Aero: Autumn Clearwater-Day – Costa Rica 2015 – Learning the Language


Aero: Autumn Clearwater-Day – Costa Rica 2015 – Learning the Language
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Autumn Clearwater-Day – Costa Rica 2015 – Learning the Language



When I was around my host family, I was constantly thinking of Spanish words to form into sentences. Some words came easier than others; I easily used “si”, “gracias” and “¿Como estas?” multiple times throughout the day. I was eager to expand my use of Spanish. The most difficult part of living in a Spanish speaking country was comprehending what people said in Spanish. My host mother would speak Spanish really fast and it was difficult to understand her. When I would speak Spanish with her she had a hard time understanding me. The best way to communicate was through her son, Pablo. He was able to speak some English and often times we were communicating through the use of Spanish, English and Caricatures.

At first I was nervous to use Spanish; I thought people might laugh at me, not understand me or I would use the wrong words. Throughout the trip I was starting to feel more comfortable with using my Spanish. It was after visiting Hogar Siembre that I started feeling more confident using my Spanish. When speaking with the girls in Spanish and English I was reintroduced to words that I had first forgotten from my previous Spanish courses. I made multiple mistakes using Spanish around my host family but it only helped me expand my words. Although it may have been embarrassing to make mistakes it also created better connections with my family through laughter. One time I was asking my host mom where the family turtle went and asked “¿Donde esta la tortuga?” and instead Myra thought I was talking about wanting to eat tortillas. Another time I used the phrase “Estoy lleno” and Pablo corrected me saying “llena” so that I did not call myself a boy.


ML@FLCC Costa Rica
2015 Flickr Gallery

Through my mistakes I learned that my Spanish wouldn’t be perfect and that my host family would help me. I imagine how the trip would be different if I spoke Spanish fluently. I would be able to know my host family on a more personal level and felt more confident. In a way knowing less Spanish was more exciting because mistakes were shared that turned into unforgettable memories and I used caricatures that were hilarious. This trip is a motivator to practice my Spanish so that one day I can see my host family again and have more conversations. I also feel that the amount of Spanish I have learned through this trip can only be built upon.

Autumn Clearwater-Day
LEAF Contributor