Yesterday, I woke up to see my host family lounging in the kitchen, because classes were canceled for the day due to the wind. So instead of a snow day, it was a “wind day.” Haha, who would’ve thought? The temperatures were significantly higher (though it didn’t feel that humid to me), and it wasn’t until we were out eating ice cream in the afternoon that it got really windy. We had to protect our ice cream from the leaves and debris with napkins! Apart from the wind bothering my eyes and the cooler temperatures today, it wasn’t too bad. We were warned that feelings of sadness, fatigue, and headaches can be attributed to the wind, but nothing of the sort happened.
On another note…..lately, I haven’t been able to make dinners and lunches with my host family. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to; it was because of class schedules, birthday dinners, outings with friends, and the occasional times when I fell asleep early that caused me to miss meals. Plus my host sisters have been so busy that when we all finally got together a couple of nights ago, it seemed that the last time we all ate together was a loong while ago. Anyway, for dinner that night, my host mom bought sushi (complete with the soy sauce, haha), and a full array of vegetables. She told me how she noticed how I hadn’t been eating recently (she also notices what I eat and don’t eat), and that she put out sushi so I could actually have my favorite food for dinner. I was really touched. And how did she know I missed vegetables like crazy?? Siiigh, how am I going to leave this place???
Also, earlier this week, my computer crashed, so I had to leave it at the repair shop. It was extremely frustrating having to pay someone (who didn’t seem to understand me, and I couldn’t understand him either, mainly because I am not a computer person) to have them tell me four days later that my computer is basically unable to be fixed. Right now I’m frantically moving all of my important information over to another location so I don’t lose all the pictures I took during the semester. Aghh. This was definitely an unanticipated problem!!!
Different topic: recently I’ve been thinking of some misconceptions that arose during conversations with other people in the program/with others in general, and I wanted to quickly address some of them…
1. Before leaving what held me back from being completely and thoroughly excited was being paranoid that I wouldn’t be able to speak. Or fail my classes since it was in another language. Everyone told me, “it’ll be fine, you’ll learn faster than you think,” blah, but that was so hard to believe. But seriously, everything falls into place so quickly. There is something about being directly exposed to the culture of a country that makes you grasp the language instantly. Granted, everyone learns at different paces, but for the most part, you will learn much more of the language (and much more quickly) during your semester abroad than during any semester or class you took before going abroad. So, don’t worry, be excited; it will only get better! Just step outside your comfort zone and let yourself go. Immerse, you’ll be fine!
2. What also held me back was being scared to talk to people one-on-one, since I was terrified that I wouldn’t understand what the other person would say to me (most of the time I knew what I wanted to say), then I’d just stare back helplessly. And for the most part, this situation repeated itself numerous occasions, and even occurs to this day (like at the repair shop…). But the only difference from the early weeks of my semester is that I’m not embarrassed or uncomfortable to ask the person to repeat themselves so I can try understanding again. The more you practice, the better!
3. There is a belief that Argentines eat nothing but meat, cheese, and dulce de leche. And drink nothing but wine. OBVIOUSLY a part of this is true. You will always see those foods in Argentina. Always. But veggie lovers, vegetables and fruit ARE here! There is variety in your meals!
Alright, back to moving my files!