01.03.2016 - 27.03.2016 80 °F
Good morning, all!
First, sorry I couldn't think of a better title.
Second- I am writing this newest addition on my blog poolside, with the wind blowing through my hair, with a cup of coffee that is about 100 degrees-too hot that I have been stirring absent-mindedly for the past 20 minutes. Also, I have a servant at my beck and call named Fabio.
Okay actually no. I'm actually sitting in my kitchen, looking at the window watching the family dogs lounge poolside with the wind blowing in their fur. However, there are no servants named Fabio. The coffee part is true though.
WARNING: I am about to repeat something I think I've mentioned in all my latest blog posts.
"I feel like I've let so much time pass since my last blog post. It's been foreverrrrrrrrr. I really should write more on here, blah blah blah."
I'm officially a college student!
March 17 was my lucky day (get it?) as I started university (Note: 'university' said in proper, hauty-tauty English accent). During the days prior, I was able to pick my classes and this semester's are as follows:
Argumentation and Debate
You might have noticed that my classes are primarily language classes and while apart from Spanish, Portuguese and German don't even slightly relate to each other, they've been very easy to pick up. Portuguese, I've heard most say before, is very similar to Spanish and it is but it has its own grammar rules and things. I think someone that can speak Spanish can read Portuguese with no problem, but when spoken, Spanish and Portuguese couldn't sound any more different (in my opinion). Now, with German, I've always had an interest to learn the language, but before doing exchange, I really had no purpose to know the language. I would learn it and probably forget it. Columbus, Ohio doesn't have that big of a demographic for German speakers. Granted, Peru doesn't really either, but I now have more of an interest to go to Germany and stay there for a period of time. Plus, one of my closest friends is German and so I have my own tutor that is accesible whenever I need her. It's easy to study Portuguese and German at the same time BECAUSE of the contrast. They don't blend into each other which is nice. With Spanish and Portuguese that isn't the case. Countless times I have spluttered out 'Muito bom' instead of "Muy bien" (Very good) or "Eu me chamo Alexandra" instead of "Me llamo Alexandra". But, anyways. Tudo bem.
Psychology is going to be an interesting course and the teacher seems to know what she's talking about, so there's not anymore commentary I can say for that one.
And, as far as Argumentation and Debate goes, anyone can benefit from learning how to argue better... right? Plus, I can let off some steam in that class. Also-------- another plus---------- it's in my native language.
Out of the 20 some RYE students going to my university, I scored the highest on the Spanish entrance exam. My language skills have improved so so so much on exchange and if someone told me a year ago that it would only take about 6-ish months to become fluent in my 2nd language (with only 2 school years before), I don't know if I would've believed them. That sounds like a Rosetta Stone sales pitch, to be honest.
Exchange Horror Story:
I only have 95 days left on exchange!
The time has flown by so fast. It's weird because if I think of the TIME that I've been here it seems like so long, but then I think of how FAST that time went and then I'm like "wait."
This last leg of my exchange has started off really positive and I'm happy. In less than 2 weeks, my grandmother will be joining me here in Peru for a couple of days and I have been faced with the task of trying to create a synopsis of my 7 months on exchange through tours and gastronomy. I have a list of ideas of what I want to do but 4.75 days is going to flash by.
Okay, weird thing just happened. I JUST remembered that I was in the Amazon Rainforest earlier this month. My mind is everywhere but in Peru right now.
For about 3.5-4 days, I was in Iquitos, Peru and we stayed in a lodge on the Amazon River. The trip included night walks through the rainforest, vine swinging, swimming with Pink Dolphins, swimming in the river with alligators (or so the guides said), seeing giant lily pads, playing with monkeys, sloth holding, large maggot eating, and giving back to the local community. Believe it or not, a meme even came out of it. The highlight of the trip was finishing the Rotary water tower (that we built- shoutout to RYE exchange class of 2015/2016). By doing so, we provided 43 Amazonian families the gift of clean, drinking water and I believe I was personally humbled so much by this experience. Living in the United States, I take water and other things for granted and I forget how fortunate I am. I'm happy to have participated in helping this community. We are currently building a second tower in another part of the rainforest for a different community. Our goal was one tower, and because of the unison of Rotary clubs from all around the world and their generous donations, we raised about $5k extra to provide to more people.
Below are some pictures that some other exchange students took during the trip. My phone was broken at the time and I wasn't able to take any pictures and borrowed some from my friends' Facebook posts.