the people looking up at me like I’m some kind of criminal coming on the airplane. So I arrived back in Montreal and the security guards led me in my handcuffs to immigration.

Before I had got the job with the company I had been working at the Hard Rock cafe in Montreal and my manager, the guy who trained me at the time, Gille, he had got a job with immigration. I got there and who should I see standing at the immigration counter but Gille and he was going to burst out laughing. Eventually I was released back into Canada but of course this became a grand story on social media. What’s going on Christie? We heard that you were arriving back at Trudeau airport in handcuffs! So yeh! It was definitely a good lesson on how things can switch on a dime and life is not predictable at all. When you’re younger, when you’re in your 20s, you kinda base yourself on the external things that are happening to you and this is something that I learnt from this experience: who I am, it doesn’t matter if I’m first class, or in handcuffs, it’s the same.

Bree: Since her time on stage as a ballet dancer, Christie has found new ways to enjoy movement. These days, you’ll find Christie in the dance studio either training or giving barre, pilates or gyrotonics classes. Christie has also returned to Europe since that first adventure-filled visit. She now lives in Switzerland with her wonderful family.

Gracias por haber escuchado la historia de Christie. Si aún no lo has hecho suscribirte a Into the Story en Spotify, iTunes o tu plataforma preferida. And if you have a story to tell we’d love to hear it. Send an email hello@acingles.com. Thank you for listening, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

Quote of the episode

When you're younger, when you're in your 20s, you kinda base yourself on the external things that are happening to you and this is something that I learnt from this experience: who I am, it doesn't matter if I'm first class, or in handcuffs, it’s the same.

Christie

Out of the blue

Y la expresión que hemos escogido esta semana es… ‘out of the blue’!

Se usa la expresión ‘out of the blue’ cuando queremos describir algo que nos sorprende. Esta expresión, implica que no estás seguro del origen o motivo de algo. ¡Ojo! Usamos ‘out of the blue’ solo en conversaciones informales y cotidianas.

Por ejemplo, si decimos ‘I received a phone call out of the blue from my sister’ esto significa que mi hermana me ha llamado sin avisar, inesperadamente. Otra expresión similar en inglés es ‘out of nowhere’.

En el episodio de hoy, Christie, nuestra protagonista, nos cuenta su experiencia en la sala de baile durante las audiciones de una obra de ballet. Después de haber pasado su infancia mirando los programas de baile por la tele, se encontró cara a cara con el famoso director que tanto había visto por la TV cuando era pequeña. Veamos cómo Christie usa la expresión ‘out of the blue’ en el momento que conoció al director:

…at one point they opened the door and the director came in and he was watching us a little bit and then he just, out of the blue, he just walked over to me and said you know ‘hello my name is Édouard Lock’. I was like yeh, I know who you are…Long story short, in the end I was the only one that made that audition out of the room of 200 people.

Learning materials

More about our guest

Puedes encontrar más información sobre Christie y sus clases en Instagram @christie_gham y en esta página web.

¡Suscríbete a nuestro podcast Into the Story para que no te pierdas el próximo episodio!

Este episodio fue producido por el equipo de podcast de AC Ingles: Bree, Bec, Marina, Raül y Eva y ¡nuestra storyteller Christie! 

Cambridge exams with Bree and Raül AC inglés

Apúntate a nuestras clases de inglés GRATIS para conseguir un nivel upper-intermediate o aprobar el B2 First de Cambridge

Publicado el Deja un comentario

14. Andrea’s Story: Underwater, Under Pressure

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 14-Andrea's story

Into the Story

EL PODCAST PARA APRENDER INGLÉS CON HISTORIAS REALES

Podcast para aprender inglés - Episode 14-Andrea's story

Episode 14: Andrea's Story: Underwater, Under Pressure

Nivel de inglés: intermedio a intermedio alto
Acento: inglés canadiense

Esta semana en nuestro podcast para aprender inglés con historias reales y emocionantes, Andrea nos relata una gran aventura bajo las profundidades del océano en Playa del Carmen, México. En el episodio de hoy, aprenderás expresiones como el significado del phrasal verb ‘gasp for air‘.

La protagonista nos cuenta cómo se quedó sin aire, y sin bragas, bajo el mar durante una inmersión de buceo. ¡Escuchemos su historia en un entorno mágico a 60 metros de profundidad bajo del mar!

Andrea ha viajado por todo el mundo con la serie de televisión Sobrevivientes como instructora de buceo. Hoy en día, vive en St. Louis en los EE.UU con su marido y sus dos hijos.

Transcripción del Podcast

Bree: Thanks to its vibrant sea life and stunning coral, the notorious Playa del Carmen, Mexico attracts scuba divers from all around the world. At 18 years old, our storyteller, Andrea, set off on her own adventure in the Gulf of Mexico to explore its oceans and become a professional diver.

In today’s episode, we hear about how an innocent day of sunshine and suntanning on the beach resulted in Andrea deep underwater with her daredevil friend Marco, both of them running out of air and wondering why she didn’t have a bathing suit on! You’ll hear Andrea describe the magic of being so deep in the ocean and the importance of putting safety first as a scuba diver. We’re calling this episode, ‘ Underwater, Under pressure”

Before we begin listening, let’s talk about some of the vocabulary and expressions you’ll hear Andrea say:

Buoyant – Buoyant, spelt b-u-o-y-a-n-t, is an adjective we use most commonly to describe something that is able to float in a liquid or stay at the surface of water. In Andrea’s story, you’ll hear her talk about using weights in her pockets to stop herself from becoming buoyant in her wetsuit. Buoyant
Sheer – Sheer has a few meanings in English. It can be used to describe something light or delicate as in ‘a sheer fabric’ or it can be used as a synonym to pure as in ‘sheer happiness’. In today’s episode, Andrea describes a sheer drop-off underwater – una caída alta de golpe o un acantilado escarpado. Here she’s talking about an underwater cliff that goes straight down. With words like sheer, it’s important to listen to the word in context to determine its meaning.
Stunning – Stunning is an adjective that we use as a synonym to words like ‘impressive’ or ‘amazing’. For example, you could say that from the top of the mountain, we had a stunning view of the landscape.
To gasp for air – This phrasal verb refers to the action of trying to catch your breath, usually with your mouth open. Runners often gasp for air after a race or if you have been underwater for a long time, you will probably gasp for air when you come to the surface again.
And finally, to sink – To sink refers to the action of falling to the bottom of the sea or some form of water. You’ll hear Andrea describe the moment of watching her weights sink into the ocean.

As always, if you want to get the most out of, si quieres sacar el máximo partido de, Andrea’s story you have a full transcript, vocabulary list, and listening comprehension activities on our website acingles.com, that’s la letra a, letra c, ingles punto com. OK let’s get into the story…

Andrea: I was 19 years old living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and I was in the middle of taking my divemaster course. This is a course that allows you to take scuba divers on an excursion, a dive. I had a friend who was an instructor at the school that I was taking the course at and his name is Marco and he was very adventurous, fun, exciting, Italian that lived, that came from Rome and he was doing a season at this school. 

So it was one of my days-off and I was at a beach. So I was suntanning and I wasn’t around anybody. It was just a very remote beach. Anyway a beautiful day and I was wearing ah, very very small bottoms… almost non-existent bottoms string-like I would say. Anyways I was suntanning on my sarong. That’s all I had and from a far distance I heard Marco yelling my name, ‘Andrea!’, he was so excited, ‘Andrea, Andrea’ and like, ‘come on let’s go’ so I put my sarong back on, wrapped up, stood up. He said, ‘come with me we’re going diving’. He said, ‘we’re doing a really deep dive on the wall’. 

So the wall is just a sheer drop off. Probably about 200 feet from the shore. He had hired a 14 year old boy, with his ‘penga’, which is a small boat, to take us on the dive and I just quickly said well I don’t have any of my gear. I don’t have my wetsuit and he’s like I have everything ready at the dive shop. He said you can use my wetsuit. So his wetsuit is a 5mm meaning that it’s just the thicker and a thicker wetsuit makes you more buoyant. In any case, I put his wetsuit on and I put extra weights in my pockets. He had his dive watch, the dive watch just controls your time, your depth. 

We jump in the water. Unfortunately my weight belt fell off okay that’s fine we can deal with this cuz I had a couple of weights in my pocket. This dive is absolutely phenomenal that water is so clear. I want to say that visibility is well past a hundred feet. It was absolutely beautiful, stunning.

So we’re just going further down further down kicking, kicking I’m following Marco and I just now, I start hearing his dive watch beeping beep beep beep because we are way too deep 120 ft., 140 ft., 180 ft. It’s just becoming phenomenal I mean the corals are just different than they are closer to the surface. It was so clear and it started getting really dark. Beautiful deep, deep blue and you cannot… it was just thousands of feet to the bottom. 

I started getting Narcosis. It’s something that happens when you dive when you go to those death. A lot of people explain it as being kind of drunk and quite happy and that’s also a reason why going as deep is so dangerous and it made me feel like I was kind of like in Alice in Wonderland like just entering this place that was so magical. 

At this point I remember Marco told me to stop and he was, believe it or not, going to go deeper so I just sat there and I looked up at the water above me and look down. I was just watching Marco and listening to his beeping getting quieter and quieter. I was just there by myself and I remember looking up and I could just almost see the surface of the water was so clear.

 I just remember just seeing the sky almost and you couldn’t even besides the bubbles that you were exhaling, it was crystal clear you couldn’t even see it… didn’t even feel like you were in water. When I heard Marcos watch the beeping get louder and louder and he was, he was coming closer and closer to me and honestly he just grabbed the back of my tank and we just started ascending. We started going up quite fast. 

Normally the process would be a slow kicking. You basically want to slowly come to the surface and you always have to do a safety stop and because of the depth we went to we had to do 4 safety stops. At about the third safety stuff, I started to become incredibly buoyant. This is what I really started noticing that my lack of weights was a huge problem. I was really running out of air. I was struggling. I was breathing way too much just to stay down. 

I was swimming upside down trying so hard to stay down we were holding each other’s vests. The currents were getting a little stronger. While I was upside down, the two weights that were in my pockets fell out. Now, we’re, we’re watching these weights just sink into the abyss and we just look at each other in the face and we knew this was a huge problem. 

So now I cannot stay down. I am completely buoyant because I’m just swimming so hard and we’re literally looking at my air. It’s just dropping. I’m a minutes away from running out of there I was quite scared and Marc was holding on to me and I run out of air. I take my regulator out and I grabbed his alternate and now we’re both breathing on his tank. We  somehow communicate at this depth that I need to get rid of this wetsuit. This wetsuit is just like holding up a ball under the water at this is what it’s feeling like but it’s wrapped around my entire body. 

So I turn around so he can unzip it I peel, I’m peeling it off and I completely even forgot I was naked. I turned, once I flip upside down to peel it off my ankles, I was just looking at his eyes. His eyes were so wide because they had no idea that I didn’t have a bathing suit on underneath. But I just remembered laughing it was quite funny and basically now we’re looking at Marco’s air supply and it is going so fast because now there’s both of us breathing off of his tank and I, I had to go, I had to go up 44 ft all I had in my mind was getting to the surface and getting that second breath of air. 

I’ve never felt more like Little Mermaid my entire life when I burst out to the water, I just remembered gasping for air and all I could see was this big boat. There’s seven young American guys on a fishing charter and they were all standing there, just staring at me with their mouth open. Like where the heck did this girl come from! And I just pulled myself up and fell in, like, like a like a fish and I just laid on my back and I was just breathing and I was exhausted and then I looked up again and these guys their jaws were still open. They had no idea where I came from; they were probably very confused about why I was naked. 

Now we’re looking for Marco’s levels. Before we could even put too much thought into it he came up we were helping him onto the boat. Now we’re both sitting and hugging each other and we’re like touching each other’s faces saying, ‘Are you okay? We just started laughing. We cannot believe what has happened. I wish there was more of a lesson in this story but it’s probably just kind of stupidity… and don’t do it, don’t go to 290 ft on one tank.

Bree: Gracias por haber escuchado la historia de Andrea. ¡Nos encantaría saber qué te ha parecido este episodio! Puedes enviarnos un correo electrónico a hello@acingles.com. Si aún no lo has hecho suscribete a Into the Story en Spotify, iTunes o tu plataforma preferida. Thank you for listening, until next time we hope you have a good time, or at least, a good story to tell.

Quote of the episode

‘I've never felt more like Little Mermaid my entire life when I burst out of the water. I just remembered gasping for air and all I could see was this big boat.’

Andrea

To gasp for air

Y la expresión que hemos escogido para esta semana es el phrasal verb ‘to gasp for air’.

Repasemos rápidamente ¿qué son los phrasal verbs? Son verbos compuestos. Esto quiere decir un verbo (como por ejemplo: go, come or take) que va seguido de una preposición (at, on, in) o un adverbio (away, back). Estos verbos suelen tener un significado distinto del verbo original.

En este caso, ‘gasp’ tiene diferentes en inglés. Por un lado, en el contexto de un evento sorprendente o inesperado, ‘gasp’ puede significar ‘un soplido’. Por ejemplo, Raül gasped when he saw a shark in the water! Por otro lado, el verbo ‘to gasp something’ significa susurrar o decir algo en voz entrecortada.

A la vez, ‘gasp’ se utiliza también para describir ‘una bocanada de aire’, ‘a gasp of air’. En esta aventura, Andrea usa el la expresión ‘to gasp for air’ para referirse a la dificultad de respirar. Veamos cómo usa esta palabra para describir su respiración después de llegar a la superficie del mar:

‘…when I burst out to the water, I just remembered gasping for air and all I could see was this big boat. There’s seven young American guys on a fishing charter and they were all standing there, just staring at me with their mouth open. Like where the heck did this girl come from!’

Learning materials

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Este episodio fue producido por el equipo de podcast de AC Ingles: Bree, Bec, Marina, Raul, Eva y nuestro storyteller, Andrea.

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