First Week of Volunteering

Every morning my host mom prepares breakfast for me, which I am truly grateful for. There is always fruit, tea (which I prefer over coffee), and usually something different each time, like gallo pinto and eggs, toast with butter or jam, or a wrap with cheese. All very good. It is a great start to my everyday in Costa Rica.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Cam, Marisa, and I take the bus to Ulatina to meet Mary. From there we have to walk about 5 minutes to another bus stop to get to La Cometa, our orientation site, which is located in Tirrases, a district in San José. The bus ride to Tirrases take about 15-20 minutes depending on traffic. When we arrived in the district, we had to walk through an alley way that was filled with foul smelly rubbish to get to La Cometa, which was located behind a police station.


Ching, Anita; Costa Rica - First Week of Volunteering

On our first day of teaching, we were all very excited, but nervous at the same time because it was all of our first time teaching and especially in a different language. The kids range from 7-10 year olds. In the handout for our lesson plan, they wanted us to speak mostly in English to teach the kids, but it was hard since the kids spoke no English at all. Unfortunately, we spoke mostly in Spanish to teach them just so they would understand us. We taught them the alphabet in English and numbers 1 through 10. They all did very good, but also had trouble confusing some letters like E and I, which is normal.

On Thursday, we went over the alphabet and numbers again. We also taught them numbers 11-20. We started to teach them some introductory questions like “What is your name?”, “How old are you?”, “How are you?” and how to respond to each of them. In response to “How are you?”, we taught them words like “I am good, happy, sad, excited, hungry, mad, tired…”

Class starts at 9:30am and ends at 11am. We give them one break in between and bring them outside to play. It is very interesting to see the way these kids learn and process their information. For some of them, they can recognize the numbers and say it in English right away, while others take a little bit more time and counts them in their head before saying it aloud. They are all very eager to learn, which makes it even more fun for us.