Paula, Outbound to Taiwan

Hello, this is my first journal and I have experienced more things than what I have experienced all my life in these 2 months. First of all I will talk about my first host family. This family is made up by 4 members. Laura Mom, Baba Rei, older brother Henry and a sister called Maggie that is on exchange in New York. Most of the time I am busy or they are busy so we haven't have time to know each other really well. The house where I am living right now is a small and comfy apartment. My school is called Nang Gang vocational high school. I am taking Math, English, Chemistry, PE, Art, Music and Domestic Economy. I am also doing service hours in a kindergarten that is on the school by teaching the kids English. Most of the kids are very young and because of that my exchange student friends and I are called Mata (Margarita), Nana( Katharina), Gaby (Gabriel) and Pola (Paula) by the kids. I took a very hard task and decided to join the swimming team even though I can barely swim. It was a way to fill my time after school, do some exercise and to learn something that I can take home. At the beginning I felt intimidated because I am in a field where the only thing that matters is how fast you can swim and it didn't matter how good I was in English because I was trash at swimming. But then I made friends with some girls and boys from the swimming team. Every time that I swim there is this middle school boy that always tells me " courage" and that motivates me to keep going but sometimes I feel like I made a mistake because some exchange students want to hangout but I don't have time because of swimming. Others times I see how my body is looking better and how I can freely eat whatever I want without having to buy new pants like some of my friends. While being here I have realized that I suck at finding locations, most of the time I get close but not to the exact point of meeting. There are always new events, festivals, celebrations, Chinese classes and other stuff that requires me to use a calendar. To be honest I have never needed to use a calendar because I have never been busy like this before. Taiwan is one of the most cheapest places to be living in but this first two months we expensive as hell. I needed to do the resident certificate, create an student easy card, buying school materials and swimming material, paying the emergency found, and some other stuff. Rotary here gives me 130 dollars to use and that is teaching me how important is money management and that not everything that I want to have I should have. It has really made it a struggle to me to get what I want but easy to get what I need. It has set my priorities straight and made me somewhat a more mature person. This student exchange is no joke and I have seen people leave because the can not take the difficulty of not having their way all the time. In my opinion I have never been more happy and tired in my life. And I am not gonna give up. Lets go 2 months done and more to go!!!!

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