I live with a host family – the Caballeros- and it is the best choice that I made. Tico families are big so there are always families and friends in the house, talking, laughing, and of course eating! We eat big meals here and since I like to cook my host mother taught me how to make tamales and my host aunt is teaching me how to dance. We spend a lot of the afternoons on the patio drinking coffee and dancing cumbia and merengue.
I really feel like part of the family. They even invited me to a baby shower on a huge pineapple farm out in the country where we eat dessert, played silly games and gave gifts. The culture here is very different than Washington D.C. I am very glad to be part of it.
At uVolunteer Costa Rica all volunteer have to submit weekly reports at the end of the week as part of their agreement for the placement. Please feel free to read mine below:
Volunteer Weekly Report
Date of report: April 10th, 08
My first week was a whirlwind. I can’t believe it is already Thursday. My family is absolutely wonderful. I am comfortable and well-fed and they invite me to special occasions that are culturally very different than what I am used to. My classes are also good so far. Preparing takes a lot of time and it is and it is hard to make lesson plans without any handouts. My intermediate class is great: lots of eager students my age. The class from the copy shop is very difficult and a bit frustrating because they are all different levels. Some can’t even say my name is while others can have entire conversations. I will move some around if I can. I also help with the gym classes. I love being with the kids. They give me energy + it is good exercise.
Date of report: April 17th, 08
The second week was very good. It was a short weekend because of the holy day. Classes are easier now because I changed some students from my second class to other classes, so now the whole class has the same level.
I get along with the students. They want to learn English and they are improving really quickly.
My private life is little difficult cause I miss my boyfriend and friends. I am happy 2 more volunteers are coming to San Ramon this week. I want to spend more time in the town a go out at night. Like always I love living with my family. My host mother and father are on a trip, so the house is quieter now and I can spend more time with my ta-a. I wish she was my ta-a for real.
Date of report: April 24th, 08
Today is my last day of classes and I already know I am going to miss them and some of my students. We are having a party in class today with food. I made them chocolate chip cookies and some getting to know you conversation. Maybe I will teach some fun phrases too. The classes were really rewarding because I really got to watch them improve. They learned very quickly and are so dedicated. The only difficult part was not having a good syllabus to follow or access to many materials. One of the other volunteers had all of the books + materials and I hardly ever saw them. There should be a library of material on the office or somewhere for us to all access. Overall I am extremely happy I chose this program and will never forget this experience.