Friday, January 3, 2014

The Holidays

The holidays here are usually these big party events, that wasn't really how I experienced them. Christmas was pretty much the partying holiday for me but usually it's New Years. We started out going to the grandma's house for dinner on the 24th and we stayed until about two or three. Then we went home and while the rest of the family went to bed, some friends came over to hang out with my sister and I. I went to bed at seven in the morning but when I asked my sister what time people left she said that they all stayed until ten. Then that night we had the family over for one of my host sister's birthday dinner. It was definitely different from every other Christmas that I've had, but I guess that was what made it fun! It was different and new, a new Christmas for a new experience :). I do however, miss the christmas that I would have had at home! So it made me really happy to find out that my family is waiting to do Christmas for when I get back :)

Then New Year's I just spent with the ENTIRE family. We were hosting out of town family members and we had the ENTIRE family over for dinner, I don't know what time everyone left but I went up to go to bed at about 3 and they hadn't even started the dancing yet. I'm sure they were there until seven or something. It's weird how my holidays got switched around this year, usually it's New Year's is the holiday where I'm up all night partying and Christmas is the holiday spent with family. This didn't feel real at all, it felt like it was just another ordinary day.

And now that the holidays are over, and I only have 2 weeks left, I've starting thinking about what all I need to do before heading home. Like all of the stuff I need to buy, and hanging out with all of my friends as much as possible. It's weird to think about that in two weeks I will be sleeping in my bed, with my cat at my feet :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Play, the Show, etc...

This past week has been crazy busy, full of three things that I love most: dancing, singing and acting. Last Friday I went to go see a play that one of the superstars classes had put on. It was about adolescence and the struggles of being a young teenager. I went with a good friend of mine from the class (everyone kind of paired up for that, because it was 2 tickets for the price of 1 for any student from Superstars). After the play, we all went out to eat and just hang out. It was really interesting because after we had finished eating and just hanging around, some girls went to the bathroom, and a few minutes they came out (they were hysteric) saying that they saw something in the bathroom (like a ghost or something). Then a group went outside, and later I went out to tell them that they had to pay. I found them all outside around the corner talking about what they had seen/heard. (a black figure moving inside an empty building window, a noise inside that same building, etc...) So seeing that the lights were on I went inside the building and found that there were some people in there rearranging things (it was a gym for gymnastics). After that nobody "saw/heard" anything else "unnatural". I don't know what they saw in the bathroom, but it was pretty creepy considering that it was Friday the 13th.

Anyways... Then the next day my class had our play, the play that we've been working on for 2 months. It was AMAZING! I was just an extra, and had no lines. But it was hard work, I was almost ALWAYS on stage, and when I wasn't, I was backstage changing costumes as quickly as possible to get back onstage on time. I had about 4 costumes, BUT I had about 10 costume changes. I managed to get on stage when needed, unfortunately I can't say the same about some of the others. Everyone almost always made it on stage, but there were a few changes that were a couple of changes that were to fast for some people, I ALMOST missed my opening a few times, but managed to get onstage when needed. The play was amazing! I can't believe that it's over, it seems so unreal that something that took so much work and that was really one of the last things I would ever do with superstars can be over just like that (snap fingers). It was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I find it funny how the best things of my experience here have all been something with funny! Anyways afte the play ended ( :/ ) we all went to go celebrate at the house of one of my classmates, I had a great time.

Then on Tuesday we had our end of year show, which was for all of Superstars. We were performing some of the best dances from that year as well as having some people singing solos. I had originally got chosen to sing a song (in English) so I sang On My Own from Les Miserables (it had to be from a musical). I thought I did ok, there were definitely times in which I've sung that song better, but I think under the sircumstances I sang it fairly well. My voice was good, it just need more strength, it sounded very weak. I know that that is because I was SO nervous, when the show first started, I started freaking out, and could not stand still. When I was singing I could feel like hands shaking (which wasn't good, because I was holding the microphone). However, despite that, I thought it went pretty well!

I thought that that show marked the end of Superstars until summer classes start, but my teacher called everyone in to tell us that we will be performing one last time this Monday before the term ends. That makes me so happy to hear! I don't really want the year to end. I'm just a little bit afraid that if the term ends and there aren't any more classes, when it's time for me to go. I won't be able to say goodbye to everybody, and tell them all how much they mean to me. I've been telling them a lot that they HAVE to be there to see me off so that I can hug them and thank them for everything they've done one last time before I go.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

33 days

33 is the big number that stands between myself and going to home. In 33 days I will be getting on a bus heading to Buenos Aires from my city, and from there I will be taking a plane to Miami, and from there I will board a plane that will take me home. I have many mixed feelings about going home. Part of me is sad because I've made amazing friends here that I don't want to leave, as well as an amazing family that have done so much for me. But I'm also filled with happiness and anxiety to be finally going home. Happiness to see my home, see my cats, sleep in my bed, drive my car, see my friends, and more importantly see my family for the first time in 11 months. There are people here that I really don't want to leave though. My friends from Superstars for example are the people that really made this experience worthwhile. They're the people that I spend the majority of my time with, the people that know what I've been through, that I know are here for me. The people that I felt closest to because of our shared love for the arts. I also really don't want to leave my friends that I originally met at the english school that I went to speak at way back in June, we've kind of just kept on doing things together, and they have also always been there for me. It still feels like all of this is a dream, like just one huge long dream that I will wake up from at any minute. I can't believe in 1 month I'll be going home, I can't believe I've spent 10 months in Argentina. Speaking nothing (well almost) but Spanish, going to school, living life here all by myself away from everything that I know. It still just seems so unreal.

Busy busy busy

I haven't really written since I got back from my trip to the waterfalls, so I just thought I would write about what I've been up to since then.

Lately I've been soo busy! As soon as I FINALLY finished with school (Summer break!) I suddenly got super busy with Superstars and just hanging out with friends. In Superstars we are working on a play called "Camila - a musical of forbidden love" which is love story that's based on a true story from the history of Argentina. I have been spending so much time rehearsing for this play, I love it though. It is so much fun! I'm just an extra, but I still do a lot and I'm barely ever just standing around doing nothing. Then once Camila is over, we have this end of year performance that has some dance numbers and singing numbers. We are going to perform the winning dances that we competed in Cordoba, as well as singing as a group and then there are a few solo singers that will be singing (myself included :D ). Then the week after that, we are performing in the big plaza for a christmas show type thing. And then even though that wraps up the year for that class, we are still going to be having a Christmas and New Year's party. Then a couple weeks after that, they are throwing a going away party for me! Which  I am so thankful for! I was kind of worried about how the class would end and I wouldn't get a chance to say goodbye to all of these wonderful people! When I'm not in Superstars, I'm hanging out with friends. I've been doing a lot of things with the other exchange students, it seems like I see them at least once a week! Then I've been going to a lot of get togethers with my friends from the english school that I went to talk to a while back.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Las Cataratas del IguazĂș

The day after I got back from Cordoba, I left again to go on a trip with the organization that I came with, AFS. It was a trip to the north with all the other exchange students that were leaving in January. I only chose to go on half of it because it was crazy expensive (I loved it, but I don't think it was worth that much money, we spent more time on the bus than outside of it), the half that was going to a province called Misiones which boarders Argentina. We went to the waterfalls of Iguazu, which is half in Argentina and half in Brazil. The waterfalls were so gorgeous! They were probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I was with AFS for four days, but I only spent one at the falls. It was really fun though, I got to meet all of the other exchange students. As well as spend more time with the girls who came with me last February, including a really good friend with whom we've completely shared this experience. We came here together and before that, we were really good friends. We live at different ends of the country though, so I was really happy to see her! It was really fun to see who the different cliques formed. They weren't that cliquiy, just that all of the separate countries hung out mostly with the people from their same country, speaking their language. As much as I tried, I didn't speak very much Spanish during this trip. 

The next trip is to the south, which is supposed to be even better than the waterfalls with all the glaciers and such...but I don't think I will go just cause it's way to expensive. At the falls, we were all talking about how much money we're spending, and the majority of the people said that they weren't going anywhere else because they've already spent a tone of money. I'm right there with them, even though I'm doing fine for money, I still don't want to spend the amount it takes to go on this trip. It's just to much. :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Competencia "Superstars"

So this past week and a half has been the best week and a half of my entire exchange (so far ;) ). There is a lot to write about...I don't even know where to start. Let's just start at the very beginning...I'm going to make this a two post kind of on one trip and the other on the other trip...

so last Thursday (not last Thursday but the one before) I got on a bus with my entire superstars team to go to another province called Cordoba for a dance competition that we would be competing at. I was going with some really good friends that I haven't known for very long but we've grown really close. When we got to Cordoba the next day (8 hour bus ride), we went to our hotel and got situated in our rooms (I shared a room with my best friend and two other girls that I haven't really talked to that much beforehand). Then after lunch we all went downtown to the shopping mall to shop for a few hours (they were all really excited because there isn't a mall in Santiago). We all broke off into mini groups, and my friends just talked and walked around looking at clothes. Then after we'd gone through the entire mall we went upstairs to bowl (which is another thing we don't have in Santiago). That was really fun and I got reminded of just how badly I play. Then after we finished, we went to the food court and got McDonald's (which is another thing we don't have, it tasted exactly the same as home...which kind of scares me...I can't believe I chose to put that in my body). Then we went back to the hotel for dinner (which we couldn't eat cause we were stuffed). After dinner we just kind of hung out in the lobby until late (the kids over 18 got to go out) talking and eating junk food. The next day my friends and I got up early so that we could go downtown some more. We got back around lunchtime and after lunch we went on this city tour which was on the double Decker bus with the upstairs outside. That was amazing because we got to see the entire city. The city of Cordoba is absolutely amazing and I can't believe I finally got to see it. Then after the tour we all went to the main plaza where there was this huge sidewalk that was as big as the stage we would be competing on (you know what's coming), then for the next hour and a half we just stayed there with the gathering people, practicing our dances. Me and a friend finished early so we went to buy a snack and we just sat and talked. It was really nice to have a deep conversation with someone, it feels like forever since I've done that (plus my friend is probably one of the best friends that I've made here) Then after everyone finished, we went back to the hotel to get ready for a play that we were going to called "El Jorobado de Paris" which is "The Hunchback of Paris", which I think it's off of The Hunchback of Notre Dame but I can't be sure. That play was amazing, the voices were to die for. I didn't understand what they were saying, but when they sang I could kind of get what the story was about. Then afterwards we went back to the hotel and got ready for the next day. Sunday morning at about eight we all went on the bus to go to the competition. On the way were getting all pumped up for the competition and for the ten lucky students (Myself included) who got to go to a class taught by choreographer of Christina Aguilera (earlier that week we had a competition to see who got the ten spots...I feel like if I had competed I wouldn't of gotten a spot. But my teacher was super nice and thought that I deserved to go so that I could get the full experience :) ), getting a little anxious too. When we got there, the class had already started (the people from my province are always's just how we are) and there wasn't much time to learn anything before the class ended. Regardless, it was amazing to meet the choreographer of Christina Aguilera. Then we returned to where the rest of the group was getting ready. We still had plenty of time so I just kind of hung out with everyone and helped the people with unfinished costumes (there was that much undone, thank god). Then they started doing hair and makeup...which I feel like it took longer than it should of, but it was a long process. And it paid off too, because in the end the hair, makeup, and costumes all looked amazing!

Me in my entire costume (the skirt goes all the way down to my feet). I love this costume so much, the boys costume is only a little bit different. They only where the skirt with a bare chest with this really cool this:

Anyways, after what felt like forever it was finally time for us to dance. As soon as we got off the stage everyone was ecstatic! We all thought we danced really well (minus a couple of wardrobe malfunctions). After a couple of the other groups from our dance academy danced, it was finally time for the awards. After the opening words thanking everyone for being there and naming all the province that were there (they forgot to say my province which was immediately fixed due to my entire team (myself included) screaming the name of our province), they started naming who won and such. When they named the category for Adult section for Contemporary dance, everyone held their breath...then everyone started screaming, and jumping up and down and hugging each other. Because guess what? The dance that I danced in won first place! Gold medal! We also won a trophy for the highest score of the entire competition and a special mention for the creativity and charisma of the dance. :D So then as you can imagine everyone was pretty wild and people started crying, and I myself couldn't stop screaming and jumping up and down and hugging everyone I could get my hands on. This whole trip was amazing and it made it even better when we won, and we didn't just win...we dominated the competition. That felt kind of amazing, not just because I like winning but because it makes the only experience that I might ever have with this team even better, even more memorable.

So then we went back to the hotel and got ready to go out and celebrate. Then the next day we got on the bus and went home. That entire trip was the best time I've had here in Argentina, I don't even know how it could have been better. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that trip. Everything was perfect. :D

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Exchange Students, and waffles

So these last few weeks have gone by so quickly. I don't even know where all the time went. Within these last couple of weeks I've been spending a lot of time with the other exchange students, I see them at least once a week. About a week ago we had another AFS orientation with everyone. When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE. It was the 7 exchange students that arrived in August, 2 exchange students who arrived in February (me and and a boy from Thailand), 2 people who returned from exchange in August, and a girl who is going to England in January. It was really fun to talk to everyone and get advice on returning, as well as giving advice about going on exchange. We ate, and then we played some group building games (3 legged race, pop the balloon, etc..) it was really fun! Then that night we all went to the house of the girl who had spent a year in Norway and returned in August. That was pretty fun too, some of the people got really drunk so it was pretty funny to watch.

Then about two days ago I went to go get a package that someone sent for me. When I looked inside it, it was a waffle maker! two months ago my aunt told me that she had sent me a waffle maker, but it never got here. Then finally it didn't! I've been going a little crazy with the waffling (yes it's a word in my book), but hey you leave something for a long time and then your able to eat it again? you will go a little crazy. It's just how it is. The waffles are really good too! They taste so much like the waffles from home!