Homestay at SEPA School-by Christine and Bob Madar.
Another amazing experience for Bob and me at SEPA school comes to an end. Once again we are grateful to our professors, our host family and SEPA’s director for helping us fulfill our hopes and expectations. In addition to a rigorous and fun 5 weeks of instruction we thoroughly enjoyed our home stay.
Last year, we lived with two people for 4 weeks, a mother and her adult son. She worked at home and she was our introduction to the language and Costa Rican life. This home stay fit our needs at the time because we spoke no Spanish, and it was an advantage to have one person with one voice speak consistently about basic daily routines. The first thing she taught us was how to tell time. Our host was humorous and very supportive. Weekends included a birthday celebration, a rodeo, and a trip to a local hot springs.
This year, we lived with a family of five for 5 weeks. The conversation varied quite a bit between mother, father, two teenage girls and a six year old boy. Our host father was on vacation and the children were on holiday break. Our host mother was at home to coordinate day to day life. Extended family visited for a couple of weeks. We all cooked together and prepared a birthday celebration for their 16 yr old.
We traveled to Puntarenas for the weekend to attend fútbol and volleyball tournaments. Both father and son play fútbol, and one of the girls plays volleyball. We attended many sporting events, interacting with family and friends. We had opportunities to eat in restaurants, shop at the local farmers’ market and learn how to navigate our way around town and commute by taxi and local bus. Living with a large family for our second experience was perfect and again, it fit with our current learning needs because we learned so much in our first year, we were ready to challenge our listening skills and broaden our opportunities for verbal communication. Our daily interactions with native speakers at home and in the community augmented the excellent instruction we received in the classroom.
Therefore, SEPA provides an outstanding total immersion program. Above all, we look forward to returning next year!