Friday, October 1, 2010

a lil rough patchin'

it's been a hard week for me here in various ways - but one of the most significant problems was with my host family. i finally moved out of my host family's house due to "cross-cultural differences" which included (on both ends) percieved insensitivity and differing lifestyles. so now i am living in a volunteer house, which is great because the people are open and fun-loving and i have lots of freedom. it's also challenging to decide how i want to spend my time and to make sure i keep speaking lots of spanish while hanging out with these awesome-english-speaking volunteers.

today i am feeling sort of anxious. i'm still settling into this switch from my host family's house and not feeling to guilty about how things didn't work out. i hope to take some time to write and think tomorrow, but today i can feel my anxiety taking over a bit. i am not quite myself.

good things have also happened! i went to an unbelievable parade in a village called punata with a great group of friends. my very good friend here, jorge, is part of theater group taught be an argentine couple. jorge + his argentine friends are also tight with another argentine named rodrigo (who is very funny, has the strongest accent, and is addicted to mate), a SUPER cool bolivian girl named flor (mega friend crush), and crazy outgoing girl named han from belgium. i brought british maia along with me and we all set out for punata to experience the folkloric dances, chicha and incredibly friendly bolivians. we ended up coming back the next day with a slightly different group - more sustainable bolivia people, a random irish kid named sean, a great girl named kelsey (who went to middlebury language school this summer and who i might travel with later on), and our bolivian friend cynthia. on the second day in punata, there was a power outage, and we ate anticuchos (cow's heart) in the dark, while sharing a jug of chicha.

yesterday my friend sarah and i tried to go to a trampoline aerobics class at the gym, but it turned out there weren't enough people to have a class! we were bummed. instead, we went running through the city streets, which was really fun. you may remember that i disastrously sprained my ankle dancing to tik tok my kesha at my dear cousin sophie's bat mitzvah party, and i am glad to report that my ankle felt 85% great. i hope to go running with sarah again.

today i really enjoyed work. sometimes i feel like i have nothing to do - there are quite a few volunteers, and the girls often have very dry homework to do. but today we played basketball and i chatted with a lovely girl named leida while we made paper snowflakes.

another important thing is that i am for real going to dance in the university's parade. i have been practicing almost every night in the plaza with university students, jorge, and british maia. some of the girls are really nice! my favorite is a chica named yolanda who always listens to her ipod while we dance... she's a lazy butt. anyway, maia and i made so much progress and can now dance with the group, instead of practicing by ourselves on the side.

and the sit kids are back! i am so excited. i've seen all of them in the last few days, but we haven't really been able to hang out. apparently they had an amazing and difficult time staying with families in the rural countryside and exploring la paz - i'm thinking about moving with la maddie to la paz while she does her independent study project in november... just an idea!

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