somewhere over the equator, ada flies...

the amazingly wonderful blog of ada's year in argentina as she leaves everything in maryland and the rest of her world to go to another one and learn a new language and all the cliché stuff for her junior year. and struggles to type in third person. xoxo ada >: )>

Friday, February 16, 2007

my new host family!!!

Hallo again! So yes, I realize I’m posting two things on the same day, though actually I’m not sure if I’ll actually POST this today (2/16)… we’ll see : )> anyways, I did so because the two things are so entirely different, that it seemed odd to put them all in one post. The other contains stuff up to and through changing families, but ends when I changed… this one talks about my new host family!!!

I have two host parents, and two host siblings who live at home, then a half host sister who’s 30, but who lives nearby. My host parents are Cristina and Ruben Muller. My host dad’s grandfather was from Germany, his grandmother from Russia, but he grew up in a German speaking community (in Argentina), in a province called Entre Rios (because it’s between two rivers lol), on a farm. He only saw his real dad once in his life, but there’s actually a really cool story about how last year he finally met all his half siblings and half family for the first time, only it’s really long and I’m tired of writing so much haha… anyways long story short, he met them last year for the first time and it was really emotional and cool and like a movie. Oh, and he’s a mechanic.
My host mom is from Paraguay, she moved to Buenos Aires alone when she was 13. By 16, she was married, but her husband had cancer, and when their daughter was 3 (four years after they were married) he died. I’m not sure how many years ago she married my host dad, but they’ve got two kids. My host mom is a beautician, but she works at home… it’s a small business, all through word-of-mouth… she does mostly waxing, but also manicures and such.
I get along really well with both of my host parents, we talk a lot. They’re lots of fun, and I’ve spent tons of time just talking with one or both of them, about all kinds of things. My host dad plays the harmonica, and we were playing around with his harmonica and my flute, playing songs we both know, though I don’t know many pieces by heart on the flute… singing, I do by ear, but for the flute I need music. We’ve talked about practically every random topic imaginable… movies, books, the holocaust, wars, funny family stories… it’s cool, cuz with them we talk a lot more about my life here and stuff… riding, French, and all, instead of just about my life in the States, which I’m really thankful for.
The daughter from her first marriage, Veronica Laura (Vero) is 30, and lives nearby. She’s divorced, but has 2 small kids, who’re adorable. Vero is studying to be a make-up artist, but also sells make-up and lingerie and stuff from catalogues. She’s incredibly nice, cracks me up. She’s tiny, you’d never know she’s 30, but great fun to talk to. She and Vicky are really close too, which is cool.
Vicky is 18, and has always been one of my closest friends here, mainly because she lived 5 blocks away, but we get along really well, talk about EVERYTHING; like I said, the first night we were up talking until 6am, and since then, cuz she works late a lot of nights and doesn’t get home until 1am or 2am, we end up going to sleep really late; she hates just coming home from work and going to sleep. That makes sense and all, just means we end up going to sleep at 3 or even 4am some nights lol, but whatev it’s all fun. She works at McDonalds, and when her college starts, she’ll go to school in the morning, and work in the afternoons.
With Vicky comes her boyfriend, Facu. It’s almost like I’ve got another host brother, cuz I see him practically every day. He works too, but I doubt he’ll go to college, if only because he doesn’t have the money. He’s also a huge soccer fan/player… he’s in training right now to try out for the professional team from this area (not one of the huge teams from the capital, Boca Juniors or River Plate, though I think it’s the same league). He’s lots of fun, gets along really well with her brother, Niko.
Niko’s 15… I didn’t really know him before I came here, but the first two days when Vicky worked all day, I spent most of the day with him, and we’ve gotten along really well. He goes to the technical school connected with the Ford auto factory… it’s cool cuz when he graduates, with the diploma from this school, even if he doesn’t go on to work for Ford, he’ll have no trouble finding work. Because of this, he’s really into computers and stuff, duh, so until my computer decided to be special and stop working with the dial-up internet, no one really used the other computer, and mine lived in his room (where the phone cord is) and he practically lived on it, it was pretty funny lol. Cool though, cuz like I said, I got to know him a lot better.
Then, there’re the pets… in the front yard lives a huge white rabbit, that Facu gave Vicky three years ago after they’d been going out for a month. The rabbit’s best friend is a black kitten, who’s now about 10 weeks old, currently fast asleep, wrapped around my chest, wrapped around my neck like a scarf. The kitten (I’m not honestly sure what his name is; Vicky calls him Manuel, Niko and my host mom call him Pancho, and my host dad calls him Gaturro, after a cartoon cat figure kind of like an Argentinean Garfield… though at the same time not lol). The kitten has three modes: sleeping, eating, or running around like a psycho cat… one day he’s going to give the poor rabbit a heart attack, I swear lol. He is adorable though, and great fun to take pictures of.
In the backyard lives a turtle, which I saw for the first time yesterday, cuz he practically never comes out of wherever he is. Then, there’s a little black dog called Daisy, and a huge Saint Bernard called Otto who, I swear, is at least as tall as Cookie was.
So that’s my new host family… the house is a bit bigger than the other, plus we have a telephone and internet, which is cool, though like I said my computer went special on us the other day and since then has refused to recognize that the phone cord is, indeed, plugged into it (it’s not the phone cord, as it works for the other computer). Sigh, oh well. When you walk in the front door, the first half is a living room/where my host mom has her waxing stuff set up behind a screen thing, that turns into a dining room with a table and such, as well as the computer. Then, there’s a little hallway that leads to the kitchen, which is where we usually eat. Off the little hallway, first is my host parents’ room, next to the first room, then a bathroom, then the room I share with Vicky, and then on the other side of the hallway is Niko’s room.
In the front yard there’s a little garden, where the rabbit is slowly diggin a hole to China, which the kitten is slowly filling in as he plays in the dirt the rabbit puts aside, and a small yard which is very nice for sitting and drinking matte in the late afternoon. In the backyard there’s a little covered patio, and then a nice big pool. Behind the pool is a little garden with a couple trees, and behind that a parrilla and various other tools and such.

My life as far as friends, riding, French and all hasn’t changed, though I’m not taking voice lessons this month because the place where I take them is closed… but everything family-wise has, and so far it’s all changed for the better. It’s like they were my “real” family, though at the same time I couldn’t have been with them from the start, mainly because they wouldn’t have been able to handle someone who didn’t speak the language, who didn’t know the area… as my host dad needs the car to go to work every day, my host siblings and I take the bus everywhere, which is fine for me now, as I’m used to that, and by now I know where I’m going or at any rate how to figure it out and get there, and I speak the language. But whatever; I don’t want to have any regrets here, and I don’t, so it’s all good : )> So… I don’t have more time today, but in a bit I’ll post all about our trip to CORDOBA! (see the pix though! )

January and changing families!!!

Jeeeeez, sorry so much time went by!! Basically, after New Year’s, I really just didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING. I was fed up with everything, and at the same time, didn’t feel like anything was going to change, SO, really didn’t feel like writing. Before, during the long breaks between posts I was at least keeping a daily journal… well… I’m working on catching that up as well. Haha, but whatever, it’s all good now, because just in case anyone didn’t know, I CHANGED FAMILIES!!! Finally!!! Well, actually I changed February 3rd, but since then, everything’s been wonderful. However, cuz changing families was such a huge thing, I’ll write this post up to February 5th, then another, just to separate them more… kk, enjoy!

Definitely the most amazing New Year’s EVER. I posted pictures I took at the family party – I still haven’t gotten the pictures my friends and I took that night/morning, mainly because my friend who has them has been on vacation for a month. Anyways… the evening/night of the 31st, we all went to the “quinta” that Florencia’s (my old host mom) brother Sebastian owns, it’s like a weekend house, with a big pool and such… they hold a lot of parties there and such. Anyways, Florencia’s ENTIRE family was there, 25 people, which, when considering it’s all close family (as in, nothing more distant than a first cousin), that’s quite a lot of people. And of those people, there are quite a lot of little kids. So, around 10 we sat down to eat the first dish, which was a sort of potato salad, followed by chicken that had been grilled on the “parrilla” which is like a huge grill-type thing (SO good!). Everyone was talking and laughing, and it was just lots of fun, everyone was in a good mood, Florencia’s brother kept slipping me this drink that’s like a very sweet carbonated white wine (really good too) whenever Claudio (my old host dad) wasn’t looking, and for the first time in like a month I wasn’t thinking about switching, or the States, or anything… it felt like I was part of the family.
Everyone finished eating a bit before midnight, then they all battled about who’s watch was correct, and so we had about 5 countdowns going at the same time, and five different “NOW IT’S THE NEW YEAR,” but it was all in good fun. Champagne and “turron,” which is a nugget-ish candy with peanuts, were passed around, then more champagne… and a bit more… Florencia passed me her cell phone, and asked me to call my parents, to exchange New Year’s greetings. The exchange was fun, though I don’t think my parents understood a word Florencia or Claudio said, and though Florencia said she understood, I’m not so sure... Claudio I know didn’t understand a word, but it was still really funny.
Well, this being Argentina, someone had to bring a car around and put music on really loud, and everyone started dancing. Well, everyone except the grandma who was so drunk she couldn’t even stand up… definitely the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Everyone was laughing sooo hard; it was great. A song came on the radio that’s actually an add for a cell phone, but the commercial goes “this is the song of summer, the one most heard, danced to, and sung,” etc, and the commercial, for a cell phone with an mp3 player as well, ends saying “the song of summer is more dangerous than the sun- protect yourself, choose your own music.” However, the song is incredibly catchy (it’s a full length song), and it’s become a huge hit on it’s own, which I find incredibly amusing. There’s a whole dance that goes along with it, so of course everyone was doing the dance… you hear this song everywhere though, it’s totally turned into the “song of summer.”
Basically, just a really fun time. Around 2am, Florencia took me to this gas station/café where I was meeting up with all my friends, and we went to a party at the house of a friend of theirs (I’d never met the guy, but I swear every kid in my grade and the grade above me I’d met was there). SO MUCH FUN. First, there was a local band playing, rock-ish music, and it was good, but everyone was listening, and therefore not dancing… plus, Argentineans don’t really dance to anything other than cumbia and reggaeton. So though there were a lot of people, it was a bit boring at first… so we ended up leaving, and going to another party. However, we didn’t even enter, cuz there were a ton of old people outside the house, and anyway when we returned to the first one, the band had stopped playing, everyone was dancing to music on the stereos turned WAY up, and it was sooo much fun. Definitely the best New Year’s of my life. Around 6am, when it was just too light to really keep partying, we left and split up, some kids went home, then a group of us went to get breakfast. En route, we amused ourselves by taking a bunch of funny pictures, which I promise I’ll put up when I get them. Nothing much else happened, we talked and laughed at the pix from the party, then a friend’s dad took us all to our respective homes… but it was a pretty awesome new year’s.

January… nothing HUGE happened really incredibly worth telling about. Or that I’m willing to tell on the internet more like. Haha but what happened was, new year’s was sooo much fun, and I’d had such a good time, with the family and then even better after, that I really thought things had gotten better. Then the first day of the new year sucked; I was just kind of… disappointed. Like I said, the 31st was like the first day in a looooooong time I’d just felt like part of the family and not much else, then the 1st, Florencia’s family came over again and they basically spent the ENTIRE DAY (or at least it felt like that… I slept in late, obviously, so it was probably just all afternoon but whatever) anyways, talking about the US, telling me oh you’re going to miss this, you’re going to miss that, what do you miss, what is you’re family doing RIGHT NOW? I was just like I have no bloody clue wtf my family is doing right now, I’m HERE. Just let me be HERE. I’ve come to hate it when people go on about oh you’re going to miss Argentina so much, you’re going to miss this. It’s like DUH I KNOW. SO LET ME LIVE IT WHILE I’M HERE AND MISS IT WHEN I’M GONE. I’m going to have PLENTY of time to miss Argentina and think of all the things I miss. Just let me forget, maybe, for a little bit of time, that I’m here on exchange and not really part of the family. I mean I was prepared for those types of questions the first month or so; what’s different, what’s a normal day like for you, you’re family, what do you eat, etc. But in January, it had been six months. And five of them with that family. I was just tired of it. I swear they either talked about the States, asked me what each member in my family was doing AT THAT MOMENT, or told me I was going to miss such-and-such at least once a day. And so, when they ask me about the States, naturally they get me thinking about them. I don’t want to spend my time in Argentina thinking about the States. I love you guys dearly but I’ll be home in four and a half months. I’ll think about what you guys are doing when it has something to do with me; right now I’d rather think about what I could be doing with my friends here or such.
The next day I went and talked with my councilor, and told her I wanted to switch. I was tired of thinking about switching. I was tired of all the stress thinking about it gave me; I either wanted to switch or not switch, but I didn’t seem to be able to stop thinking about it. I was building up a wall between me and the family so that every little thing they did that annoyed me didn’t bother me; it didn’t bother me when Florencia talked about nice people as if they were horrible, didn’t bother me that Maria Paz and I still hadn’t, in the entire time I’ve been here, ever talked for more than, maybe, five minutes. I fricking lived in the same room with her, it was sooo stupid that not once we stayed up talking about ANYTHING, or even during the day just talking. Be it no one’s fault or both of ours, I don’t know, I certainly tried, many times, to talk with her but nothing really worked; and I got tired of trying. I basically gave up on the family, gave up on it working. December I tried hard to make it work and January I just didn’t really give a shit. Me cansé.

So I thought I was going to switch before the end of January; we called one family and they didn’t say yes but they said maybe- they said they’d get back to us the last week of January. So I figured, well, it’s settled, I’ve just got to survive January. Surviving January included spending two mornings a week at the barn, then all morning and afternoon Saturdays, French classes twice a week for an hour, a voice lesson, and hanging out with my friends, going out with them, but as for things with my host family… the wall was there. They still had no idea, one thing which always perplexed me. It seems strange that you can’t notice that the girl who’s living in your house doesn’t really engage in anything… basically is more like a boarder. I was trying to be a good exchange student, I really was, until I just couldn’t, it was hard on me and I just got fed up with everything, so I zoned out, came into myself, put up a wall, however you want to call it.
January did have fun things though; I love going to the barn, and teaching’s been really fun. Where the barn is, it’s a gated community, but a COMPLETE community; school, restaurant, I think there’s some sort of a grocery store as well… I often wonder if the kids leave the place. One thing that’s cool though, is companies, big international companies, own a lot of the houses and when they bring employees in from other countries, put them up in these houses. Because of this, I have students from all over the world- Italy, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Israel, to name some. It’s fun though, the kids all speak Spanish, though often their parents are more comfortable with English (which of course, for me, is fine lol). I honestly don’t think I could’ve survived January without Lucia, the “real” teacher (as in, the one who gets paid haha). Though as I said I hung out with friends and went out and such, most of my close friends were all on vacation or working, so as it was Lucia I saw every morning, when everyone’s generally in a grumpy mood to begin with, she got to listen to all my complaints, poor thing lol. Oh well.
Stuff with friends, the most fun was going out clubbing again, we got in free because the friends I went with, one girl had another friend who knew the owner, so we went first to that girl’s house, and then as a group to the club, which was great fun. Granted, Florencia didn’t know I was there, she knew I was with my friend though, and my real parents knew I was going out, and my friend’s mom knew where we were… yea, I know it’s horrible to sneak out and lie and stuff but I needed to get out lol. And like I said, I was in a bit of a “I realllllllly couldn’t care less right now” mood. There were also more birthday parties, of course… haha there’re always birthday parties : )> along with various friends’ birthday parties, Maria Paz had her 15th birthday, which here is the most important birthday party for girls. The party is in March (I was SURE there was no way they were going to invite me after I switched families, and I didn’t really want to go anyway. Then yesterday I get a txt asking if I was going to be home so they could give me the invitation. I almost died. WHAT IS WITH THIS FAMILY AND AWKWARD SITUATIONS??) Anywayss for her actual birthday, we went out to eat at a restaurant, with, as always, Florencia’s entire family. I actually met Claudio’s mother for the first time on Maria’s birthday, when she came for… 15 minutes to drink some matte and drop off her present. Lol, whatever. Then, two days after Maria’s birthday was that of Florencia’s mother… and the day after that, I was supposed to change houses.

What had happened was, my liason had called me to go to this recreational park place to spend the day with her, her daughter and son-in-law, and her son and his girlfriend. I was INCREDIBLY fed up with everything by now. The family who’d said maybe had ultimately said no, and I was about two seconds with just moving in with the family who live in front of Florencia’s (the family with whom Florencia wasn’t speaking with, and had forbidden us to talk to over some stupid thing she said to them in November, which naturally pissed them off, and then she got more pissed of and it was all a big mess). Anyways they wanted me to come live with them, but that would’ve been REALLY awkward, to live right in front of my old host family, especially with a family they weren’t talking to. I still would kind have liked to see her face when they told her I was going to live with them, but I never got to see it, cuz we never told her, cuz Vicky called me right before I went to spend the day with Ines (my liason). Vicky, a girl who graduated in November from my school, had always been one of my closest friends here, mainly cuz she lives so close, only about 5 blocks away from my old host house. Anyway, I saw her two days before, and I was NOT in a good mood, and apparently she felt really bad for me, and asked her parents what they could do, and her parents were like HAVE HER COME LIVE HERE!! So she called me, asking what they needed to do. All they needed to do was talk with Ines, who would give them the paperwork that they could easily do in an hour, hour and a half. Well, they were all for that, so it was all planned that I was going to move the Sunday after Florencia’s mom’s birthday (a Friday). I didn’t want to tell them I was moving until a day before, because to stay with them longer I thought would be reallllllllllly awkard.
Saturday night I had a party at a friend’s house, and we were going to tell them before I went, so I wouldn’t have to be stuck alone with them all night, and their questions, then Sunday I’d come back, get my stuff, and go… then Ines calls me Saturday and is like nope not this weekend, I still haven’t talked with AFS in the capital to see if you can move. Ummmmm why not? SIGH. So I had to wait another week.
So I get home the next Thursday (February 1) from the barn and Florencia is in a REALLY weird mood, asking me a thousand times if Ines has called me… no, she hadn’t told me a thing. Finally, just as I’m leaving a couple hours later for my French class, Florencia tells me that Ines called her to say she thought Florencia’s having me in the house was too much for her, with the nerve/muscle thing she has, etc, etc, and she thought maybe I should move. Florencia wanted to make sure I knew that she didn’t want me to go, and that when Ines talked to me, that she didn’t make it seem like Florencia wanted me gone. Thanks, Ines, for warning me! XP. Thursday night I was talking with Ines, who had finally told me she’d told Florencia, who then came even though she wasn’t supposed to, and when I went to the bathroom, poof, the whole story changed and suddenly it was me who wanted to go, and my idea, and everything. But I still couldn’t change yet, for some reason or another. FRIDAY WAS THE MOST AWKWARD DAY OF MY LIFE. I was exhausted from everything, and slept in, then when I got up Florencia started accusing me of not wanted to have breakfast with them, going on about how nothing was important to me, I didn’t care about anything and all the stuff they had done for me… when she goes off like that, it’s impossible to say a word. Then they all left, except me and the youngest, and Maria who was still asleep, only they took they keys and forgot to open the door for us (we were outside). So Meri and I spent about 2 hours trying to get Maria to wake up and let us in, talking, etc, so what came of that is at least one of the family members (in my opinion, the only sane one) basically understands why I left.
That afternoon I sat down and talked with Florencia, who was all like yea I understand, I know it’s not that you don’t care about us and what we’ve done for you, but it’s your fault cuz you never said anything, I mean if I’d noticed you weren’t comfortable here I’d have said you should change too, etc, etc, etc… I dunno. As far as I could tell, it was pretty obvious I wasn’t doing well. Everyone kind of lives in their own little world there, so it didn’t surprise me much that they didn’t have any clue, but… I don’t think that was my fault. Friday finally ended, and I got up Saturday to go to the barn, where I was until around 5pm, when Ines told me to go home with Lucia, and wait at Lucia’s house until 7, then come and talk with her. I was with her for 2 hours, which were horrible. She was going on about how she wasn’t sure when I was going to change, she didn’t think I could change Sunday (I was supposed to have changed Saturday afternoon), that it was going to be a long and hard switch, that she was making an exception for me because, really, AFSers don’t switch families unless the problem is really big. I was about to explode. I looked at her I was like DO I LOOK OK TO YOU?!?!?!?!? Only I didn’t say anything. Cuz that wouldn’t have helped. GOD I wanted to kill her though. So the long and short was, we were going to have dinner with her, my old host family, AND Vicky. I was like wtf is with the awkward situations here?!?!? UGH.
Well, it turned out… I dunno what word to use. On the way over, I asked Ines, in ALL SINCERITY, WHEN SHE THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO MOVE. She replied, maybe Sunday, but she wasn’t sure yet; she had to see how things went that night. Only Florencia and Meri (the youngest) were there; Claudio had to work, and the other girls were at friends’ houses. Vicky came with her boyfriend, and everyone talked about everything that had nothing to do with me or with changing families. So. Half way through dinner, Ines leans over and tells me “so… you’re actually going to switch tonight. Afer dinner, go to your room and pack all your stuff, then I’ll take you over to Vicky’s.” what?!? Ummm ok… I was really excited to move, but… all I could think of was all the CRAP she’d been saying two hours earlier!! It wasn’t that she’d changed her mind; everyone else knew I was leaving that night, except me! They’d known all day! Ines had been going on about how she wanted everyone to be happy, she’d been lecturing me on appearing happy and relaxed at dinner, and I knew that was why she’d lied to Florencia at first so… sorry if I’m totally missing something here, what was the point in lying to me?? If she wanted me to be happy and relaxed, TELL ME I’M SWITCHING. I really really really wanted to kill her. SIGH. So I moved! At 10pm Saturday February 3rd I finally got to Vicky’s. However, I’d packed so quickly, I naturally ended up forgetting some things… namely a pair of jeans, shorts, and 2 tanks. One of the tanks happened to be the one Florencia had given me for Christmas… two days later she came by and dropped off the clothes, all but the tank she gave me, I found that pretty funny, but whatever, she wants to keep it, go ahead lol. I did like it though. Haha oh well.
When I finally got to Vicky’s house, her mom (Cristina) gave me a big hug and was like finally!! Then when her brother (Niko) came home he was like hermanita!! (little sister) which didn’t really make sense cuz aside from being at least a head taller, I’m also older than him lol but whatever. It was pretty hot out, so aside from my host mom, we all got in the pool, until around 1am when we ordered ice cream. My host parents then went to bed (my host dad’s name is Ruben), and Vicky, Facu (her boyfriend), Niko and I watched a movie, Facu went home, and Vicky and I stayed up talking until 6am… pretty awesome night : )> It was just such a stark difference… you maybe think well was it really so bad with the Grij family? And it’s just more that… it’s just so much better with the Muller family. Anyways, I’ll leave this post here, and write a second about my first two weeks with my new family. Ttyl xoxoxoxo!!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!!!!

Hello again!! After another really long time!! Haha sorry!! :S for the first time I’ve kind of been really bad about writing in general.. before I was being really good at keeping a daily journal.. and, well.. that hasn’t gone so well right now; I don’t know why as being summer, I should technically have MORE time to write, but whatever. Anyways, hope everyone’s been having a fun time in school while I’ve been on summer vacation!!! (JOKING!!! Hahaha love you all!!)

So, to start, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKAY, HAPPY ALL OTHER HOLIDAYS, & HAPPY NEW YEAR!! hope you’ve all had a great time, and hope new year’s is even more fun!!

I didn’t do much in school after all the last post… I got back all my tests finally, but the last 2 weeks, we really did absolutely nothing. Somehow, not sure how, I passed all my classes, which was pretty cool… technically I shouldn’t have passed the tech class, and I don’t think any normal teacher would’ve passed me, but I suppose the teacher loves me, and passed me anyway haha, works for me : ) I was kind of sad school was over… not sad to be done with tests, but without school I don’t see all my friends every day, and there’re some I haven’t seen since school got out… and for those who are seniors, means I might not see them again, which is sad.
Anyways, the last things that happened in school were the senior graduation, where I sang a song with 2 other girls, then backup to another song a guy sang, so that was fun, I got to know all the people singing better, and it was lots of fun. Then, we had our wonderful “play” we’d made in the Language/Literature class… well I should say the teacher made, because she took all the ideas each class had for “their” season (4 classes – 2A, 2B, 3A, & 3B) and somehow made a play… it was pretty funny, the acts had absolutely nothing to do with each other, but in the end, considering we “rehearsed” a grand total of 3 times, and didn’t once rehearse all together, it came out pretty good, people found it pretty amusing.
I was acting in the fall season, very originally cast as the foreign exchange student, which meant I got to show off my ability to talk with a VERY exaggerated American accent, and then when Argentina appeared to have lost the soccer game against the States, they had me burst into song singing Don’t Cry For Me Argentina… then Argentina ended up winning anyway haha. I think the best part about the play was still when they strung a wire from the window of one of the second story classrooms to the stage and Niko, dressed in a Spiderman outfit, swung down, changed the set, did various acrobatic things, and then climbed back up; it was hilarious. : )> Or when another guy who’s name I forget and Niko fought over a guy named Juan with a blond wig and these huge fake boobs we put on him in a disco, a dance-off where the lyrics matched what they were saying… then it ended with the two guys dancing with each other and Juan storming off… God, that was funny.
I’d put up pictures, but my host mom only brought her camera and none of the pictures came out well… sigh… but I’ll try to get some from other people. They also filmed it, but I’m not sure how much good that would do all of you guys haha >: )> (seeing as the play’s in Spanish haha).
Then, school was over. Well, not for the kids who had failed subjects, they had to keep coming for another week to be able to talk with the teachers and stuff and study for the exams they had to take, which ranged from December 16 to 27. Then, if they failed those as well (as my host sister Sofia failed both of hers, and Maria Paz one), they have to go to summer school in February, and at the end of that, take the exam. Technically, then if they fail only one, they can still continue, and they take it in March, then July, then December, etc. Well, for my host sisters they can only fail one, but in the last 3 years, which are basically high school, you can fail 2 and still continue. Granted, I’m not sure I understand the system myself, but it is VERY different.

Host Family!
So, as I said, Sofi failed 2 materials, and had to re-take them in December, when she failed them again (language & literature, and natural sciences), then Maria Paz failed the same two, but when she took the exams in December, passed the science one. Either way, they’re both going to summer school in February, and my host parents were NOT exactly pleased.
As to my relationship with my host sisters, it’s basically the same as it’s been… with the youngest, everything’s fine, then with the middle one, we’re at least comfortable enough to have small fights… nothing serious or anything, but I guess what the difference between her and Maria Paz is that with Sofia, nothing is fake, and it is VERY easy to know exactly what she is thinking… she’s an incredibly jealous child so there’re days when she hates me and I just ignore her on those days but then most days we’re fine, basically like sisters. But with the oldest, I still haven’t gotten the courage up to flat out talk to her about this, though I know I need to, I know, I know… we’ve been interacting a bit more this month, but we still haven’t had an actual conversation. And that’s just weird when you’ve been living in the same house, in the same room with someone for four months now.
With my host parents, once those three stormy weeks finished, school got out, my host sisters extra-curricular stuff ended, and like everything with this family, everything seemed to just blow over, and pass. As there were only three weeks before Christmas, I’d decided I wasn’t going to talk to them about anything before then, but by the time I’d decided that, I think it was the right thing to do because already for the family everything had passed; basically I’d missed my chance to switch and have it be entirely obvious to the family that it was for the better. To be entirely honest I’m still not sure whether or not I want to switch. I have to sit down and talk with my host parents and lay out what I can, and can’t do by their standards, and also make it clear that I’m scared that once school starts up again, and they have Maria Paz’s 15th birthday party (her birthday is in January, but the party’s in March), I’m scared they’ll get stressed again and it will go back to how those three weeks were. I’m ok now but I don’t think I could live through them again, it was just too tough and not fair for me. However, the problem is that as things are right now, everything is fine with the host family (with the exception of needing to talk with Maria Paz). I’m still pissed as hell that when I got home and no one was home, because my host mom had forgotten to send me a message telling me she’d left the house, and I didn’t have a key, I went to the neighbor’s house and sat and talked with them until my host mom got home, but because my host mom isn’t talking to the neighbors, though they really just don’t care one way or the other, I had to wait for someone to check and make sure my host family wasn’t in sight, then sneak out the side door and walk up as if I was just walking back from my friends’ house. But what was I going to do, stand on the street and wait? That’s INCREDIBLY dangerous where I live. But it’s so stupid that regardless of the fact that if I wasn’t there, I’d be on the street, I think my host mom would’ve kicked me out if she’d seen me. Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t let her see me, cuz getting kicked out would be the easiest way to leave, as it wouldn’t make me have to say I want to leave, when they’re saying don’t leave, we love you, you’re like a daughter, you’re breaking our hearts. But then I also know that’s a bit of an insane thing to do. SIGH.
Just to clarify, I think the whole fight with the neighbors happened right after I posted- basically I got caught in the middle of a fight between my host mom and the mom of the neighbors’ family, that in my opinion was my host mother’s fault, and she was in the wrong for what she’d been saying… if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, my host mother has a real problem with how she views certain “types” of people, and how she treats them. It’s all kind of blown over, but when before we were always at the neighbors’ house and they were at ours, my host mom forbid all of us to go to their house. Well, it’s hard when you live with one family but secretly side with the other, but I’ve gotten used to just kind of zoning out when my host mom goes on rants. I zoned out the other day when they were going to, and when they did hang Saddam Hussein; I wanted to watch what was happening, on BBC, and when I translated something to my host mom, and she realized what I was watching, she went on a good hour’s rave about how watching that would be horrible for me, and it’s not good to watch that kind of stuff, all about people killing each other and bombs and not caring… ok I have to stop now before I really start on my host mother’s political views. They really piss me off. Anyways I’ve just gotten good at ignoring them, and all the other stupid stuff. Even still, I don’t know yet if I can continue for six more months. SIGH.

This belongs in it’s own section, as the other on my host family was more the issues and relations with them. Anyway, Christmas was lots of fun, but SO INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT!! Enough so, that it didn’t really feel like Christmas, which kind of made it easier as I didn’t miss home so much. There’ve been many times this month, when I don’t want to leave Argentina, I just want to go home. I miss my family, the farm, being able to ride all the places I love riding, school and all of you guys, Peri and all those people and horses, just seeing Baltimore and where I live, being able to play sports, not worrying about being misunderstood… it’s been five months, which is a pretty long time, and it’s usually when I think about how long it’s been since I’ve done this, how long it’s been since I’ve seen these people. The worst times are when I’m at home and bored, and there’s nothing to do but watch TV, and I can’t even get to an internet café in the hopes of talking to someone.
Anyways, Christmas! At around 8pm, my host grandmother arrived, and a bit later my host uncle Christian (the younger of my host mom’s two older brothers) and his family (wife Luli, and kids Santiago, Martina, and Luciano) all came over, and my host dad started the asado grill. The unmarried twin uncle, Federico and his girlfriend had come over earlier, but were having Christmas dinner with her family, and the other twin was having dinner with his wife’s family, and then coming later. Then, everyone changed into relatively fancy clothes, formal at any rate, and we sat down for the “picado” which always proceeds asado, and consists of cheeses, salami, bread, peanuts, chips, those sorts of things.
Once my host grandfather arrived, and the “picado” was finished, there were things like potato salad, that had cold (but cooked) potatoes, carrots, and peas covered in mayonnaise. They’re absolutely OBSESSED with mayo here; everyone uses it on everything. Unfortunately, it’s another thing, like eggs, that I just can’t get myself to like enough to eat, but luckily there was another that was without mayo, as we’d run out. At some point during the salad part my host mom’s oldest brother Alejandro came over as well, so in total we were 14. There was also normal salad, and about 5 minutes later the asado was brought out, which was sausages, other very fatty parts of the cow (it’s so well cooked they need to use the fattiest parts to keep the flavor), and very good chicken.
By around 11, 11:15pm the asado was done, and we all cleared everything, and brought out the desert, which consisted of pan dulce (kind of like fruit cake but not as scary… it’s like a sweet bread with bits of fruit gummies, quite good, then there was also without fruit as Sofia doesn’t like it with fruit), then this thing called Turron, which is like nuggat with peanuts, something called Montecol, which is a wafery chocolatey/peanuty candy bar that for some reason is traditional for Christmas, and chocolate coated peanuts and brown sugar covered peanuts. If you can imagine so much food, that is. Haha, it was a LOT, I didn’t think I’d be able to eat for a week. Then, Sebastian and his family (wife Soraya, and kids Francisco, Malena, and Candela) arrived, though Malena was fast asleep, and somehow managed to stay that way, and Candela, who’d already gotten her presents, wasn’t very interested in much but getting her small hands on any of the treats she could. Of course the other youngest kids (Martina, Maria Luz, Francisco, and Luciano, in that order) were forever asking how much time was left until midnight, when “Papa Noel” was coming.
A little bit before midnight, my host dad and Alejandro managed to get the youngest occupied in the hammock, giving me, Sofia, and Christian time to run the presents from the car into the house, to my host parents’ room. Then, we labeled the ones that still needed to be labeled, and reappeared with everyone else, till about 5 minutes to midnight, when Sofia and Santiago transferred the presents to the floor beneath the little fake tree, and came out, saying only 2 minutes left.
Just as they came out, all of a sudden there were TONS of fireworks (it was midnight). It was kind of like a mini-fourth of July, with everyone setting off their own little fireworks. Most of them were just noise makers, but some were INCREDIBLY loud (the only one to get scared, however, was the cat). The kids were occupied for a short time with their own little poppers, but not for long; they basically knew when all the fireworks started it was midnight anyway.
When we finally said gave the ok, they all took off inside, opened their presents, brought out everything for anyone who was still waiting outside, just like any other small child, the difference being it was at 12:30am, and not at least 7am (as the rule always was in my family, no earlier, as mommy and daddy needed their sleep). The other difference is gifts aren’t exchanged between people; the grown ups buy one or two gifts for everyone (more for the youngest), and label everything from “Papa Noel,” so I didn’t have to worry about getting something for everyone. My gift from “Papa Noel” was a long red tank top, something I could use going out and stuff; red, for some reason, is the “in” color for going out; if you go to a club or party, there will be at least 1 in every 4 people in a red, or red and white shirt, it’s pretty funny. So now I can be one of those people too, haha. >: )> That was about it… around 1:30am Sebastian and his family left, followed shortly by Christian’s family, and I finally got to sleep around 2am. So that was Christmas, well at any rate I thought that was it. Apparently it wasn’t quite over…
Christmas day, I got up around noon, had matte with my host parents, and found out we had so much of the picado, salads, and desert stuff left over, they’d decided to have another asado!! :S Christian, Luli, and their kids all came over again, around 1pm, and the WHOLE thing started over again. Luckily this time, being the daytime, there was a bit more to do then just eat and listen to the fireworks- Luciano had been given a soccer ball, which he’d brought, and I played with him and Santiago for a long time, which was fun, as it’s been forever since I’ve played, and those two boys crack me up. We were interrupted when my family called from the States, though I was rather grateful as I was getting tired- it was INCREDIBLY hot and humid :P The entire time I was talking on the phone however, Luciano kept peaking in to see if I was still talking, then running away when he saw me looking at him, then returning a few minutes later, etc haha he’s a goof.
Then, we all went over to the gated community where Christian and all have bought a plot, and are building a house- it’s almost done. There, Maria Luz and Martina claimed me, saying I had to play with them now, cuz I’d been with Martina’s brothers all morning, and we went off to the swingset for a while, before meeting Sofia, Santiago, and Luciano in the soccer field, where they were playing. It would’ve been a lot more fun if Maria Luz and Martina didn’t get incredibly mad every time the ball hit them, as if whoever’d kicked it had done it on purpose, and there weren’t so many bloody mosquitos. God I hate mosquitos THEY DO NOT HAVE A REASON TO EXISTTTTT. Grr. I have so many bites it’s not even funny. And because the gated community has a man-made lake in it, they’re even worse there. When we got home, no one could eat any more, and the rest of the day was a quiet one. So that was my Christmas! I’ll get back to you about how new year’s goes : )

This month with friends has been pretty quiet, I didn’t go to any parties till 6am or anything, mainly because I was trying to keep things really quiet with the family, but also because the one party I was going to ask to go to, at the house of a cousin of a friend of mine, was cancelled when the kid got hit by a car and was killed. That’s not to say I haven’t been hanging out with friends and such, a couple times I went to a couple different friends’ houses to help them study for the English tests, that was fun, cuz we obviously didn’t study the entire time, and it was a way to get closer to some other people.
I’ve read a couple exchange student forums online, and a lot of people complain about not having been able to make any good friends, which I guess just because of how amazingly friendly the Argentineans are, I haven’t had any problem with… they always tell me when a group is getting together to do something, though I can’t always go, and if I say I’m bored there’s always someone who’ll say come over to my house! We’ve also gotten together a few times to just have dinner at someone’s house, we all brought 3 pesos, 2 guys went out and bought the food, then we made dinner, then after watched a movie, that was really fun.
As I said, now that school’s out I don’t see all my friends, but there haven’t been many days when I wasn’t able to do anything, except the few days when I found myself without any sort of money or way to get money, as in late November I decided to be really special and loose my debit card, so I had no way to get cash. I turned in all my bus tickets, which amounted to over 30 pesos, so that kept me going for a while, and I also borrowed some money from my host mom, but there were a couple days when I literally couldn’t do anything but go to my friends’ houses who I could walk to, or my councilors’ if I wanted to use the internet.
As for extra curricular stuff, I’m still riding, and that’s fun… I was supposed to teach for January, and in return have a free lease on a horse, but first the horse had to take the month off, then they’re not sure yet whether or not they have enough little kids that they actually need me to teach, but they said that either way, I can come any day I want to, and we’ll work out when they aren’t using the school horses, or my riding teacher’s horse, so I can still ride whenever and I don’t have to pay more; the difference is just that if I’m teaching, I don’t have to pay, but we’ll see.
I’ve also kept up with my voice lessons, they’re fun, and those can continue through January, and the teacher said that if I want to take lessons in February as well, though the institue is closed I could take lessons at his house or something, so we’ll see, and I also finally found a French teacher, so I can take private French lessons twice a week, and hopefully keep up with all you guys at home, though now I’m not sure with Arseneau leaving and all… oh well.
Well, that’s about where my life is right now… the only other thing to add is that AFS has decided to give us percussion lessons, as they don’t want us to be bored in the summer, we’re going to take them with this street percussion group that also has a school, where there’re a lot of kids from a lot of different backgrounds, and then AFS is going to make a documentary of it, so that will be cool. A couple weekends ago we went and saw them perform, and met the guy who started it all… it looks like lots of fun to do, though actually watching it wasn’t all that fun haha. Afterwards, as one of the girls from Iceland was leaving Argentina to go live with her boyfriend in Chile, we went out to dinner afterwards. She wanted to go out to sushi, so we went to a sushi restaurant, and I ordered the only thing on the menu that wasn’t sushi, but it was fun nonetheless. Oh, and before that we went to Buenos Aires’s Chinatown, that was pretty fun : )> Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me to take pictures :/ oh well. But yea… haha this was a bit shorter than the others, just a little but hey… 6 and a third instead of 10 or 11 hahaha… yea, I’m special : )> well, miss everyone, hope you all have a great new year, love ya!!! xoxoxoxo don’t forget to write me!!! and check out the pictures from Christmas!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

... sorry... kinda forgot/never really got around to posting for a bit there.. haha :S forgive me!

… Ok… so it’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve posted… sorry!!! School is my excuse… so I’ll talk about that first… but first, i added a bunch of pix to but then ran out of space so i made another site which is check them all out!!

It’s the end of the school year here, and we have had SO MANY TESTS you’ve no idea. GOD. Luckily this coming week is the last week I’ve got tests, and as the only test tomorrow is tech, which I talked to my mom and told her I was going to fail, as I am, as I’m not going to study as it’s the DUMBEST class and SO BORING and I don’t understand computers in English, much less Spanish. And I don’t know why I’m in that class. I had tech in middle school IT’S OVER.
But the other tests, I’ve all passed… well the history one was hard cuz it was writing three essays about Peron and this, Peron and that, and Peron and that, so it was like… I knew the material but it was hard to write three essays in a rather short period of time (about an hour) and without the computer to tell me when I’ve made the dumbest mistakes… she graded it as a 6+ (a 7 is a passing grade), but put down a 7… means that, as far as the report card is concerned, I passed (that test... the final is this week), but I talked with her and researched/wrote a small essay on the war over the Falcon/Malvinas Islands, to improve the grade, so she’s correcting that now :S haha.
In Lengua, still don’t know the outcome of the final that I took… all that fuss about reading Don Quixote, going over to my friends and having her explain most of the first part, then the teacher told me if I needed grades to read these three short stories and my test would be on them :P So we’ll see. One of the stories was a Brothers Grimm tale, the other some weird Arab tale, and the third a Borges story, which was my favorite : ) (as it was the only interesting one).
Anyways… other classes… I got a NINE on the physics test!!!! That was pretty cool. And it was the exact same test as the class took! :D It was pretty easy cuz it was just the theory of electromagnetism and aerodynamics and such… Then, I just found out I got a NINE as well on the second chem. test, that was the exact same as the one all my class took as well!!! I couldn’t believe that. The physics test, perhaps, as it’s not a difficult class, but chem… that was pretty cool : ) the teachers have all mostly stopped giving me my own tests, except for the finals, so that’s… well I suppose it’s good. Just means they’re harder hahaaa… however I’ve only had the Lengua final so far… still to come are the history and chem. final… :S
It’s weird, you don’t have finals in every class unless you fail a class; then you have to take the final to try in pass, otherwise it’s summer school for you. But each year they have finals in some of the classes, I don’t really understand, but I don’t mind as it means I’ve got three and not seven. Well there is an English final but I don’t have to take it haha. The other test I had was another in geography, which I got an 8 on, so that was cool : ) Yea.
So any teachers who happen to read this, I do try in the interesting classes. But the tech teacher is the biggest idiot on the planet, ask anyone (including my host mom who went to school with him haha) and they'll agree XP. But I’m doing pretty well in my other classes. There’ve just been sooo many tests we’ve all been swamped. Remember how the other post said five tests between that week and the coming one? Well it’s been like that since.
At least two if not three tests a week, and when there aren’t tests there’re “trabajo practices,” especially for history and geography, plus reading Don Quixote for Lengua… it wasn’t AS hard as I thought, but my average was 8 pages an hour… I didn’t always understand everything but I ended up not really caring, bad me… however I did get some of the humor, and the general plot : ) So oh well.
The only other thing that’s happened with school is I’ve been put in the Seniors’ end of year performance/assembly-thing, I’m going to sing a song with two other girls, called Nada Es Para Siempre, then back-up some other guy who’s singing a song that part needs to have a girl’s voice and I’m the only one who can get high enough (it doesn’t go that high, but the other two girls are altos) easily to sing it, so that’s fun… also it gets me out of classes a couple times a week to practice >: )> haha. I’m special. Lol :D
That’s basically where I am with school… after this week, I’m not even sure I have to go to school, but I think I do because we’re putting on a play in Lengua now that we’ve taken the final. It’s a comedy, and I’m actually acting with the kids in the other Segundo (it’s a parody of a year… each class – both Segundos and both Terceros – are a season, and with Segundo B (with whom I’ve chem. and phys.) we’re fall). Not everyone acts, but it’s pretty silly… Segundo A is summer, and the big event is that Shakira is coming, so it ends with one girl singing Hips Don’t Lie, but they needed a guy to sing the guy’s part, so one girl’s brother who, apparently, raps at home, was recruited, and I’m supposed to teach him the rhythm and pronunciation of the rap parts… cuz I’m such a rapper and all… haha we’ll see how that goes XP it’d be a lot easier if his girlfriend wasn’t in the class and wasn’t INCREDIBLY jealous (she hates the Belgian girl cuz she thinks she wants to steal her boyfriend. Please. Aside from the fact the Belgian girl doesn’t even like the guy, it’s a bit silly).
Anywhooo we’ll see how well Ada does as a rap teacher to an Argentinean. I’m thinking the result will be… amusing at least… interesting, we may say >: )>
EDIT: So yea I wrote this Sunday, then today (Monday) when I was supposed to have that stupid tech test, I got out of it by my host mom saying, as we’re all just rather worn out from the not-easiest week ever, we just kind of didn’t go to school hahaaaa. So that was nice, I slept in till noon, then after lunch we drove into the capital to get the package from my parents/Arthur, and since we’ve all been listening to all the CDs! :D Thanks, guys! You’ve no idea how sick I’ve gotten of the maybe 30 songs my sisters have on their computer and the three CDs Meri likes that we hear NON STOP. Haha I hate listening to the same bloody music over and over!! The only other thing to edit, is the pix I’ve also got pix of Meri’s and Sofia’s roller skating dance performances… like figure skating, only on roller skates, which was both Saturday and Sunday night, though the pix are from Sunday, and are mainly the reason we didn’t go to school today… even though I’m posting this tomorrow cuz I don’t have time today. Ok now even I’m confused time-wise. But then again I always am. I wrote August the other day trying to write the date. NOVEMBER SHOULDN’T BE HOT. Haha I’m special. Ok, end edit : )>
Double Edit: So I didn’t get to post this Tuesday cuz there was the end of year gym party thing… anyway apparently it meant that afterwards, the seniors all threw eggs, flour, polenta, dirty water they’d scooped up from the street gutters, mud, etc at everyone… so after school, before I could go to a cyber, my wonderful friend chased me till he caught me and cracked an egg on my head yelling WELCOME TO MY COUNTRY!!! Then my other friend dumped flour on me lol XP So then I was waiting with them and someone else dumped polenta on me but by that time I didn’t even try to run away, I obviously couldn’t go to a cyber like that, so I just went to my friend’s house (the one who’d dumped the flour), and we rode home on the bus free, cuz we were both so disgusting, the bus driver recognized the custom of seniors at the end of the year, and thought we were both seniors. So that was… interesting lol. I’ve never had an egg cracked on my head before haha. There are some odd customs here… they do this to you when it’s your birthday as well… hm… I prefer water balloons. Made with clean water. Lol so that’s my next excuse!

WELL. Been an… interesting month… definitely WAY harder than the first two. No, not all of it… it’s really just the past week and a half. Before that it was pretty much the same as before… so we’ll separate it. There’s an event in the middle that marks when it was easy, and when it wasn’t. Not the kind of event I’d like to have cause problems. And in a normal family it wouldn’t. But mine’s a bit… odd. SIGH. So, before.
Las Termas, Entre Rios
The weekend of October 20th we went on another mini trip, to a place in the province called Entre Rios (being between two rivers), where there were natural hot water springs, that the place had built pools over, so like giant hot tubs. It would be an amazing place to go in winter, when it’s cold. But when it’s 90+ degrees in the sun… you just don’t really feel like going into a hot tub. But there was nothing else to do. So it was a lovely place, very pretty, and I’ve got some pix (as well as pix from Mar del Plata, which I never did get around to posting, and some pix of the extended family on my host mom’s side when they all came over for an asado one Sunday, so check those out).
But. Maria Paz didn’t come as she was on the class trip to Cordoba for a week (another province), so it was basically just me and Sofia… we were SO BORED haha. We got there Friday around 3pm, and were there until 11pm, as we didn’t actually have a place to stay; the day before as usual, the car had broken as usual, and my host mom hadn’t made any reservations. Hmm. In a tourist place, not sure that was the smartest thing. Actually it wasn’t.
But that was later… all day we were in and out of the pools, the hottest one was where Sofi and I spent the most time, because Meri couldn’t come. She’s a sweet kid… sometimes… but… gets SO ANNOYING other times. And for me, the pools that were just kind of warm, not hot were the worst. Cuz they weren’t refreshingly cool or relaxingly hot. Just… warm. So there was a nice hot one, indoors as well so there wasn’t blaring sun, that had water jets, and Sofi and I hung out there mostly. Finally it was nine o’clock which meant the sun went down which meant it wasn’t as hot, and so with a bit more energy I was able to amuse Meri for a while (Maria Luz, the youngest… not sure why, but her nickname’s Meri Li, or Meri… there’s a story but I forget).
Anywho, apparently the water jets are called “chorros,” well, “chorros de agua,” but a “chorro” is also a name for a thief. So when Meri tried to drag me away from my hot water jet and I asked what it was called, she said chorro, then started to explain that it was also someone who robs you. Well I missed the “also” part, so I heard that the chorro was going to rob me, and got REALLY confused. Then, realizing the word difference, I jokingly told Meri to save me before the water jet robbed me… that amused her for a while. Still amuses her. The unfortunate thing about little kids is when a joke amuses them, they will tell it OVER AND OVER AND OVER for WEEKS. Oh well lol. Anyways, it was finally 11pm, time to leave, still there weren’t any spaces open (we’d been hoping someone wouldn’t turn up, but no), so we all went to shower and change, as the water is salt water.
So I was done before the others, and really bored… my host dad had to wait to all us girls were done so he could use the shampoo, so he was outside waiting, and waiting with him we saw some guys playing soccer, and I absentmindedly said I wanted to play, then just then (way randomly) they kicked the ball over by us and my host dad calls out HEY SHE WANTS TO PLAY WITH YOU! Maybe I wanted to die? Haha it was pretty funny, the guys couldn’t really say no lol, and but it was fun though. After a bit when it was clear that, maybe I’m not THAT good and I can’t aim to save my life, I at least do know how to play, but here, girls don’t really play soccer… like, there’re girls teams but the general reputation of girls who play soccer are… as my host mom described it, more men than women haha XP Same goes for polo… so much for learning polo… lol o well.
Anyways, they asked, quite surprised, if I played, and I said I played “there” but I couldn’t play here, assuming they’d know from my accent where “there” was… well they heard the accent but – and I’ve NO CLUE how, asked if I was from Spain. Huh?!? I definitely don’t have a Spanish accent… American but… haha I thought that was pretty funny. I suppose it’s better than American, and it was probably that they just could hear I wasn’t Argentinean, and figured as I played soccer I wasn’t from South America, and I guess my Yankee accent isn’t THAT obvious… perhaps… or whatev. It was fun though, but unfortunately they weren’t gonna be there the next day, as they lived in the area and had just come for the evening :( Oh well haha.
So we finally did leave, at like 11:30, and drove into the small town called Villa Elisa, where the place was. I think we drove to every single hotel in the place, and the last one we went to FINALLY had room. But didn’t take a credit card. No place in the town, with the exception of Las Termas (the hot water place) took credit cards. But for some reason we couldn’t eat first (there were restaurants that took credit cards), and THEN go to the city about 40 minutes away to sleep. No we had to go to the city first. And drive around forever again to find a place, which we EVENTUALLY did. So now we had somewhere to sleep. Now just to eat. There was a main street that had most of the restaurants on it, but instead of just going to the first one, it being 1:00 in the morning, my host dad insisted on driving up and down it like three times before he FINALLY stopped at the first place we’d thought about. Meri and Sofia were asleep… I finally asked why we didn’t stop, and laughing, my host dad pulled over… I was a bit too sleepy to understand the joke, but whatever.
Anyways dinner brought another one; there was a headpiece for cows to pull plows or something hanging up, and my host dad asked the waitress what it was. Thinking about cows, I absentmindedly asked how to say bull (well, how to say the male cows). Still being in his “funny” mood, my host dad replied “baco.” For anyone who knows any Spanish, that word does not exist, and upon hearing it, the entire family started laughing hysterically (yea they’re a bit like that). So I obviously knew the word was NOT baco. My host mom then replied “torro” which I swear I knew, just had forgotten. However, my host parents (and everyone my host dad tells the joke to, which would be everyone we meet and everyone we know who hasn’t already heard it), still ask me how the “baco” is doing, and get a LARGE laugh out of it lol. My host family is building up a whole stream of jokes… Meri continues to find it absolutely HILARIOUS when I say “mierda” (shit) not sure why (and nor is anyone else… nobody understands what goes on inside that little brain of hers haha). So yea… that was the first day.
The second, we drove first to some other place across from the river that separates Argentina from Uruguay, so I saw Uruguay (yay…) lol then we drove BACK to the first place… didn’t really understand why, but as I’ve said before, this family does like to drive haha. The second day was basically the same, and the night as well, though I did meet one guy who I made friends with and have actually sort of kept in touch with, so that was cool. It was a relaxing trip, but we all came back tomatoes, as this family isn’t big on the whole sunscreen thing, but even though I had put on some, being in the hot sun all day with only about SPF 15 doesn’t help much. Oh well, it tanned out in a couple days, and only one spot started to peel, and not badly… Meri got the most burnt, but Sofia, after like 2 days, started peeling like crazy it was disgusting. Ok that’s enough about that haha. So yea, that was the trip… I’m not sure we’ll go on any trips like that or Mar del Plata in the summer because my host dad doesn’t have more vacation time… For some reason, his was in October, but whatev, my councilor told me the originally planned November trip to Uruguay will now be in January, so that should be fun : )
So that was the only big thing about my family there is to tell… what’s rather been pretty annoying for me is that, obviously, my sisters use my stuff. That’s not a problem. But my stuff includes my computer, which I’d not have a problem if they used it, but somehow they keep DELETING stuff and changing names and crap. I mean it’s got to be them cuz I know my host parents would never do anything like this, and I think it’s Sofia, because she gets really jealous sometimes… Still. The other thing is like, one day I couldn’t find ANY of my pens, so I started looking in the pencil cases of Maria and Sofia, as well as the backpacks, and I found not only most of my pens, as well as my tweezers, a bracelet of mine I thought I’d lost that had been given to me by my neighbor… I had NO idea they’d taken that stuff and it wouldn’t bother me at all if they’d ask, or if they’d RETURN THINGS. It gets really frustrating. I’m missing all my pens again, but I haven’t been able to find a time when the room is securely empty enough for me to search for them. SIGH.
A couple weeks ago I had a really long talk with my host mom mostly about my host sisters, and mostly about the older two, and their relationship with me… With Meri, obviously, everything is peachy keen, cuz I mean, she’s only 7 years old. If I can’t have a good relationship with my baby sister something’s wrong with me, there’s no reason not to get along with her, even if she is incredibly spoiled sometimes XP The only problem with her is that as I generally like little children, and she’s easily amused, I do stuff with her, and one day, apparently (I wasn’t there), she yelled at Sofia “ADA PLAYS WITH ME MORE THAN YOU DO, I HATE YOU SOFI!” Ooops. That didn’t really help my relationship with Sofia… So what came out about her is that some days she’s INCREDIBLY jealous of me, and other days, perfect (those are the days when we’ll play cards or something FOREVER… I think I’ve taught her every card game two people can play that I know, as well as Solitaire). But she’s just a jealous kid; she gets incredibly jealous of Maria Paz as well, and of everything. If my host parents buy something for Maria, they’d better have bought something for Sofia, or else. Then also with Meri, as I’m her “American sister” she shows me off to everyone, but if she went up and was like “Sofi’s my sister!” people would just kind of be like… ok… great… but cuz I’m the exchange kid, it’s really cool. And I understand that, but what Sofia has to understand is, she’s 13. She’s just kind of got to grow up a bit. Meri’s a little kid, Sofia isn’t.
Then with Maria, who I find INCREDIBLY hard to talk to, my host mom told me that she was jealous the first two weeks and that now (or so she says) she just sees me as an older sister. Maria likes to be the center of attention, so she was afraid she’d never be the center of attention again. Then my host mom told me that Maria’s said she’d like to be closer to me, but she’s afraid to talk to me sometimes cuz I seem so “serious” at home. I dunno. I generally don’t see myself as a serious person, but I guess she’s coming from the direction that when she’s still laughing 15 minutes later about something someone said (usually something she said), and I’ve stopped after maybe 2 minutes, I guess that could come off as serious, I dunno. But it’s a little hard for me to believe she’s THAT scared that when I try to talk with her, it’s SO incredibly hard for me to talk to her. The other day I said “hey it’s been a while since we’ve done anything together, we should go out for an ice cream one day.” She replies “what day is today?” and when I answered, walked away. And I don’t know what to do about that, it’s weird. I’m determined we’re gonna go though, and I’ve got her to tell me SOME things just by downright asking them, but it’s sooooo hard!! I don’t get itttttt :P
So that’s the first part. Then what happened was I went to the house of one of the exchange students who lives in the capital, and she had most of the exchangers over, as well as some friends from school, as well as a friend of her brother’s. Well. This friend of her brother’s happened to be a friend from basketball, and he happened to ask me out by the end of the night : ) So that’s all well and awesome, and I told my host mom, who thought it was fine, pretty cool… she asked me first accusingly if I’d fallen in love, then before I could reply NO (which I did afterwards), she was like “anyways it’s better, then you’ll come and live here forever” haha :D that was funny. Anyway first she told me not to tell my host dad, as she was afraid he’d get really mad. So I wasn’t sure what to do… like it’s stupid my host dad thinks I’m too young to have a boyfriend. He’ll give me Piña Coladas and more when we have asados, he’s told me it wouldn’t bother him if I smoked (I made it VERY clear that will never happen), but I can’t have a boyfriend. I’m not really sure from where he’s getting these priorities… what my councilor thought was that he was just jealous, but he’s got to learn cuz his daughters, very soon, are going to want to have boyfriends, and as my host mom told me, she’s scared that if he can’t deal with ME having a boyfriend, can’t deal with having an idea of what’s going on with me and guys (which, as everyone who knows me, knows is rarely much hahaaa but rest in peace it’s a bit more now lol) anyways, his daughters are never going to tell him anything, and I can say that it’s true; there’s stuff Paz has told me that I KNOW neither of her parents know. And I’m not gonna say anything, it’s not my place, but still… it’s a bit weird. SIGH. So that was the first thing.
But what happened with all that that made me so upset was, so I went out with the guy, and my host mom told me that she’d told my host dad, as she didn’t like keeping secrets; that’s great, I don’t either. But afterwards, she sends me a text message: do you guys want to come back for matte, so we can meet him? Uhhhhhhhh. Hm. There wasn’t really a way we could say NO, but GOD it was so awkward!!! Haha it’s like… yea… sure… we’ll be right there… so yea, and it wasn’t that bad, and my host dad seemed in a perfectly good mood. The next day I asked him what he thought, and he tells me “well, he seems like a nice boy but I just don’t like it. I’m not mad at you- don’t be mad at me, but I don’t like it.” I figured, well that’s not great but I can deal with that, we can talk about it or something. However. The day after THAT, though, he was sooo mad! At me, and at my host mom as well!! And that I just didn’t understand. To me, it felt like he’d lied to me, telling me he wasn’t mad, then getting SO MAD. And it’s such a stupid thing to get so mad about!!! Then the other part was, he couldn’t tell me when he was mad about something I did, or didn’t like it. So my point is then HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CHANGE IT IF I DON’T KNOW YOU DON’T LIKE IT?? What am I supposed to do if you don’t tell me when you don’t like things? And maybe I’m not going to change them if they’re really silly, but we can at least talk about them, and hopefully after that, we can come to some understanding. Cuz at some point, you’re gonna have to accept that there’re some things you just can’t control. We’re not THAT young!! SIGH. O well. That was the problem with the host dad, it’s rather cooled down, just as I don’t actually think he’s known when I’ve seen the guy again, cuz we haven’t done anything at night, and we’re usually with other kids AND it’s hard to see him much cuz he lives in the capital. So yea (and if anyone’s curious, the guy’s name is Juan haha ; )
Then with my host mom, for some reason the past week was REALLY difficult. First, they all sent me into the capital by myself one evening, so I had to come home; I had school the next day! So what does she expect me to do, take a taxi back? That’s INCREDIBLY expensive. I’m gonna take the bus home. So the bus is going to take a while. So if I arrive home at 10:30pm it’s not my fault! So she wasn’t MAD about that, well at least she didn’t get mad at me, but she said she worried a lot. Well as usual, I didn’t have credit on my cell. And if I’ve told her once I’ve told her a thousand times if I don’t have credit and you want to know where I am CALL ME. But she doesn’t call, and just worries! As I think I’ve said, she’s always on medication, so that makes her a bit… off sometimes, but it also makes her worry a lot more, like paranoid. Then the next night, I went with friends to a girl’s house for her birthday, and I told my host mom to call me around 8:30 to see if she could pick me up in Pacheco so I didn’t have to ride the bus home, but she never called. So I’m not gonna spend the night in Pacheco! So I took the bus home, and I took it WITH MY FRIENDS WHO LIVE CLOSE, so I wasn’t alone, and she got mad this time! I’d told her to call me and she hadn’t; what’s she expect me to do? I asked her this, and she told me to take a Remis. So now we come to another problem: transportational money. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to pay for it. But I’ve been paying for it. So I’m not going to take Remises cuz I usually don’t have enough cash to pay for them; from Pacheco home is like 10 pesos! So I’ve got to talk with my coucilor about that, to see if she can talk to the family, cuz if they can’t afford it, that’s one thing, but then they’ve got to get over their paranoia about busses after dark. My councilor said no busses after midnight, whatev, but when it’s just dark, I don’t want to take them alone no more than they don’t want me to, so I dunno. BLAH.
Then the next day got even worseeee. Here arise my biggest problems: there’s a lot of times when I feel like what they’d do for their daughters isn’t what they’re doing for me; I’m getting SICK of always being late for my riding lessons; we’re always at least half an hour late. My host mom always told me it was too dangerous to take a bus, so she had to take me, just like she takes my host sisters everywhere, and we’re NEVER late for their stuff. But for some reason, she doesn’t seem to get it’s a class, and I’ve tried to explain, but we’re ALWAYS late!!
Then my voice lesson. So this day was Thursday, and I came home for lunch, and I didn’t have coins for the bus (you need coins; the machines don’t take bills), and the kiosk near our house was closed. So naturally, being the family, they should take me. I had gym at 2, but my host mom was just like “I don’t have coins either, but I’m not going into Pacheco now. And anyways nothing will happen if you don’t go to gym, right?” Well I hope not, cuz I didn’t go. But I told her “I’ve still got my voice lesson at 4, ok?” And she said that was fine. So at 3:15, I still don’t have coins to ride the bus. And I asked if she could take me in half an hour to Pacheco? But then she tells me again, she’s not going into Pacheco until 5pm when Sofia has English; I can’t just change my voice lesson time!!!!!!!!! And she goes to sleep! With the door locked!
My host sisters are just sitting at the table each doing their own things, NO ONE is talking, I was at a COMPLETE loss; I asked them what I should do if she’s asleep and no one answered, so fed up I just said I was going over to ask the neighbors if they had coins, then I’d go to my voice lesson, see ya guys. So I went, and my neighbor unfortunately didn’t, but at least she like searched the house (her husband and son weren’t home, and she doesn’t usually go places without them so she rarely has change). So we started talking; she’s incredibly nice and I talk a lot with her, especially about my family cuz she’s good friends with my host mom, and so when my family’s just being a bit too crazy, it’s nice to talk to someone who knows, and who can at least sympathize, and who lives really close. So we were talking till her husband got home, and then they had to go get their daughter from school, so I walked back to my house. MY HOST MOM FLIPPED OUT. She was like this past hour I thought you were in Pacheco!! And then she goes off on a RAVING RANT about me, how I don’t respect her, how it’s like she doesn’t exist; I asked my host sister why she was so mad, and my Sofia told me it was because she didn’t like that I’d asked the neighbors for coins, cuz they’re not family, and that she’d told my councilor this. Well, NO ONE TOLD ME. There’s a lot of crap it seems no one EVER tells me!!! And I just don’t understand how I’m supposed to not do things, or do things, if no one tells me!! Well I went to my room and started crying, then they ALL left. I was completely alone in the house, couldn’t call anyone cuz as usual I didn’t have credit on my cell phone, cuz it was all used up talking with my host mom trying to tell her where I was enough to keep her happy, we don’t HAVE a home line, there’s no internet, and I couldn’t leave the house cuz I didn’t have a key. So I was completely alone for 3 hours. Worst three hours of my lifeeee. Then they all finally returned COMPLETELY happy. My host mom had talked to my councilor and god knows what my councilor told her but it’s all well and good my host mom’s happy but I’m still there going WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??????? ONE MINUTE YOU’RE SCREAMING ABOUT ME THEN YOU COME HOME AND EVERYTHING IS PEACHY PERFECT- WHAT IS GOING ON??
I don’t know how much more I can take if she’s always like this. It’s like they’re false sometimes, or I don’t know what. I don’t want to switch families cuz MOST days it’s good, everything (I THINK) is ok, maybe they just never ever tell me, and it’s only now I can kind of understand enough to see more of it, or I don’t know what. But I dunno what to do. Like today was fine, and yesterday, cuz I didn’t go anywhere with my friends or anything but… I dunno. I think my host parents need to talk to my friends’ parents or something, to see what my friends are like cuz they obviously have no idea that 14 year olds are very different from 16 year olds, especially 14 year olds who don’t tell you anything that isn’t stuff, I dunno, 12 year olds would do. It was NOT a very happy week. Thursday (which also happened to be Thanksgiving) did not find me a very happy camper. Saturday either, when I was 40 minutes late coming home from riding; again, I HAD my cell, but no credit; she’s got to call me!!! And if for some reason I don’t pick up, she should call my riding teacher, she’s got her number as well! When I got home, she’s all like “What’s your explanation this time, eh? What’s your explanation this time?” Well apparently it was good enough cuz five minutes later everything was peachy perfect again. I realllllllllllllly don’t understand this family sometimes. My neighbor told me her daughter (who’s 7) had asked her why I didn’t live with them. Me: Please? You guys are more sane!!! BLAHHH.
Well that’s my host family right now… DIFFICULT. That was more a rant guys, sorry… I just feel like complaining in English, cuz I can complain in Spanish, but not as much. So unfortunately for my friends who speak English, you get to hear more than my Spanish speaking friends!! Haha XP I’m ok… and like, I don’t want to switch families, I just feel like it’s too late, they’ve become too much like a family for me, and honestly if I was gonna change, I’d want to live with my neighbors, but that would be WAY to awkward, as we’re always together. But my neighbor told me whenever they were being insufferable (as well as all my friends, especially those who live close, as well as my riding teacher) all told me to come and just hang out with them. I definitely have the best friends here, they’re SOO nice : ) So that’ll take me to friends!

I’ve FINALLY started getting closer with my friends here; like it’s more that I can be friends back, it’s not just them being my friends, I can be their’s. I’m still kind of friends with the entire school, but there’re a couple groups of kids I’m close with, as well as a couple kids I’m closest with. It’s funny though, this past week when all the crap was going on with my host family, I still think the whole school probably knows, just for the complete variety of the kids who I happened to be talking to when stuff came up… most of the school kind of knows that Paz is a bit of a bitch to people who aren’t in her group of friends (there’s like 6 of them, the “Verris”) and she’s not a bitch to me, but it’s nice to know it’s not just me that have a hard time getting on with her. Anyways, with them, we haven’t gone out dancing but for the one time, or been to a thousand parties, just cuz we’ve all got soo frickin’ many tests… I was talking with my friend the other day and he’s like just wait, in the summer you’ll see, we’re lots of fun, we go out every day, you’re gonna have so much fun!! And I mean, obviously I won’t go out every day, but still, I can’t wait for summer!! :D I’ll be sure to think of you guys all in school while I’m hanging around the pool with my friends or something >: )>
The other thing that’s not so much with friends, but is pretty cool, is that in January, both the riding teachers for the little kids are going away all month, so my riding teacher asked me if I’d be willing to teach them!! It’s just three days a week, but in return, I basically get a free lease on a horse all summer, so I can come whenever I want, and there’ll always be a horse “all mine” that I can ride, which is AWESOME, I’m really excited about that. Haha for me it’s better than getting paid : )> The other thing with riding- remember how I said my host mom’d always told me it was too dangerous for me to go by bus? Well Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), she told me to go by bus, and return by bus as well!! That didn’t make my riding teacher very happy, and when I came Saturday as well, just cuz I didn’t have anything else to do, she insisted on taking me home… for her, one of the things she really doesn’t like about my host family is how they have me riding the bus alone a lot… it doesn’t really bother me, just the having to pay for it all the time, cuz it’s usually more than 1 peso, as from Pacheco to my house is 1.25, so it adds up to a lot… but that’s something we’ll work on. Hahaaaa she called my host mom the Spanish version of a dumb blond the other day, that was nice to hear after a not so very easy day >: )> My family’s definitely difficult, and so it’s just nice to know that it’s not just me having a hard time with them; everyone pretty much kind of knows they’re a bit off. They do all love each other a lot, I know that, and for my host parents especially, I know that I am like a daughter to them, as well as for all my host mom’s family… that’s really the reason I can’t switch. Blah. It’s just hard some days. Oh welllll thank god for friends, and riding. But next week I better get to my voice lesson. Lol XP Aight guys, again I guess this post was more of a rant, first about school and all the damn tests, then about my host family, sorry!!!!! And a really long one too. But it’s hard to rant as much as I want to in Spanish. So as I said before, unfortunately you guys get the worst of it haha. Don’t worry about me though, I really am ok : ) It’s just funny, whenever I talk about this stuff with my friends or neighbors or whatever, they usually make me feel like … why are you still with that family??? They’re crazy!! And when I talk with AFS people, like my councilor or even with my temporary family (I went to visit them the other weekend, that was really nice, cept the fact that I had a temperature of 102.4 when I went… kind of missed that… cuz my family didn’t have a thermometer, and school ended up being closed – after we got up and drove there – cuz the mayor of Tigre (Pacheco is in the.. basically county of Tigre, and it’s not the mayor but I don’t really know how it translates. Mayor was the closest job I could think of haha) anyway he died, so it was a quiet day, and my riding lesson made me stop shivering, being exercise, but yea… when we finally took my temp with the Medici’s they wanted to take me to the doctors and all… I just wanted to go to sleep with two Advil, and the fever broke at like 3am so it was fine… haha yea)… yea anyways sorry about that, forgot to mention it earlier, anyway, they all make it seem like nothing’s really that big of a deal. So I’m kind of stuck in the middle. Am I crazy for staying with this family? Or not? With how they treated me Thursday, I was pretty sure I was insane. But even after they came back all bipolared and happy, cuz they stayed like that the following days it didn’t seem that bad at that moment… so I dunno. Oh well, talk to ya all later!! Hope everyone had an AWESOME turkey day!!! Miss you all, love you!! Xoxoxoxoxo and I promise to write again sooner, cuz there’s just the one more week of tests, and then I’m basically out for summer!! And like always, send me more emails, leave comments, I PROMISE I will respond to emails within two or three days, and keep that up! And check out the pix, links at the top, talk to y'all later!!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

holaaaa otra vez!

Hello everyone! Well, I know it’s been three weeks, but I’ve decided that a post a week is 1) too time consuming, and 2) not enough changes to make a post a week really necessary; if you want to know every little detail about my life here, well… sorry. So I don’t know, but I think every two or three weeks is a good time… I write every day in my journal, but I’m not going to write about my every day here on two places, and without internet at the house, and being rather more private, I do prefer my journal… As of now though I’m rather in a pickle for a new one, as I’ve already filled the first… I finished it the day after the last post, so since then I’ve been writing on pieces of paper and sticking them in the back of the journal: to give you an idea of how much I’ve written, I’ve got 26 double sided pieces of paper in the back (52 pages over three weeks)… it’s a lot, to say the least. : )> I’ll separate it into parts again, like last time, as it’s easiest to write about, and that way for anyone who really doesn’t care about the place I’m riding, they won’t have to read that part and can easily skip over it (it’s important for me but I know there’s many people who probably couldn’t care less lol).


So what has happened in school… first, was that I turned in my “trabajo practico” for history, the 2 pages on the movie I wrote about in the other post… turned out, wasn’t really such a big deal; I swear the entire class did it the first 15 minutes of class, and the only one the teacher collected was mine, as it was the only one ready at the start of class. She read over it, and told me she loved it, that it was perfect, and so I was really happy. Then she said she’d read it aloud to the class. And I was not happy. More like mortified. But there was nothing I could do, and she did read it… oh well. My friends all said it was really good, but I could tell there were places that my wording didn’t make much sense, and I guess I just didn’t want her to read it because it was serious stuff, such as which we thought was a more dire situation, that of the poor in the country or city, difficult questions in English, and so in Spanish I’m still not able to express myself as well, but whatever, it was fine.
The other event was that I was informed that Carly (the Canadian) had switched schools as she’d switched families (she’d been having a lot of problems with her family, and one afternoon right before I left her host dad asked me to tell her that when they got home she was to pack all her stuff as she was switching families, and then a few days later she switched schools as well.
That’s all well and good, as now I’m always with Argentineans, without the option of speaking English (as with Carly I was apt to do, as she’d get bored not understanding any of the Spanish, and so start talking in English to me, and then I couldn’t take part in the Spanish convo, so we ended up with all the people but still rather isolated in the little English world… I like it loads better without that little world now), but I really think I’ll learn/am learning faster being always speaking Spanish (except in English class, and the actually few times I interact with the other exchange students… with one, we speak Spanish, but the other girl from Maryland always speaks to me in English; however, as I don’t see her much in school, not having any classes together, it’s not much). I’m starting to understand more of the conversations my friends have, but even though I’m understanding the general nub and gist of the stream of chatter, it’s still pretty hard to join in, but there’s always two or three people who notice if I’ve been quiet for a while, and start talking with me, either explaining what everyone else is talking about, or something different. That’s one of the things I love about large groups, and as I’ve said, with Argentineans it’s always a large group : )
The one not so great part about Carly’s leaving is now I’ve got all my free time completely by myself, and when there’s a class in the computer room so I can’t use the computers, there is absolutely nothing to do, and it’s just me. However, as the wonderful people in the senior class never do any work, I generally go and hang out with them. One day this week they told me to come for a block I was free, because they said they had free time… so I went, and there’s the teacher talking in the front of the room, and absolutely no one is listening.
Last post I mentioned the group of senior (tercero) guys who’d told me they’d found a boyfriend for me: this week (one week later) they, along with the entire class as the teacher’s still talking in the front, inform me that he has a tiny dick. No joke, the class was discussing the size of this kid’s dick, the teacher’s talking in the front of the room, the guy himself is sitting in the back doing I’ve no idea what as I wasn’t looking backwards at him. So that was one of the classes I’ve spent with that class… I’ve also gone for their English class, in which they do pay somewhat more attention, but it’s still pretty funny, then with the other senior/tercero class I’ve gone for their “culture” class, in which they do nothing, so it’s worked out that I’m not completely alone, the teachers don’t mind (don’t worry it wasn’t because I was there that they weren’t paying an ounce of attention to the one teacher; I had a couple classes with him the first week with my class, and no one pays attention; we spent the whole class defining two words. Well, he did. The difference was in my class we were mostly silent, but… well there’s just some people that weren’t really meant to be teachers)(But that’s no one at Park, of course : )>)
Where I am with school right now, basically, is I have FIVE TESTS BETWEEN THIS WEEK AND NEXT. Chemistry is killing me. Even though I’ve got the stuff that’s going to be on the test, and when someone explains it to me, I understand, here they do maybe two practice problems and then have the test so I still don’t think I could do it on my own; it’s mainly because there’s a TON of stuff they all learned in the first two trimesters that I need to be able to do the stuff on the test… yesterday my friend Marina (one of my better friends here, she’s really good at explaining chemistry, as well as talking to my host mom when we want to do something… it takes five minutes instead of 20 if I try to, cuz the lecture-part is left out) anyways, she gave me the most important stuff, and I spent 2 hours today during biblioteca/free time studying it with the lady in the biblioteca but there’s still soooo much left and ah. I’ll post after these two weeks if I’m still alive. And even though I understood the movie part in geography, there’s a lot of population stuff I don’t get, and my friend gave me TODAY all the stuff that’s going to be on the test TOMORROW that they did before I got there. English will be easy, but that’s the only one. Then I’ve also got a test next week in history next week, and even though my first day they started a new unit, so I’ve got it all, it’s still hard to study. And there’s going to be writing on the test, which will be really hard for me. Then the last test is in tech, and even though I know all the stuff we’ve done on the computers, we’re not in the computer room every day, in fact we’ve only been once, the rest of the time the teacher dictates stuff about I guess how computers work, and I don’t understand any; it’s hard enough to copy down the dictation. SIGH. Then physics is going ok I suppose, but we haven’t really done much… unlike chemistry though they started a new unit with the new trimester, so I’m ok… the last class is Lengua, which is fine, but we’re starting to read Don Quixote this week. THAT is going to be hard. If regular Spanish is going to be hard, I’m really not sure how I’m going to understand the old Spanish, plus here they really don’t speak Spanish, they speak Castellano, so not only is it old Spanish, but it’s really different from what I’ve learned; it was only yesterday I figured out what “eres” meant, because “eres” is form for the subject “tu” which here we don’t use. And not having taken a Spanish class I had no idea what it meant; I knew it was some form of the verb “ser,” I got that much from the songs, but I had no clue what form. So we’ll see. Now I’ll be like Marika, spending hours reading 14 pages, and I’m quite sure if I ever have to write anything about it as well as read it’ll be the same as well. Sigh.


The weekend two weekends ago basically started Wednesday, as we didn’t have class Thursday, and the one day on Friday I went to the Museo de Bellas Artes with the senior culture classes. Granted, Wednesday we didn’t either as the last three years of school, primero, secundo, and tercero (our sophomores, juniors, and seniors) had a field day, which was lots of fun, even though my team lost all three of the games, we won both the Indian line-up races… yea, we were really good at sitting down fast >: )>
So Wednesday night/Thursday morning was my first time going out dancing with my friends in Pacheco… I swear my entire grade and the entire senior grade as well were all there, first at the street we hang out at waiting for the Micro bus, then on the bus that took us to the place where the club was (there aren’t any in Pacheco; everyone goes/went to a place in the city thing called Tigre, on the Tigre river, about 20 minutes away in between Pacheco and Buenos Aires… it’s like Pacheco but more touristy, being on the river… rather like a more rich Pacheco I suppose). We got to the club around 1:45, and left at 6am, when the host father of the Belgian girl took me and about 6 other girls to various homes. The club was called Coyote, and it was huge. Granted the two clubs I went to in Buenos Aires were small… more like lounges, and the one was a senior party, so it was all people from one school, so this was basically the first “real” club I’d been to, and it was lots of fun. The music is SO different here… there were a lot of different types, but none of the types we’d dance to in the States. Cumbia seemed the most popular, or at any rate one of the Cumbia places ended up being my group’s meeting place, where any time someone wandered away, they could be sure to find people. I got kind of bored around 4am, but it got fun again… however, by 6am I was rather cold and it was definitely time to leave (in my opinion actually, it was time to leave around 5:30, but the car didn’t get there till 6, and anyway it was warmer within one of the different parts of the club than outside, if only because there were a lot of people and such).
The next day, I slept over at a friends house with another girl, and when we woke up, we had breakfast at about 1, then at 2 we went to the bus stop to meet up with a bunch of other kids, and we took a train to a big river (I forget the name, being special, but it was huge- you couldn’t see the other side. They told me it was the widest river in the world, but as I can’t remember the name, I’ve no way of knowing whether it is or not), anyways it was the first day of Spring (though freezing cold), and we had a late afternoon picnic/tea (we had matte and cookies lol… one guy was supposed to bring sandwiches and he brought three. Smart kid. XP lol). So it was nice and relaxing at any rate, and they attempted to teach me and the Belgian girl who was there an Argentinean Gaucho card game called Truco, however after about five minutes they forgot the teaching part, and just played, so I’m still rather confused as to what to do, but whatev.
That weekend was not so very fun at first, through miscommunications and whatnot, as well as the fact I was really tired still, and didn’t get home till 5:30am Saturday night as well but we weren’t at a club, I went with Paz and her friends to one of their friend’s houses, but it was a good thing other friends of mine were there (I’ve got a couple friends in Paz’s grade aside from her friends, as well as a bunch of kids in the primero class cuz I have tech with them) anyways it was a good thing cuz Paz and her friends didn’t speak to me the entire time; it’s like if they don’t have a guy they’re teasing me about or trying to get me to hook up with they’ve nothing to say to me, so I feel bad but I really don’t like hanging out with them.
Sunday made everything better though; first I slept, then had my first riding lesson with my friend’s sister! (coming in a different part). Then, in the afternoon/evening, there was a free concert in the Pacheco plaza, by an Argentinean rock band from… I forget, because it was their 5-year anniversary. I went with one of the senior girls who, I’m not sure why, isn’t really friends with anyone in her class except one of the guys (not one of the ones who tried to set me up with the tall kid lol), because she’s incredibly sweet, but as I said, being an exchange student is awesome cuz I’m friends with everyone :D So yea, that was lots of fun… in my opinion it would’ve been more fun if it’d been at night and not late afternoon, but the music was still good : ) The funniest part was probably seeing the tech teacher in the mosh pit. That was hilarious. He was there though, jumping around… acting crazy… I saw a lot of friends there, and everyone was laughing about that. Then, in between the first two songs of the main band (it was opened by 3 bands who were so-so), the lead singer was like “I think we’ve got people from pretty far” and he was naming a couple places about an hour away, then one of the guys from school dragged me up and was like Hey! She’s from the United States! So that was pretty funny. Funnier cuz first he’s like her name’s Margit! (the name of the girl from New York) “Haha my name’s not Margit…” “Oh! Juli!” (the name of the girl from Belgium) “… no. No, Jorge, my name’s not Juli. Ada. A-d-a.” “… I knew that… her name’s Ada!” (this was all in Spanish though lol).

Mar del Plata

Last weekend, I swear I honestly thought we were going to Mar del Plata just overnight; with this family I wouldn’t have found a six hour drive there Saturday and six hours back Sunday weird, because as I’ve said, many Sundays all I can really figure out is that we’ve driven. For a LONG time. And the fact we were supposed to leave at 6am strengthened that supposition, as my host parents hadn’t told me anything about missing school, but when Paz almost caused World War 3 by not wanting to go as she and her friends were making a video for another friend’s 15th birthday (kind of like our Sweet 16, only WAY bigger. It’s most like Bat Mitzvahs for all the girls, only they don’t have to do anything but turn 15, and it seems everyone has had some huge party… walking around the train station where we were meeting friends before going out to dinner one night, we saw a girl in this really nice and fancy white dress (trail and everything) having her picture taken, and my friends told me it was for her 15th birthday party… they also have a certain decoration they put on the cars and everything, it’s crazy). Anyways, a lot of other stuff came up to the surface as well, but in the end she didn’t go, however she stayed with her uncle and not her friend. And 3 hours before we left, (not at 6am, as the car had broken down Friday, as always… (I was a bit apprehensive about us actually getting to Mar del Plata, but I FINALLY figured out what my host dad does: he works in a Ford auto factory, he’s a mechanic, so that’s why he’s able to always fix the car) anyways, I asked my host mom what to pack, which was lucky cuz I FINALLY was told we were going till Wednesday… because I suppose my family supposed I’d heard them talking about it that I knew, but they never actually told me for how long we were going, and so that bloody language barrier could’ve been rather a problem. However it wasn’t, and I packed, and we did arrive in Mar del Plata FINALLY.
The trip ended up being I guess ok… like… it was really, really pretty, and I LOVED the sea lions (there were a TON- check out the pics!), and the one rock beach was beautiful, but we didn’t do much but walk around and then drive around forever looking for places to eat. The first night took forever to find a place because first they wanted somewhere with live music, and that was incredibly hard to find. Then we found a place and made reservations and all was good till we got there and were told they didn’t take credit cards. So it was back in the car to find another place. And they really wanted that live music… they got it, but missed the sign “slow food;” we got there about 11:30, food came at midnight, desert at 1:30, but it was fine because there was a group of about 30 middle age/elderly drunk Mexicans, who kept the entire restaurant as well as the singer very, very amused. Then my host grandma got drunk and that made it funnier. : )>
The other days we had dinner at home, but for lunch again, it was really hard finding places that took credit cards. We ate lunch one day at an old monastery that looked like a castle, right on the ocean, and it would’ve been great if my host dad hadn’t managed to make it very awkward for the poor waiter by informing him I was their imported daughter looking for a boyfriend, and keeping up with that throughout the meal. Every time I go somewhere my host dad (jokingly) ALWAYS says “Ojo con los novios, eh?” (Careful with the boyfriends, eh?)(yes it literally means eye with the boyfriends, but here “ojo” is an expression for be careful… I’ve no idea if that’s just Argentina but whatev)…
Yesterday I finally asked my host dad what he was going to do when the day came (if it comes) when I reply that I’ve got a boyfriend (because the other thing is that any time I’m quiet, he accuses me of thinking of my boyfriend)… that made my mom laugh pretty hard, then she gave him a hard time for a while when he replied that he’d tell me to dump him immediately lol. Anyways, we did see a whale, which was pretty awesome, but by the time I got my camera out, all you can see is a black tail on the horizon and it’s rather hard to tell it’s anything but a black thing. But I SWEAR it’s a whale lol. There’s not much to tell about Mar del Plata, but everyone should check out the photos, as I think some of them are quite good : )
the sea lions were definitely the best part though. even if they did smell HORRIBLE. they were so ugly they were adorable : )>


So I FINALLY got to ride at the second place! It ended up not really being a lesson, and the other time’s I’ve gone since (I can only go Fridays during the week, and if I wake up Saturday, then too, but no more… still, it’s something), I’ve had lessons with the teacher of my friend’s sister. However, I was on what was basically a big pony, and even though he was stubborn and pokey and took a lot of leg, had that pony-personality which I love, and so it was a lot of fun, and once we started jumping he woke up.
Turned out that he had been Lucia (my friend’s sister)’s horse till she started jumping higher than 3’3”, and he was only 11, but for the last three years he’d been a lesson horse, and had been getting bored, and at one point (Lucia just told me to do whatever I felt, as it wasn’t really a lesson), Lucia smiled and said “aw, he’s happy! And I see you’re happy too” which was definitely true; he was having lots of fun jumping, and I was very happy to be riding something that didn’t have an iron mouth even if it was made of lead lol so yea; it was going great. Then, he left for a jump I swear at least a stride and a half early, completely popped me out of the saddle, and I landed smack on my ass. It was hilarious. I was fine, just covered in sand, and as soon as they realized ok, everyone started laughing, and informed me that I had to bring a cake next time. I couldn’t believe how similar the barn was to Peri’s! (For anyone who doesn’t know, Peri is my – absolutely amazing – riding teacher, and with her when we fall off, we have to bring donuts).
The main difference from the other place was the people; everyone was incredibly nice, all really good friends, and it just reminded me so much of Peri’s barn at home that I loved it. The more superficial distance was where it was; there’re three barns, two are beautiful but they’ve got all the private horses, then the other is cement, and fine, just smaller, and it’s for the horses used for anyone without their own horse, but the ring was really nice and big, there’s a full sized dressage ring as well, and because it’s in a gated community, there’s a cross country course all around the perimeter of the place, but within the walls so it’s safe. The gated community really is a community; it’s got its own school and everything, and it’s really quite like being in a rich community in the States; the houses are huge. It’s funny, you’d almost think you’d find the people I found at the first place in this type of community, and the one big happy family in the other, but hey, here they’ve got the best of everything. The only difficulty is getting in; it’s a pain in the bum, as I’ve yet to get the card that lets you in, and it’s rather frightening as there are armed guards at the gate. No joke. There’re two or three there all the time, standing and looking scary with their huge guns. I guess that’s just because outside, it’s in the opposite direction of Pacheco from my house, and in a pretty poor part… when I asked if there was a bus I could take, so I could go more days, they all said it was too dangerous to take the bus after about 5, and even in the day it was pretty dangerous, and none of them do… I guess that’s because the instructor people all drive there, and Lucia told me that the vast majority of the kids live within the community (it’s HUGE, and has everything. It probably even has a supermarket lol, and I know that every Saturday, they all spend all morning to afternoon at the barn, and all eat together at the tennis club lol so I’ll definitely try that when I can : ) But yea, I’m really glad I’ve found it, and as my house is between the community (it’s called San Jorge) and Pacheco and Lucia lives in Pacheco, she’s offered to drive me back whenever it’s harder for my mom to take me, which means I’ll have a better chance of going at least every Friday : )

So that’s about it… I’ve gotten along pretty well with all of my family… did have one rough day, because my mom had a rather large fit about me taking the bus at night with all my friends, but as I saw my counselor later because my sister had English, I talked to her about it and ended up wishing I hadn’t, because my host mom’s fuss was that I didn’t know how I was going back from dinner, because I was going with my friend, then it turned out we were going back by Remis (like a taxi, only you can’t get them off the street; you call for one, sort of like a chauffeur service but WAY less expensive, and most of the cars (and drivers) are incredibly old and such, and you’re supposed to only use Remis services your family knows and blah blah blah but they’re safer than busses at night). Still, my counselor was a little… I dunno. She was telling me I couldn’t do things that she can’t really tell me I can’t do, because they aren’t AFS rules. Still, I did go, and felt a lot better being with my friends, then when I spent the night with Marina she made it seem really funny how stupid my counselor was being (she’d told me when I went to the restaurant I couldn’t walk around because someone might kidnap me because I’m American. That was when Marina and I really cracked up because sorry, but how would they, whoever they are, know I’m American? Yes I know I have an accent, but I’m generally not screaming in the streets, and still we don’t talk all that much, and I’m with a big group of Argentineans all speaking perfect Argentinean Castellano… she also told my mom we had to watch the local news so I knew what was going on; it’s just like the local news at home, all about who killed who). The important part though was I talked about it with my host mom the next day, and even she thinks my counselor was being rather silly, so it’s all good now, I just don’t like my counselor so much).
With my sisters I still get along ok… Sofia broke down crying when I took the ice cream from her so mom could serve, as I SWEAR I thought she was joking when a 13 year old looks like she’s about to cry because she wanted to serve the ice cream. It was so crazy I even thought she was joking when she ran out of the room she was overreacting so much. The others all thought it was rather funny as well but they knew she was serious so it wasn’t till she was out of the room that they all rolled their eyes; apparently it’s normal for her. But I really don’t think so. She’s 13. She wanted to serve the ice cream. And I thought she was joking so I took the ice cream. Then I gave it back. And she still ran out sobbing. SIGH lol. With Paz I’m generally at the same place I was before; she basically doesn’t speak to me. But whatever, I still think we’ll get closer as I speak better, and with Sofia I found an ice cream shop near our house and made friends with the guy who works there (he has a cousin who went on exchange to Australia) so maybe this next weekend I’ll see if she wants to do something just us. Cuz with her friends I’m bored out of my mind :P
Anywaysssss I’ve got to go as we have to leave now so I can go to the cyber and post this!! (writing at home again; it’s the easiest because it takes less time at the cybers)