Where I went wrong: Host Family
Next thing that went wrong: my host family.
I was already having some reservations about my host mom. She screamed a lot, always about politics, always Christina. She would watch TV and tell the people she wanted to kill them. She had very strong opinions and I respect that. But she always would scream it. Stand up, wave her arms around and yell. The screaming was such a turn off. And something that was hard for me was changing a mentality that “I’m here to learn and others also want to learn from me, because I have valuable experiences to share, like everyone else. Exchanging is good and appreciated.”. Because, yes, they tolerate a little bit of what you have to share, but ultimately, you are there to learn from them. Not the other way around. “Oh,that’s what you do/say/think in the US? Well we’re in Argentina, it’s this way.”we had an incident that I won’t fully explain here, but I felt that I really wasn’t at fault. I had asked her permission to do something. Se gave me the permission. Supervised the event. Then afterward screamed how terrified she was the entire time it was happening. People in Buenos Aires have a deep sense of fear and paranoia. It’s warranted, crime is ridiculously common. But I felt that if she knew she was going to scared during that time, she should not have given me permission. She rebutted that she had been asleep when I asked. She had an hour and a half to realize and call me back to take it back. If she would have explained I would have understood. No harm done. She did call me back to clarify what I had asked her, which at that point, she later said, she did already feel fear, but she reaffirmed her permission and it happened. That was the final strike. I had really been torn about wether or not I wanted to move out or stay for the next semester. The home, location, and amenities were all top notch and comfortable, it was the actual people who I didn’t enjoy. But this settled it. I would move out. It took another month before I could, and I tried to be cheerful with my host mom, so as not to have that last month be awkward, but we still ended up never having a meal together again. I didn’t tell her my specific reason for leaving, I bet she sensed it, but I had already told her I was going to a new neighborhood for next semester and that I decided to move out a month early so that I could get used to it before leaving for break and coming back.
I love my new home. Instead of just one woman, I’m with an old couple who are very much still in love. They are kind and great conversation at dinner. My new room is a lot smaller with a lot less space, but the location is better for being able to sit in my room and still be social with them as they pass by. They also have a granddaughter who they speak of and to all the time, and I’m really excited to eventually meet her. I love kids! I’ve been missing contact with children since I left Wisconsin, and I’m excited to be in a home that visits a small girl often. One day, my new host mom saw me working in my room through lunch time, a meal that I’m responsible for myself. She came by and plopped a sandwich on my desk. My heart melted. They were also kind enough to let me stay with them the two days after the rent period ended until I left Buenos Aires. They even fed me! They also let me keep my things in their home, instead of having me pack it all and take it to some storage place. I did have to pack it all up into the closet though, a guest would be taking over my room within a day or so. I’m hoping I manage to keep a good relationship with them. My new neighborhood is in Recoletta, a much more expensive barrio than where I was before, in Almagro. So I’ve taken to hand washing my clothes since the new lavadera is so much more expensive than my old one was. But overall, the better home life makes it worth it. And it’s fun to have a new neighborhood to explore.