I guess the first thing is, is that I cannot believe it has been over 2 months here now! I know that doesn’t sound like too much but I am already over 1/6 of the way through my exchange and I can feel time running away from me already. (I know I always open with this haha).
Something else is that in my school there isn’t quite so much respect for the teacher in class and often people just don’t do the work and then in the tests will use cheat sheets or just copy answers. I’m not too sure whether this is because it is a public school or just the way it is in Argentina but for me this is so weird. However for me it isn’t a problem as I already have uni entrance and so school is mainly for fun and this definitely means school is more entertaining haha. I think this may be because the students don’t have an incentive to learn and do well as school doesn’t count for anything and they don’t have exams with school, as for uni all they have to do is sit an entrance exam and so they spend time out of school to study that and focus on that.
With my classmates it is cool as I am starting to get to know them all much more now. At first I hardly spoke to the guys but now I feel so comfortable with nearly all of my classmates. They are just a genuinely amazing group of people. I've just been bonding with people on a one on one level much more now that I'm not so overwhelmed by everything and out of my depth. I don't really know how to explain it all but I just am already feeling a close knit bond with them all and every time I go out with my friends, the next day i always have messages from my friends (who I didn't go home with) just making sure that I got home okay. I don't really know how to describe them all but they all have very loud and big personalities but my friends in my course are honestly just good people and I am so lucky to be with them. There are some photos with them below:
Above is Huerti and I
Above is a photo with some of the guys from my school, some from my course (Ciencias Sociales) and some from the other course (Ciencias Naturales).
Above is a photo with some of my gals from Easter.
And another one.
And another one haha.
With my family at home, I miss them like crazy and sometimes of course I consider how much easier life would be at home in NZ especially when I have days where I am lonely or struggle with misunderstandings, but like I couldn’t imagine actually returning? I think of home and I can just feel how much I’ve already grown up and matured and how much I love my life here and just can’t imagine life back home with me apart of it. I Skype them about once a week and talk to them through Facebook updating them on what’s going on every few days. I’m so lucky to have this opportunity and it has made me appreciate my family so much more and also my country. On this, it’s incredible now to see photos of NZ and of my home and the beaches, as I can see it through the eyes of a foreigner and I am honestly so lucky and grateful to have grown up in NZ. This has helped me so much to fulfil my ambassadorial role as although I am not normally a really patriotic person, here I have so much pride for my country and love showing photos and talking about the culture.
In terms of food, my gluten free diet has been fairly easy to manage. I think this is due to my superb family and it has honestly helped me so much just to have the support of my family with this as I am not a fun person when I am hungry haha. Some other interesting observations I’ve made with food is that they really cannot handle spicy food here.. and nearly everything has very little flavour! Due to this, I often have ketchup with everything and my family thinks this is so weird and it is now a running joke of if I am going to eat ketchup with each meal.
I also now have a little catch phrase as well, which is: “no hay problema” which directly translates to “there isn’t a problem” and this is because I am so easy going here and very go with the flow. I like this change to my personality as normally I am someone who sweats the small things so this is very cool for me that I have evolved and adapted to the life style here. I think this is because I don’t want to be an issue for my family and so I don’t argue over small things as I don’t feel the need too.
My Spanish is improving everyday and something that has made me realise how much it has improved is the fact that when I arrived I struggled so much to listen to the WhatsApp voice messages I was sent but then now I can understand all of them (even with the speed and different accents). Also I can always say what I need to say and normally can understand conversations going around me. Obviously I have to listen to everything and concentrate to understand and I have so much I still need to learn, especially with my speaking, I know that often it isn’t 100% correct but I am really happy with where I am at as of now. I am dreaming and sometimes thinking in Spanish and I’m already finding that I can’t find words in English. However my pronunciation is still often very bad and because of this my classmates all mock me (with good humour) and try and make me say tongue twisters haha.
Last weekend was Easter and Easter here is a big family event. We basically just spent the weekend eating and meeting up with different family friends and I also spent a fair amount of time with friends as well. I also made my first pavlova for my family and despite the fact I broke it, it tasted amazing. My host mum couldn’t believe that the pavlova I made was a pavlova as it was soft in the middle and here pavlova is considered as two discs of hard meringue with cream in the middle. It was delicious though and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Future tip for exchange students, buy the premix Edmunds pavlova as it is so so easy to make and honestly a life saver.
Here is me making the pavlova above
Above is the pavlova before it broke and before decoration.
Above is the pavlova after it broke but looking delicious nonetheless.
Some things coming up this month is the North trip (and I will be on the north trip on the 1st of May so probably won’t be able to send that update until I get back) with the other exchange students. I am so so so excited for this as I haven’t had a chance to meet many of the exchange students of my district as none of them live in my city. I have been talking to so many of them via Facebook and WhatsApp and I already know that we are going to be such great friends. Something else coming up is a camping trip (here in Bell Ville) in a farm with all of my course for 1 night. I am so excited for this as it is such a good way to bond with my course and get to know everyone on a more personal level as it will be a whole bunch of team building activities.
Hope you're happy because I certainly am. :)