Monday, April 2, 2012

long time... no blog!

Okay so I feel really bad that I haven't blogged in so long! Its been almost a month! Before I went on exchange and was reading other exchange student's blogs I never understand why it would take them so long to update their blogs. I finally know! Life is so busy here, and even when you aren't busy you don't exactly feel like posting because you want your readers to be left with something good, not some super short, hey things have been good. Today I feel like I owe my readers a good blog post. I am going to tell you how I feel after being here for a month. I left my family in Cleveland, February 22nd, 2012. Today is April 2nd, 2012. I am mind blown. This has been the fastest month of my life. Explaining what time is like on exchange is impossible, unless you have been or are an exchange student. Before I went on exchange I had heard "Fastest year of my life", "Best year of my life", "Best decision I have ever made." All these things so far have proven to be true even though I have only been here for a month. I already know that I have a little less then 10 months here. How is that even possible? I was leaving yesterday. But the weird thing about it, is that I feel like I have been in Formosa for longer than a month, like I have known a lot of these people, and this little city for a long time. This is a small little city, I love it. I can walk everywhere, or take a bus or taxi and I'm wherever in 10 minutes. Its starting to feel normal to be here. I still haven't completely realized I'm here though. Sometimes I'll be walking to school or out to meet someone, and I just start thinking "Wait... I'm in Argentina. I live in Argentina." Its pretty bizarre to think now that I have two lives. I have two families, two schools, and now many groups of friends. I love my friends here, especially the other exchange students. I feel so normal when I'm with them because we can talk about anything together and we all feel the same things. You could literally have nothing in common with someone but as long as you both are exchange students, you could talk for hours with them. One of my favorite past times here in Argentina is skyping with other exchange students, like Leah Sharaby who's in Italy or Danny Schur who's in South Africa. Its so amazing that we're all in different parts of the world, and experiencing different cultures but yet we can talk for hours just about that... Life on exchange. What's it like? Unless you do it, you will never know.

I want to tell you about why I write this blog. I do not write this blog for my family and friends, though I know they do read it, and it is an easy way for them to hear about Argentina. But the reason I chose to begin a blog was for kids who want to go on exchange or who are thinking about it. Reading blogs before I came herenreally helped me decide about where I wanted to go, or give me a little glimpse of how I would maybe feel as an American on exchange. It made me more excited to go on exchange.

Spanish... Lets talk about languages. This is one thing that made me want to hyperventilate and curl up into a ball when I thought about it before I got here. I haven't had Spanish in school since June 2011. So I was pretty worried because I knew my Spanish would be rocky. People tell me everyday now that I understand so much better than I did when I first got here and then I can express myself better too. I can have conversations with people in Spanish now. I laugh and have a good time, and understand so much more now. But I am definitely not fluent at all. I have so much more to learn. I am hoping that maybe in August I'll understand almost everything in school.

School. Now that is the hardest place to understand people besides parties because my class is crazy. They yell all the time but I love them though, too many people talk at once. The teachers talk so fast. I literally stare at the wall for like 5 hours a day... Its my place for thinking. I do copy all the notes though, and for some classes I do the work. For example I did the questions and reading for sociology and politics all by myself. I was very proud of myself when I did that because I understood the papers and notes. I am proud of myself when I do things on my own or understand something I never thought I could. This weekend I took a taxi by myself for the first time. I told the taxi driver where I wanted to go and paid the right amount and got to the right place. I felt happy because I was independent in another country with another language, in a place I don't know well. I think now it'll be pretty easy to go to college. Going to college can't compare to study abroads at all. In both you leave your family and go out into the world on your own. But they're different.
1. Right now I am in high school. I am not legally an adult and I already have taken the step to go out into the world on my own
2. Generally people go to college in their own country... I am currently in another country
3. I am in a country, where the culture is completely different and the language is too

What I just said proves that going away to another country when you are in high school is a million times harder than going to college in your own country. Both are big steps in an exchange students life, but nothing compares to this year. I know that the rest of my life I will look back on this year and never regret leaving my small town and missing out on one year of high school.

I do miss my family and friends at home a lot though. Sometimes I just wish I could talk to my mom but she isn't on Skype or I really wish I could see my dogs (Murphy and Libby) and just pet them. Or sit at my dinning room table with my parents eating something American. Its also hard because I know things are going on in my best friends lives too. One of my best friends just got accepted to New York University! I'm so proud of you Megan! I really wish we could hangout and just talk about life and you going to college in August!
And then when I Skype with one of my other best friends, Amanda, I just want to hangout and go for a drive, blast the music, and go out. I miss going out to eat with my best friends or even just watching movies. Its hard for me because I know things are happening in Ohio while my life is happening here. I realize that my life will never be the same again. I will never return to the person I was before I left for Argentina. I also realize that when I leave Argentina, I will never be able to return to this year in my life. I have one chance, one year, to experience all I can. To meet new people, learn a new language, eat new foods, and just live my life. All these things are somewhat sad but I don't regret leaving everything I know to come here. I am very happy right now. I do stuff everyday. I go out with the other exchange students, or out with my host sister. I go to parties, or out to eat at Santino (a lot with Lorena... and Grido... guilty ice cream pleasure). I just hangout and talk with other people. I learn so many new things everyday about myself and about Argentina. I even have learned new things about the United States also. I have learned to appreciate my own country more. I realize I would never want to be born in any other country. I love the United States, its history, what it represents, and its people. Now I have another country I can call home too. Argentina has stolen my heart. I have fallen in love with this country in just a short month. Its so different. The people here are so nice and accepting. The language is beautiful. The history is beautiful also.
 Today is the 30 year anniversary of the start of the war with Las Malvinas or the Falkland Islands. Argentina and England have been on bad terms for 30 years now because the English took Las Malvinas, and claimed them as their own. The English have a serious problem and obsession with taking other countries land... Just saying! Today we don't have school because of this, which is nice but its for a sad reason because many have died in this war. I only have two days of school this week because of Semana Santa (Easter). Starting Wednesday I will travel with my host family to Resistencia, Corrientes, and Iguazu Falls. I am pretty excited because I haven't seen much of Argentina yet! AHHH IGUAZU FALLS!

Yep above is a picture of Iguazu Falls... You can see why I'm pretty pumped to be going there. If there was a way to describe how beautiful this is. You just wouldn't describe it because its so beautiful. A description can't do this justice.

I will be posting in a week or two about my trip there with my host family!

So a few weeks ago was my 17th birthday. It was actually one of the harder days for me here. I really missed my family and friends. My host family was very nice though! They made me an asado and a cake made of dulce de leche. The food was amazing. But I just wanted to be with my own family in my own house that day. But its just a birthday. They don't matter because I didn't do anything special... I just lived another year! Todo bien! I am living my dream right now aren't I? I live in Argentina, thats the thing that made the day okay for me. Whenever I feel sad or want to go home, I remember that right now I'm living my dream, the thing I wished for when I turned 16. Yep no joke. When I turned 16, I blew out the candle and wished for Argentina.

(Gennaro, the exchange student from Italy and I)

Pool and terere

(Lorena, exchange student from Norway)

Mi cumple

Other exchange students and a few friends

Classmate, Belen, and I after school at lunch with the girls 

I promise I'll try to get better at posting more often! I will soon about my trip next week! Besos,

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