Colorado Homestay 2017
In the summer I went to Colorado, USA, with nine fourth grade students (high school 1) and one other teacher. We did a homestay for three weeks. It was my first time in Colorado, so it was really exciting to see so many new things. Colorado has a lot of nature beautiful, probably quite similar to Hokkaido. From Monday to Friday we met at 8:30 am at a church in Louisville where the girls had English classes until lunch time. In class they were formed into three groups, and each had a local teenager as a conversation pal. After lunch we either went sightseeing somewhere local, such as downtown Louisville and Colorado University, or held an event, such as Japanese culture day at Majestic View Cultural Centre.
Once each week we did a whole day trip to places farther away, which were all very interesting and a lot of fun. In the first week we went to Colorado Springs, which is to the west of Denver. We saw the US Air Force Academy, the Garden of the Gods, and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. We had to spend a lot of time in a van driving from place to place, but I thought it was really wonderful spending time chatting with students. In the second week we went to Estes Park, which is a very famous tourist area, where we went horseback riding! My horse’s name was Jane. She was really smart and calm, so my ride was very enjoyable. After horseback riding we went shopping for a couple of hours. We visited a famous candy shop and ate some delicious sweets. In the final week we went to downtown Denver. The government building was quite nice and the museum was interesting, but I don’t find big cities particularly interesting. I like historical places more.
On weekends we spent time with our host families. Mine was a retired couple who live in Lafayette, a town next to Louisville. My host parents were really kind and we shared a lot of the same hobbies, so weekends were always really enjoyable. My host father and I both really like photography, so one night he showed me advanced techniques to use while editing pictures in Photoshop.
I had a really wonderful time in Colorado. I hope the Jumonji students had a great time, too. I look forward to visiting Australia with the third grade students in March!