Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The clock keeps ticking...

Life did it again. A month went by and I didn't blog. It always seems to happen this way... the random daily occurrences aren't big enough to deserve their own post so they build and build and build until there is a giant conglomeration that needs to be narrated or ( in this case) I go on a trip and am slapped in the face by the awesomeness of my adventures and the necessity of sharing them. Well, this time I think I am going to start with general updates on my life and random highlights and then if I get the change I will elaborate on the trip.

First off, my host family situation. It was one of those simmering problems that has blown up and cooled off continuously for the past 4 months. I didn't bring it up on the blog because it was a rather dynamic issue and didn't seem appropriate to complain. But now that its a closed book I'll give you guys the scoop. The truth is, I screwed up. It wasn't a disaster or a scandal but it was definitely a learning experience. Something that I won't forget ever and that in the long run has hopefully made me a better person. I was not the happiest of campers in my second host house but I learned from my mistakes and matured and everything worked out in the end. Anyway, the result is that I am back with my original host family. And it is FABULOUS! They are the people who truly care about me as a person. The have time for me and treat me like part of the family- we trust each other, talk, laugh and generally live together. I feel like I have gotten the best of both worlds because I started out in the honeymoon stage of the exchange, struggled a bit in the middle, and am ending once again in heaven. :)
So, basically what happened in the other house is that there was no connection. They were super busy and I already had a well established base of friends and family in Lima so I didn’t put much effort into getting to know them. The three kids were in the US studying and the two parents worked a ton so I hardly ever saw them in the house. And therefore I spent most of my time traveling or out doing my own thing. This set up the negative vibes. I went with the good intentions to get along and build relationships with my new host parents but it just didn’t happen. They were completely different (neither better nor worse, just different) from my first family and instead of accepting and embracing those differences I began to compare. (NOT GOOD) Anyway, it became painfully obvious that there was a lack of bonding. We were always cordial and I never gave up trying to talk and have conversations but it just wasn’t working. I was much much better friends with the two employees that my host parents and when my host sister came back things didn’t improve. I admit that it was mostly my fault because I am the exchange student that should be adapting and putting in the effort to make connections but I am still going to say it was a two-sided fail. In the end the other exchange student who had moved to my previous house had issues and was required to switch so it worked out fine. We flip flopped back and I think everyone was happy. I had some good conversations with my second host parents and apologized for not integrating very well into their family. I left on good terms and learned how important it is to put effort into relationships and not make comparisons. Life is good. :)

What else? There was a marijuana scandal and unfortunately two of our gang of 17 exchangees got sent home. Due to a few unfortunate text messages and bad luck my name got thrown into the whole mess but luckily I’m still here to tell the tale. Don’t worry, I had nothing to do with the scandal… but it was still a scary thought to think that I COULD have been sent home. Thank goodness my host parents trust me and I have a good rep. :)

On the brighter side I have had a great time running around Lima the last couple of weeks… In the mornings I go to my Spanish class bright and early at 8:30 and almost every afternoon I have a class in the university. To tell you the truth, neither one has really taught me a ton so far but I get to meet fantastic new friends and it’s fun. In the Spanish class we are a group of six from all different parts of the world- two girls from Korea, a woman from India, and two fellow US girls. Even though we have different backgrounds and there is an age gap of 20+ years, we are all great friends and have even gone out for group bonding and dinner. ;) In the university, the dance classes continue to be my favorites and my Marinera professor even invited me to a huge dance performance/ party. I went with two other girls and he let us all in free and bought us drinks and welcomed us to sit at a table with his friends and everything. Even though he was the announcer/ organizer of the entire evening he managed to make us feel welcomed and comfortable… Talk about generous

Well, it’s time for bed but before I do so, I’d like to say an official happy belated Easter and happy Apple Blossom to everyone! This will be the first year in the past 15 that I haven’t done the fun run so I vote everyone gets out and does it if they can. :)