Friday, January 15, 2010

Host family and a little more

Now that I have been here for a few days I finally am getting my feet under me. I have figured out a routine. I go to bed really early at like 9:30 and wake up between 6 and 7am.

Then I have Spanish class from 8 to 11. We have a small break and then a talk until lunch at 12:30. Then more talks about various topics from teaching English as a foreign language to dealing with culture shock. These have been really interesting. The tough part is how tired we end up by the end, but I have learned a lot.

My host family so far has been great. They are really welcoming and helpful but also are willing to give me my own space without complaint. At the house there are a mother, a father, three brothers, and a male cousin. The brothers range in age from 5 to 18, though the 18 year old is often off working so I have only talked to him a couple of times.

My Spanish has come back much faster than I expected, I understand 90% of what is said to me and even some of which is said really fast to between Ticos (Costa Ricans).

The ways in which this family handles having a host student is quite different than the way my family in my semester in Ecuador handled it. Both are and were great options and good families which helped a lot in every way, but the differences are interesting to me.

The main difference is how they handle my room. My family here views my room as my space which only I can go in and I have to specifically invite anyone else into, even my host mother and father. My host mother in Ecuador went into my room every day to make my bed, clean my room, and get my laundry.

I understand both ways of handling having a stranger in your house Both ways are fine with me, I just have to adjust to each family. I enjoy the differences among families, since as far as I know that is a difference in family approach, not a particular difference between Costa Rica and Ecuador.

This weekend I am going to La Fortuna to visit my site. I will be meeting my host family and getting to know the area where I will be teaching a little. We will stay over Saturday night and come back on Sunday. Then two more weeks in Orosi, before we finally head out to our sites to get ready for the school year.

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