About 6 weeks ago I landed in Buenos Aires for my exchange year! The first
day was hectic, first landing and having to go through customs, to driving
around Buenos Aires for 4 hours waiting for my host brother to leave for the
U.S., man was I tired!
I arrived in my city, Curuzu Cuatia, to 40 people outside of my house
waiting to get a glimpse of the exchange student and say hello. I started
school and it is very different! I am with just 30 kids all day in the same
room, where we take 15 different classes! Luckily I have been able to make
friends very quickly because of my constant contact with them, as well as
them being very friendly and gracious. The language is difficult but I can
definitely see myself improving!
In three weeks I get to take a Rotary trip to Iguazu Falls, so pumped!
Friday, December 30, 2011
Well here we are half-way through my exchange and it seems to have gone
by in the blink of an eye. Since my last journal entry I have changed
families, started summer break, taken several amazing trips, and contracted
To start with the slightly less horrid topic, I changed families in
November, and I can say without hesitation that I am a lot happier here than
I was at the previous family, not to mention the switchís outstanding timing
coming right as summer commenced. With the family I will be taking a two
week trip to Uruguay in February, which I'm incredibly excited about, Iím
finally getting to see the continent.
On the subject of trips I have taken several in the last two months, the
first being a weeklong trip to rendezvous with my soccer team in Florida to
practice with Estudiantes De La Plata, one of the best professional teams in
South America. It was an incredible experience, not only did I get a true
taste of the true soccer business, but I got to play with some of the most
talented kids in the surrounding countries, it will be an opportunity I will
never forget, and hopefully I might be able to go back for another short
stint during my exchange. This last week I also passed my Christmas in a
different city, it was a weird experience not being in bed awaiting
Christmas morning to share with my family, instead I was with the family at
4 a.m. walking the river boardwalk starting out at the water, while it was
an incredible experience, I would be living if I said it wasnít a slightly
And finally the gruesome part, in October I had an infected bug bite on
my foot, after a short regimen of antibiotics I saw the swelling down to
nothing, and thought that it was over, but over the next but two months
there was still constant bleeding and pain in my foot, I had no idea what to
do. Then one night this month the pain became excruciating, so out of
frustration I stumbled my way to the bathroom armed with a pocketknife to
play surgeon in the early hours of the morning, after enlarging the strange
circular hole in my foot I become to push around the periphery, hoping that
a stinger or something would pop out, something popped out alrightÖ To my
horror a larvae about Ĺ an inch long began slowly exiting my foot. So
continuing the operation, while trying not to scream in horror I extracted
in completely, the following day I went to the doctor, who insisted on
shooting my up with morphine and cutting open my foot to see for himself,
seems I got them all.
On another note, my fluidity and prowess in the language of Spanish is
continuing to develop and improve. I have come to the realization that
fluency is such a relative term. I think initially coming here I thought in
3-4 months I would be talking Spanish like I talk English, not the case.
Though I understand mostly everything and can converse to the point Iím not
terrified of engaging conversations with someone one on one, I still think I
have a long ways to go before I am where I want to be, and hopefully I can
reach that desired level in the next half on my exchange.
Well summer is in full swing in Argentina and I am sure that most of the
exchange students are cursing me behind my back for my good fortune, I canít
blame them. My days as of now consist of getting up in the late morning,
watching all the soccer I can bear, and then having the arduous task of
deciding whether to enter the pool, or just keep reading beside it. Since my
last post there have been no larvae coming out of my foot, or any other
shocking event, I guess you could say that exchange life has almost settled
down into a calm, normal summer, if thatís at all possible.
In two weeks I will be traveling to Uruguay with the family for two weeks
for our summer vacation, afterwards we plan to travel to Buenos Aires for
several days, but as for most good things, they usually come to an end. When
I return home from my vacation I will unfortunately have to start school
again, but again, it seems that my fortunes are evening out from a rather
bumpy beginning to this exchange, I say this because a mere two weeks after
school starts I will be traveling with my actual family in Buenos Aires and
my dear little city Curuzu. So I think itís safe to say Iím looking forward
to the upcoming months.
As for my life in Curuzu Cuatia as of now I canít complain, I am
beginning to see the wonders of a small town compared to a big city,
although there may not be many things to do (though the pool has become a
vital part of the weekly routine of my friends and I) there is a beauty in
the fact that I can walk to most of the places I need to go during the day,
which we take for granted in a culture where mostly all us or our friends
have cars. So being able to walk everywhere as certainly opened up my social
life, meaning that if someone ever invites me to their house, regardless if
they can pick me up or not, Iím there.
A few days ago my family and I requested that I be sent home early by
several weeks. I felt that I should take the time to address my reasons for
requesting this ďEarly ReturnĒ in this blog. I feel that most exchange kids
and maybe some of the adults in this program see this as an attempt for me
to shorten my exchange, with the sole purpose of getting home to our U.S.A.
slightly early and starting yet another summer break, well thatís simply not
the case. If I have learned one thing from this exchange trip to Argentina
it is that you have to do what makes you happy and what you think is best.
There are several events in the U.S. in late May that I think are important
for me to be a part of, and I don hesitate in ending this magnificent
journey a few weeks early, so I can begin the process of fully understanding
and applying all I have learned from this year in the next step of my life,
and it probably squashes the thoughts of me trying to get out of here as
quickly as possible seeing as I am already thinking about when I can plan a
But enough about thoughts of leaving, which are quite hard to think
about, for now I take this wonderful experience one leisurely day at a time.