A Travellerspoint blog

How exchange stole Christmas

Maybe by reading the title, you thought this would be a negative post. It's not going to be.

I remember learning about how exchange would be the hardest during the holidays. And I never really realized how hard it would be until it happened. I have remained a trooper through it all, but that's not to say that I have cried.

Because I have. A lot.

By choosing youth exchange, I decided to swap my normal Geno-family Christmas for a Peruvian one. I would experience it on my own, without my natural family, without my normal traditions, and I would do it way outside of my comfort zone. I was excited to learn how to celebrate Christmas in another country. I was excited to move to another country and have all my new experiences. I was and still am excited for everything that IS youth exchange. But it's not easy and sometimes I would prefer to throw in the towel. I've ridden a fine line of deciding to go home because I just wanted a big hug from my loved ones.

In other words, exchange stole my normal Christmas and gave me a Spanish-speaking one instead. :)

It's Christmas Eve, I'm having a slumber party with my best friend, and as I write this, I'm crying. I'm crying out of joy for the loving families that have taken me in this year, I'm crying because I miss my family, I'm crying because this year has come to an end and I am crying because an exciting future lies ahead of me. It's a mix of beautiful emotions and this bawl fest has come right on time.

I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has helped me get where I am now.

First, my grandma. My beautiful, loving, supportive grandmother. She wasn't on board initially with the whole idea of me leaving for a year, but she was able to be strong and let go for just 10 months to allow me to enrich my future. I continue to be so grateful to her. My grandmother is my best friend.

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Second, I'd like to thank my paternal grandparents for supporting me in this journey and funding part of this experience.

Third, I'd like to thank my home and host Rotary districts, 6690 and 4455, for choosing me to represent my country and allowing me to have such an enriching experience in Peru. Thank you, 6690, for providing me with 10 months of training and plenty of opportunities to make new friends. Thank you to 4455 for taking me in late and hosting me in a beautiful country.

Fourth, I would like to thank my friends, old and new, for not forgetting I exist even though I am in another time zone/country/continent/hemisphere. Thank you to all the friends I have made on exchange, inbounds and Peruvians, for being so genuinely awesome. I've learned a lot about myself because of you and I hope our friendships last a life time.

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Tambien quiero agradecer a mi madre acogida. Mami, me aceptaste en tu casa, sin mucho tiempo a preparar y cada dia quiero que sabes que estoy agradecida por eso. Me tratas como tu hija y me siento mas como familia que una intercambista. A veces, tengo un mal día, pero yo sé que siempre puedo hablar contigo y que vas a tratar a entenderme. Gracias por todo lo que me has hecho. Te quiero mucho y espero que un dia, me visites.
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and Lastly, I would love to thank God for blessing me everyday. I've prayed for an experience like this and you blessed me with one. Thank you.

That's my soap box for today. I hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Also, shout out to Pappo! Happy Birthday! You were born on Christmas Eve and we've been without for 5 years now, but I think of you everyday and now you're looking out for me.
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To a new year of memories, friendships, learning, and love...

Alexandra

Posted by alexandrang98 21:40 Archived in Peru Comments (1)

Exchange Is....

I've come to the conclusion that no one will truly understand what it's like to be an exchange student unless they've been one. Now, there are all kinds of exchange students. There are Rotary exchange students who can leave for the summer on a short-term program and there are those who leave for a whole academic year. There are students who study abroad in college. There are "exchanges" between schools all around the world for a short amount of time. There are programs like AFS, People-to-people, etc etc. Each program works differently and one exchange is not comparable to another. This is something that people have to understand.

Exchange is so... exchange. There aren't many words to describe what exchange really is because it's different for everyone that experiences it. For some people exchange is beautiful and full of culture and experience and for others it's full of homesickness and misery and culture-shock... then there are other people who have exchanges that are in the middle of being beautiful and full of culture and experience and full of homesickness and misery and culture shock. I would like to consider myself in the "in-between". Now, just because I've been upset on my exchange doesn't necessarily mean that I haven't enjoyed it, because I have. But, sometimes, especially now during the holiday season, I feel more homesick than usual because I never used to notice how much joy I got out of being with my family and being at home and being in my comfortable life.

Exchange is change. Lots of change. You've changed your country, your life, your day-to-day language, your culture, your reputation, and your family and during your exchange there will always be change. Your family will change (both host and natural), your language skills will improve, your outlook on the world will change, your identity will change as you figure out who you are during your year. There is no way to avoid change. It's something to be expected and accepted in any form- good or bad.

Exchange is perception. Your perception of the world and of your host country and of your home country and of yourself and your family and your life... all of it will change and everything that has happened to you will come into focus and you'll be able to think rationally and mature so much within the year.

Exchange is strange. Exchange is strange food, strange cultures, strange costumes, strange languages, strange people, strange feelings.

Exchange is people. Those incredibly strange people, who look at you like you’re an alien. Those people who are too afraid to talk to you. And those people who actually talk to you. Those people who know your name, even though you have never met them. Those people, who tell you who to stay away from. Those people who talk about you behind your back, those people who make fun of your country. All those people, who aren’t worth your giving a damn. Those people you ignore. And those people who invite you to their homes. Who keep you sane. Who become your friends.

Exchange is a lot of feeling uncomfortable. Mainly because of culture shock, but even in your best moments you're going to feel weird and out of place and maybe not even welcomed. And it will be painful to feel so uncomfortable, but once you start to realize that how you feel is normal and it'll happen a lot, you'll start to feel more comfortable and life will seem normal for you.

Exchange is communication. You'll struggle with communicating what you REALLY want to say at least once. It's bound to happen. Believe me. Exchange is communication between you and your friends and your family and with yourself about what you want for yourself during your year. Exchange is learning how to communicate with your new language, but also with your actions and your thoughts.

Exchange is learning how to pack your life into a suitcase.

Exchange is not a year in your life. It’s a life in one year.
Exchange is nothing like you expected it to be, and everything you wanted it to be. 
Exchange is the best year of your life. Without a doubt. And it’s also the worst. Without a doubt.
Exchange is something you will never forget, something that will always be a part of you. It is something no one back at home will ever truly understand.

Exchange is realizing that you're able to make it on your own. Exchange is becoming an adult and becoming a part of society in one year by throwing you to another part of the world to live and grow as an intelligent and cultured human being. Exchange is making your parents proud as your represent your family. Exchange is making a good impression on the people you meet as you represent your country. Exchange is representing your brand and how you want people to remember you.

Exchange is dancing for no reason, crying without a reason, laughing at the same time. It’s a melting pot of every emotion possible.
But on the same note... how do you know what ADVENTURE is if you never took part in one? How do you know what ANGUISH is if you never said goodbye to your family and friends with your eyes full of tears? How do you know what OPPORTUNITY is if you never got one? How do you know what DISTANCE is if you never, looking at a map, said "I'm so far away"? How do you know what a FRIEND is if the circumstances never showed you the true ones? How do you KNOW THE WORLD, if you have never been a exchange student?

Exchanges are unique and beautiful and awkward and sad in their respective ways. You'll learn so much, you'll see so much, you'll hear so much, you'll live so much in just 10-12 months of the rest of your life.

And I've been asked why I did exchange, why I wanted to do exchange and here's my answer:

Aside from wanting to learn a new language, a new culture, more people, another country... exchange is wanting a life. But we exchange students travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. Because in the end, the only regrets we have are the chances we didn't take. And traveling... it makes you speechless but then turns you into a storyteller. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

And after all, there are no foreign lands... it is the traveler only who is foreign.

With much love,
A

Posted by alexandrang98 14:56 Archived in Peru Comments (1)

Where did the time go?

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Okay so it's been a ridiculously long time since I have posted. It has also been a very busy 5-6 weeks and this is my first free and concentrated moment where I can sit down and update everyone on what I have accomplished and done since I last wrote.

Remember how the month started off with a concussion? The month ended a lot better, I promise.

I recovered from my concussion after about a week of bed rest and had some days to read and do other things like write (but not on my blog). I spent the weekend with friends and made buckeyes with a friend from school. I had made buckeyes before and shared them with my class and they were a hit. One of my friends loved them so much that she invited me over to make more. I think they were better the first time because I was missing something the second time I made them but I can't really remember what. Another friend fell in love with my buckeyes so I am going to her house this weekend to make MORE and some alfajores (which is a Peruvian pastry with caramel in the middle).

On Wednesday, October 14th, I departed for my first official Rotary trip with the other exchange students. The duration of the trip would be spent in Arequipa, Colca, Puno, and Cusco. We went to Machu Picchu on the last day of the trip and that experience was amazing. Especially with other exchange students.

October 14th also happened to be my birthday and we celebrated in Colca as we flew into Arequipa to travel then to Colca and then return to Arequipa (weird, I know). I got cake smashed into my face as this is Peruvian tradition and I actually got angry! I didn't know that cake-face-smashing was a tradition and I wanted to eat the cake like a normal human being. Nevertheless, the apple slices and peach slices that I washed out of my hair that night were sweet and tasted really good. So did the frosting that stained my white sweatshirt :)

October 15th we went to Colca Canyon to see a condor. We had all woken up early and Henry had been afraid that we woke up and departed too late and that we would not be able to see a condor. Well, we did. The condors had woken up late too. We also saw some Inca stuff that I can't really remember enough about to write about.

October 16th was a free day for the first half and the 2nd half was spent traveling to Arequipa.

October 17th we did a city tour of Arequipa and saw some Vicuñas and Llamas and Alpacas. I kind of remember the difference between all three, but I would need to describe it in person because currently I am at a loss for English words. I tried "Queso Helado" which is ice-cream, yes, HOWEVER it is not cheese flavored or made out of cheese but is called cheese because it is the same yellow as cheddar would be. It was really good, I liked it. We also saw the 3 volcanos of Arequipa and went to many many places that were perfect panaromic shots with my phone. We also went to the Plaza de Armas and I and a couple of my friends went inside the cathedral and it was absolutely BEAUUUUUTIFUL. I loved it. I love Arequipa a lot. It's the 2nd largest city in Peru, behind Lima of course, but yet it's so tranquil and beautiful.

October 18th was a kind of free day, kind of not. We departed for Puno during the second half.

October 19th was, for the most part, completely spent on a boat. I didn't mind it at all because the water was so blue and so clear and there were islands all around and we stopped at some really cool places. We stopped at the islands of the Uros were these people literally live on floating beds of straw. It takes about 1.5 year to make and they're so sturdy! With about 90 people on this little strawbed I thought we were going to sink but the bed didn't even budge! We traveled to the island of Amantani to stay the night with the locals and see a different culture and lifestyle. We also had a party and got to wear native clothing. However, that night, in my host house at least, we were served a LOT of potatoes and I could almost have cried if I had to eat one more. I still taste the potato soup I had 4 times that day. However, the locals are so nice and so welcoming and just so hospitable and it made the potato soup completely disappear from my minds except at meal times, hahah. Also, I climbed a mountain which was amazing and I felt so athletic doing it. I also got to experience my first actual rain storm while being here in Peru. It was hard, pounding rain with thunder and lightening and it was just so perfect and reminded me of the rain at home. Is it weird that I actually miss ACTUAL rain? Who knew!

October 20th was the day we got to see more of Lake Titicaca. We travelled on a boat some more and went and visited Taquile and climbed that (we hiked a lot but I felt good after words) and walked around the circumference of the island to go to our restaurant for lunch. We then left the island and travelled for the rest of the day on the boat. The sun is so vicious at the lake but I tanned so well and was SO DARK only to have it peel off within the next 2 days (insert sad face here).

October 21st was just the day for travelling and it was pretty uneventful but relaxing after having done so much. We stopped some along the way, like we went to La Raya which is the highest point of the whole trip and Raqchi which is the temple of Wiracocha. It was the most important structure of the archealogical site where we were at.

On October 22nd, the rest of the group went to Maras, Moray, Chinceros and did a city tour of Cusco. I had to stay back into the hotel because I had some minor food poisoning from the night before. I caught up on my rest and was all ready to go the next day. I did some shopping in the later afternoon but we were kind of restricted on where we could go because there was a protest going on in Cusco during the time we were there and we had to be safe and stay out of trouble. However, Cusco is a gorgeous city and there were SO many tourists. I felt at home, in a weird way. I don't really see that many tourists when I am in Lima, so it was nice to see more Americans or Europeans.

On October 23rd, we did some quick stops on our way to the train station to go to Machu Picchu.We went to Mirador taray, Pisac pueblo, and Ollantaytambo which are some sacred places of the Incas. We got to the station around 3:30 and we didn't end up leaving the station until about 9 or 10 because our train was late by 6 hours or as I like to call it, the train was running on Peruvian time. I got attached to a stray dog we met and so that reminded me of home, too. I miss my little puppy back in the States. We got to Aguas Calientes (which is the town below Machu Picchu- you have to go there if you want to go to Machu Picchu) around 12:30 or 1 in the morning and proceeded to get dinner? While eating dinner, we saw a guy die from a fall and he was covered in blood. Some of these things I can never forget because they are just so bizzare.

October 24th was the last real day of the trip and we went to Machu Picchu and I was so surprised not to mention so appreciative of the support from my family back home to be able to experience this trip and especially Machu Picchu. Also to Rotary. I am always so grateful to Rotary.

October 25th was the day we travelled back to our respective cities and ended the trip. It was an amazing time and I am so excited for the next trip.

I was happy to go back to school. I hadn't gone to school the entire month of October because of my trip to Huaraz from the 1st to 4th, the bed rest after, then school break, then the trip and my first day of school for the month was the 27th. I didn't miss much, according to my friends.

October 29th, I went to Parque de Las Leyendas which is a zoo here in Lima. I went with 6 of the other exchange students exchange students in my school. They took us for Spanish class and while we didn't really learn anything there, it was still a fun day.

October 30th was the procession for Señor de los Milagros at my school. We are the only school in Lima that does a procession for the occasion. We started at around 8-8:30 in the morning and the procession was 12 hours long. You could drop out at any time and I think I did around 12:00 because I was starving and I went to eat. After that, I didn't rejoin the procession but went to the art classroom and painted for the rest of the day. I did some masterpieces so I am pretty happy.

October 31st was Halloween and nothing really special happened aside from the fact that we took my host grandma out to "trick or treat" but instead of her getting candy, she was giving candy out to the children she met. It was a really new experience. ALSO, at least here in Lima, the kids and families go trick or treating in the malls because unfortunately, it's not safe to go door to door and get candy from each house. The stores give out candy and probably get business at the same time so it's a win-win.

November 1st there was a lunch at Henry's house and the majority of San Borja Sur was there to get together and have fun and eat some food.

November 12th and 13th I volunteered with the organization "So the world can hear" which is an organization that provides people in need of hearing aids, with hearing aids. It's a really humbling experience to have been with this organization because some of these people are hearing for the first time or a lot better than normal and the reaction that you get out of them is just priceless and is full of such appreciation and love. The thing is though, that I lot of the specialists that work for the organization, don't speak Spanish and they were here in Peru currently (as they travel around the world the whole year) and they needed translators. I was a translator for a fabulous partner and we had so much in common that it made what I was doing fun. They'll be here until around 6:00 on the 14th and then they leave to go home and then to the Philippines. Then I think after that they go to India and then to Vietnam. I would be so honored to work for a company such as this one. You get to travel around the world to help people, like really, who wouldn't want to do that?

Today, as a sit here writing to you, I am overcome with the world's mourning because of the attacks in Paris last night. What these terrorist groups have come to is plaguing the rest of the world with the misery and moving our world towards destruction and not towards love and peace. However, what happened in Paris last night gave a small glimpse of the same pain the refugees are going through everyday as they choose to leave everything they have known behind and move on for the chance to live a better and prosperous life. To all the countries who have shut their borders or who are looking to shut their borders, do you see now that you can't turn your backs on the rest of the world just yet? This world isn't going to work without some unity between mankind and you shutting your doors on the people who need help the most is another blow to an already beaten life.

Honestly, what is this world coming to? Whatever it is, I don't like it.

That being said, to whoever is in Paris and is in danger right now, I'll be continuing to pray for you and your well-being. Be smart about your decisions within the next few days and don't react without some common sense. The world is with you during this rough time and you have our support.

To another month full of adventure, new experiences, and love....

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Posted by alexandrang98 17:28 Archived in Peru Comments (1)

What even happened last weekend?

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Hopefully this title doesn't make you think I was drunk. Because I wasn't.

However I did suffer some memory loss (I think, I don't remember) because I cracked my head on some cement (more on this later).

It's been a VERY LONG TIME since I have posted. Sorry! I've been very busy and kind of dead for the past week or so and haven't had time to write. Now, as I sit here on my bed, gazing out my window at the beautiful Lima skyline, I am inspired to share what I neglected to share 6 days ago. Again, very sorry.

From October 1-5, I was in Huaraz, Peru. I, along with 9 other exchange students from my club (?), were selected to accompany our club on a trip to Huaraz to help present wheelchairs to the local people and for a special trip/tour around Huaraz just for us. The weekend was full of absolutely beautiful landscapes and new experiences and I actually felt like an exchange student. How did I feel like an exchange student, you ask? Well, things started to get real for me. We were treated so warmly in Huaraz (despite the cold weather) and I felt honored to be a Rotary Exchange Student. One of my most favorite experiences was in the mineral pool.

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Ah, the mineral pool. It's clay colored water but so full of minerals and so warm and so weird and so relaxing all at the same time. Did I remember to bring a bathing suit and towel on this trip? If you know me well enough, you've probably already guessed that I FORGOT it. So, I improvised bathing clothes by wearing a black bra and some Ohio State athletic shorts. I was a sight for sore eyes- meaning, I probably made people have some sore eyes because the sight of me was hilarious (or beastly- whichever you prefer).
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On our last day of the trip (Sunday) (and this is where my concussion story comes in), we visited Chavin which is a preserved Incan city/village- it's kind of the same idea as Machu Picchu, but not? Regardless, you can utilize Google and figure it out for yourself. Incan architecture 101 says to "make the steps in cement stairs really far apart from each other and make the archways also out of cement but very low so tourists can curse their height genes". I was going down the stairs into an underground gallery/temple and was not anticipating the stairs being so unevenly distanced from each other, nor was I expecting a hole in a stair or for the ceiling to be so low?????????????????. I stepped into the whole and lost my balance and hit my head on the ceiling hard enough to get a concussion. Don't try this at home, folks.

I went to the hospital on Tuesday and was hooked up to an IV for a while and given some pain medication and the doctor called it a day. I was also prescribed bed rest for 2 days. I didn't go to school the Monday before because we were getting back from our trip and I was tired. Tuesday, I was in the hospital. Wednesday, I was resting. Thursday, I was SUPPOSED to return to school, but there was no school Thursday or Friday and for the following week and so I had plenty of time to recover and not having to go to school was a pleasant surprise. No one at the school really tells the exchange students anything, so it's always bittersweet when we find out upcoming things at school.

Friday I went to go have lunch with my host mom and host grandma and we went to my favorite restaurant (presumably to halfway celebrate my birthday?). It was amazing as usual. Pollo a la brasa for the win!

Saturday... oh Saturday. Earlier in the week, I made plans to go out with my exchange friends Karolin(Germany) and Ana(US). Karolin and I go to the same school and she had explained how to get to her house so many times and yet while I thought I was an expert (even though I had never walked or driven to her house in the daytime, only at 11 at night on Wednesdays after Rotary), I'M NOT AN EXPERT. I left the house at 10:30 AM and started walking to Karolin's. I passed my school, crossed a major road, did all of that and ended up getting lost. No matter how many times I asked for help, no one knew the street and I cried and cried on the street corners and was catcalled by taxi drivers and I was afraid and was dressed very appropriately but somehow looked for sale and people made offers and it was a horrible start to the day. I ended up asking a woman for help and she let me use her phone to call Karolin to tell her to meet me at the school and the woman walked me back to the school and stayed with me until Karolin got there. I really hope that God blesses this woman in some way because she was the angel I asked for when I was crying on the corner and asking God to help me. I never knew her name, nor do I remember where she lived, but I am so appreciative to have met her.

Karolin met me at the school and we took a taxi to the mall. We were told to meet Ana at the gas station but we were 5 minutes early and both of our phones don't work without wifi and that was another mess. We had figured that Ana was late or that she wasn't coming and so Karolin and I walked back into the mall and did some rounds. Then, as we were leaving, we FOUND ANA. ANA HAD BEEN WAITING FOR US THE WHOLE TIME BUT SHE HAD BEEN WAITING IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE MALL TRYING TO FIND US. So, once all the "Hello! I am so happy I found you"s were over, we went to OLIVE GARDENNNNNNN! OLIVE GARDEN IN PERU IS JUST AS GOOD AS OLIVE GARDEN IN AMERICA EXCEPT THE MENU IS A LITTLE BIT SMALLER. ALSO, OLIVE GARDEN IN LIMA, PERU IS THE ONLY LOCATION OLIVE GARDEN HAS OUTSIDE THE USA. OLIVE GARDEN AND PERU FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!!!! However, Ana and Karolin devoured my Olive Garden birthday cake piece because it was mint chocolate (ew) and so I let them have it.

Ana came back to my house after lunch and we hung out for a little bit and celebrated my birthday with pieces of cake from a cake shop.

Sunday, I spent the day with my counselor. She picked me up around 2 and we went and had really amazing Chinese food with her family and after, we went to her house and we talked and I hung out with her daughter. had actually met her daughter before, but never really realized my counselor was married or had kids.She lives in an apartment in Miraflores but it is SO BEAUTIFUL. THE VIEWS FROM THE WINDOWS ARE BEAUTIFUL. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL AND I WANTED TO STAY AND LIVE THERE FOREVER. The night ended when my counselor brought out a chocolate cake she had bought (without me noticing) and her family and I celebrated my birthday together. I really adore my counselor's family. I really really like them. I came back home around 11ish and slept a very deep a peaceful sleep.

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Today, I am getting ready to go to my friends house around 2ish to make buckeyes. I had made them for a school project and she and others in my class loved them and now I will teach her how to make them today. It also gives us a time to get to know each other more, so I am grateful that I have meshed well with my class.

Wednesday at 3 AM, I will be in the airport for my flight at 5 AM to Arequipa for our first big Rotary trip. We're going to Arequipa and Puno and Cusco and Lake Titicaca and other places and there will be SO many pictures and probably a very long blog post once I get back on the 25th-26th. I literally would have gone to school 7 days in October. This month is flying by fast. Also Wednesday is my birthday and we are going to celebrate with all the other exchange students!

It's been a great 17th birthday. Probably the best birthday ever!

Until almost November!

Allie.

Posted by alexandrang98 11:07 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

When an apple a day doesn't keep the doctor away...

overcast 68 °F

HEALTH UPDATE!

I'm still sick. My fever lasted about 3.5 days. It's since passed, but I still have a nasty cold and some chest congestion. Yesterday morning I woke up croaky and was fine by the end of the day but this morning I woke up without a voice. It's coming back though, slowly. Mamí made me some honey and "unknown" spice tea. It was pretty good and I think helped my throat a lot.

I'm gonna be real for a second....prepare yourself.

I AM HAVING SUCH A HARD TIME TYPING THIS BLOG POST BECAUSE I NEVER USE ENGLISH ANYMORE. I'm not even kidding! I mean I use English, but not enough compared to the amount of Spanish I use everyday. That's kind of the goal though. Let me give you a good example...

Both of my Rotary districts (6690 and 4455) require a monthly report to allow us to update everyone about our condition, experiences, concerns, etc. I have been provided with a template from both districts and oddly enough, they're strangely similar. There are a couple of questions that are a little bit different, but for the most part, it was the same material. I wrote the monthly report for Peru first because it was due sooner. I was so proud of myself because I could actually type fast in Spanish and had no problems and when I got it "proof-read", it was all right. Now, mind you- these weren't just basic yes/no questions. The report is more like a list of prompts that I have to answer specifically and thoroughly. So, anyway- I finished the Peru monthly report and when I went to finish my Ohio districts report, I HAD A ELECTRONIC STUTTERING PROBLEM. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I HAD problems because I wanted to use Spanish words in my report and the English equivalents just slipped my mind. Nonetheless, I finished the report and I submitted both early.

I posted a video on my Youtube Channel. It's a little lengthy (about 15 min), but it was good to be able to speak an update versus typing one. I'm usually more thorough in my blog though. It's quicker to be thorough writing than it is to speak it. Plus, when I speak I have a tendency to stutter (because I have a little speech impediment) and go on and on about something and I don't have that problem here on my blog.

Currently in my host household, family is over to visit Pelita. Pelita is the nickname we have for my host grandmother, but I'm not really sure why and don't think I would be able to understand if anyone explained to me in Spanish ANYWAY so I am just gonna go with it. Not gonna lie though, I was surprised when I woke up because I woke up to "My heart will go on" by Celine Dion???????????????????????????? Someone was blasting it and I was trying to use my 2 remaining brain cells to recognize the language of the song (A) and (B) that I was actually hearing this in a household where no one speaks English. Sometimes, the weirdest things happen in this house that I don't even know how to relay in writing on my blog. Exchange tip: most of the time I would encourage you to ask questions always but in situations like waking up at 9:00 to hear 90s Celine Dion playing, don't ask anything.

In my freetime here (freetime just autocorrected to fertile on my Mac and that would be really bad). IN MY F R E E T I M E here I have been applying for various scholarships for college. I haven't really started to apply for colleges yet because when I go to apply for colleges, it says I have to be applying to enroll for fall of 2016 (and I'm not). I'm only a junior in high school right now, and it seems like I have to wait until next summer, next fall to apply. But as far as scholarships go, I have come across some more studying abroad scholarships that I would like to take advantage of (and I think I will). I'm only applying and if I was given the scholarship, then I would inform my family back home. (((My family back home is reading this right now- you have been warned that I am going to probably leave the country again.)))

I wanted to do another exchange right after coming back from Peru. There's only been one other kid from my district that has done that. I would like to go to Italy or some European country. I would have already learned Spanish by the end of my exchange here, so I would like to learn another language and culture and lifestyle before going to college. I heard about a scholarship opportunity to go to Queen's University for all undergrad, fully paid by the university. I would love love loveee to go there. The Queen's University in question is Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland. So, if you're religious and you pray and you like me, I would ask that you pray that I get this scholarship and opportunity to go there for university. Plus, I am drawn to Ireland because I want to be a surgeon and Ireland has some of the best medicine in the world, but also one of the best surgical programs in the world. Go big or go home, right?

I'm starting to miss my school here in Peru. My mom has kept me home because of my condition (which is best that I stay home to be honest), but I miss my friends.

No real culture shock yet!

Noël

Posted by alexandrang98 08:03 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

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