San Ramon is a charming town, with just the right amount of shops, tiny restaurants, bars and a nice park in the centre of town. My host family was typically Costa Rican: very big. In our house were the grandparents, three of their children, a random cousin and two grandchildren. Needless to say there were always people to hang out with. And of course too many dogs and a couple of birds. And food, so much food. Every day we ate gallo pinto (rice and beans) and sometimes rice with chicken, rice pudding, or just rice. I really like rice, so it was great.
I worked at an elementary school close to our house. It was a nice, small school with lots of plants and things all around. And lots of kids. I gave four classes a day, each class lasting an hour and twenty minutes. In other words, there was plenty to do.
A typical class would begin with me coming into the classroom, 25-30 kids shouting “educacion fisica!!YAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”, and then them running to change their clothes. Always a warm welcome to say the least.
Once in the outside gym area, we would warm up in a somewhat organized fashion, then play a few games. I tried to teach them a new game every week. Having limited resources we cover various altered forms of baseball, basketball, volleyball, American football, dodge ball and various tag games. And of course the most beloved game of all: football. Every day, during every class, every game and least one boy would ask “When can we play football? “Bola, teacher, bola bola!” They were seriously good at it too.
It was pretty new/crazy/awesome having kids be so happy to see you. The 1st grade girls would literally start fights over who got to hold my hand. What I liked most about volunteering at the school was that I could tell it made a difference. When I showed up for class, it made the day of 25 kids just that much better. Four times a day. What more could you ask for?