Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday I ended up back at my school, on the weekend. Not really knowing what my host-parents were telling me I jumped in the car and was dropped off at my school/church... I guess. My host-family and school is Adventist, I don't really know much about the religion but I guess they go to church on Saturday. I ended up sitting in my school cafeteria listening to a lady talking about soy beans and how to make milk, fake meat and other things out of it... in Spanish. It was different to say the least. Then we changed rooms and I listened to some more talking about soy beans, then once that ended I helped to set-up a baby shower. To say my day was random is an understatement. I went back home then returned with my host-mom for the baby shower. They had a few games and one of them you had to give advice, so I gave mine in English. "Interview all of her boyfriends - for fun!" - I'm thinking of you Uncle Paul and dad!

Once the games and prayers were done we were able to talk and eat. I swear everyone ran to the food, you could barely get in to get anything, too funny! At the shower I had been introduced to a man who's an English teacher here, so obviously he was able to translate for me. Then my host-mom made a plan for me to go over to his friends house the next day for lunch.

Before I headed to the lunch I finally went on my first solo walk not to/from school or to the supermarket. I had no idea of where I was going other than I saw the mountains, and headed for them! I walked a good hour out and found this cool looking park but I couldn't find a way to get there without attempting to scale a large barrier or walk near the old men whistling at me. After walking a little bit more I had the feeling to turn around, 2 hours is enough to worry my host-family and I was quite far from my home by then. I have a fairly good sense of direction, I don't need to know street names, just landmarks.

Hey there Andes in the background

Stop signs are always better in foreign languages

After a little time back at home I headed out to meet up with the English teacher, his wife and daughter. We walked to his friends apartment and I was welcomed by some more English speakers. Again it was such a nice break for my head to hear English, but it didn't improve my Spanish. After an amazing meal (vegetarian may I add... mmmm!) we talked for a bit and then watched an English movie with Spanish subtitles. I still read the subtitles to see how similar they were to what was actually going on in the movie. Also everyone who was at the apartment was Adventist, the religion of my host-family and the school I attend. I was able to ask questions about the religion to try and get a grasp of what it was about. Religion is and will always be a touchy subject, but I found their beliefs to be similar of what I know of Jehovah's Witnesses.

I am now in my second week of classes here and I am really liking it! Everyone is so nice, the only bad parts is when it's freezing and there's no sun, like the past two days. Today we had another church service (we have them on Tuesday's) and it was pretty good with upbeat music put on my some of the kids. Although the sermon was lost in translation my attempts at trying to sing the Spanish songs was pretty good. I also had an English test today, and the sad part is that I didn't get perfect because there was a section where you had to get the English verb from the Spanish one... that's just now fair! I've also started to get the hang of taking the micro and am going to and from school by myself now. Tomorrow I have the whole day off due to testing, hopefully the sun will come out again!

Mi colegio

I love attempting tests in Spanish!

Also, another really big part of exchange is homesickness and emotional stress. I really do not want my blog to have a negative tone so I have decided to keep those feelings and experiences out. But it is the ugly truth because exchange truly is like your childhood seesaw, you can be up one minute and then right back down to the bottom again. So things are not always fun, foreign, funny or amusing on exchange, some times life can hit you really hard and the realizations of what you used to have and don't anymore can really get under your skin. It's all in the exchange experience!

11 days until the first Rotary 4340 Inbound meeting!

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