Interview mit der maltesischen Gastfamilie Debono

Während unserer Sprachreise auf Malta befragten Markus Boules und ich unsere Gasteltern zu verschiedenen Themen wie persönliche Erfahrungen mit Schüler/innen, ihrer „Host-Routine“ und dem maltesischen Energiesystem. Bei Interesse |hier| kann man über die Woche in Malta lesen.

Zwecks besserer Verständlichkeit haben wir das Interview neu eingesprochen.

Interviewer: Our first question would be: How did you get the idea to start taking care of other students?
Host Family: From our daughter, she went to Paris for one week to study over there and went to a host family, when she came back, she told me I should bring students because it’s fun.

Interviewer: And for how long have you been taking care of students from all over the world?
Host Family: For about 18 years.

Interviewer: From which countries came most of the students?
Host Family: Most students came from Italy, Austria, Germany, and France.

Interviewer: And since you are doing this for 18 years, what experiences did you gather over the time with other students? Like the worst experience or something.
Host Family: We once had a girl, about 20 years. Once we sat here, she told me she was going out to “Dingli Cliffs” [12km away]. She went out with her pyjama, and she didn’t come back, I was worried about her. So, at 3 o’clock in the morning we called the school.

Interviewer: And did she come back?
Host Family: Yes, she came back the day after. I asked her how she went there because the busses don’t go there often, she told us she walked from Rabat to Dingli [~1h to walk]. Although she was her age, we wanted to know when she’s coming back because when we get students that are about her age, they often don’t come home but they tell us and that’s it. It’s not my business. But if we have students like you who are under 18 then we must give time restrictions.

Interviewer: And what was your best experience so far?
Host Family: We had a lot of players, footballers, violinists, pianists we get a lot of different students, they all were very nice and polite. Once we had a woman from Japan, she was 78, she was a producer of fashion awards. Normally when they are older, over 30 or so, and we go out and see them alone, we ask them if they want to come with us for a walk or a swim. Yeah, we had some nice people. A lot of students return here, they say they want to the Debono house and the same school, especially many from Germany. Once a student invited our daughter to Germany, she stayed with him and his family for a week. I still have contact with most of my students, my daughters too.

Interviewer: So, you keep contact with some of them?
Host Family: Yes, a lot.

Interviewer: Do other family members got annoyed by the foreign students, maybe your other daughter for example?
Host Family: No, they enjoyed it, sometimes they went out with them.

Interviewer: And since you’ve told us that you had many different guests by various age, what is the average age of your students?
Host Family: I would say 16-17. The youngest one we had was an 8-year-old girl from Russia, and the oldest one was the one from Japan.

Interviewer: How many times do you host students?
Host Family: We try to host all year around, the peak to get more money is in summer, the other months go cheaper. But at Christmas, my wife doesn’t want me to bring students because you will find our home to be like a shop at that time. It’s full. There are about 4 Christmas trees and you will not just find one baby Jesus but about 5 or 6, and so on. You wouldn’t find a spot, where there would be no Christmas decoration.

Interviewer: And since you mentioned it a bit, how much money do you get for hosting students in average?
Host Family: Most students think we get a lot of money, but it isn’t like that. Let’s say the school says you pay 200 Euros for the host family, but we get much less. We get paid about 120 Euros. The rest goes to the school and their teacher.

Interviewer: So, does it pay off well with the time?
Host Family: It has been much better this year. In summer, the rates go up, so we get 140 for each student per week.

Interviewer: So, you see it more as some sort of hobby?
Host Family: It is. To be honest it is.

Interviewer: Now to speak of other topics, which sources do you use to get your energy?
Host Family: In Malta we have our interconnector with Sicily and we have a supertanker with gas. Besides that, most of the houses have solar panels – like I have. I have 10 solar panels, so the bills go down – and families with those [solar panels] sell energy to the government. When they produce a certain amount of energy, the government repays us. The last two years, I never paid for water because I covered the bills with energy.

Interviewer: What other languages have influenced Maltese, or from which does Maltese consists of?
Host Family: Maltese consist about 50-54% from Arabic and then we got the mix of Italian, English and French. Most of the Maltese speak also good English, you can find some places where they only speak English.

Interviewer: And do you speak more Maltese or English when you are together?
Host Family: We mostly speak Maltese together.

Interviewer: And are you both from Malta?
Host Family: Yes. We in fact lived next to each other, and not far from where we live now.

Interviewer: Did you ever went to another country or even lived in one for a while?
Host Family: We only went to other counties for a week, or 15 days, just during the holidays, we never lived in another country.

Interviewer: Like the most typical question, but have you ever been to Vienna?
Host Family: We not, although I want to go there to be honest. But my daughters were.

Interviewer: So that was it with our questions, do you want to tell us something we may have forgotten to ask?
Host Family: Not really… The school we are now with is pretty good. I think it’s one of the schools from which I’ve never heard a complaint. There was one teacher, his name was Albert, he was very nice, we were in contact with him. He really helped us connect with the other students and now we are with Tanja.

Interviewer: Thanks.
Host Family: You’re welcome.

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