So yet again, my month has really flown by me! I can remember everything so clearly, yet it is happening so fast, and wow am I having the time of my life. I feel like I’m really starting to understand the culture here and am really, really enjoying myself. My Spanish is at a conversational level. For about 2 weeks now, I’ve been able to understand I’d guess around 80% of what people are saying depending on whether or not they talk fast. 
Still with my group of friends at school, I really can’t understand much when they are all talking at the same time, but I am really improving with one on one! I am able to talk about quite a lot of things, and people are so encouraging! I have a friend at school that wants to be either a translator or a teacher for her career, and this means she is obsessively teaching me Spanish. Everyone is still enjoying helping me with my sentences, and now that I am able to string sentences together in the right tense and understand conversation, I love practicing and talk anytime I can! I have also started individual language classes and have had two so far, which is basically just intense conversation and comprehension. 
 
I’m still going to the gym every day possible and have continued my dance classes! I love this, because it’s like another little family outside of my friends from school and dancing is like learning another language! It’s just another example of pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning new skills, and I am getting the hang of it! The routine is nice, and some nights I stay at a friends house after (Paula, Leo or Jose) or I take the bus home.  I have built a good relationship with my second host family and am very excited to move in, which I think will be happening in the next week or so. I have also been cooking a lot! I’ve been able to create and try lots of new things and flavours for my dinners. 
 
Rotary has disappointed me a little because I was so excited to get to know my club! With my individual club it’s not that I’m not invited to meetings, it’s that the club itself just doesn’t meet! Nevertheless, I love my counsellor and have gone over for lunch as well as visited his second house. He refers to me as his granddaughter and it’s just the nicest thing! I really feel a good connection with him. This month, I also had my first Rotary camp, so I met all the outbounds and inbounds. It was slightly difficult, as I am the only new inbound, so my Spanish is behind the others and I couldn’t really connect with the outbounds as well as I would have hoped due to an obvious language barrier. The whole weekend actually was very, very disorganised and was so different to what I expected but obviously we still had fun. I struggled through my presentation (which I was actually super proud of and I am so thankful that I prepared it back home) and did a haka at the end of it! Everyone loved the haka and I got a lot of compliments. A lot of the outbounds are keen to learn it as well and it’s super cool to teach them. I’m actually so, so proud to be sharing my culture like that, and it’s strange to feel so connected to something I didn’t really do at home! A few people asked me ‘do you always dance like that in New Zealand? Do you do this all the time with your family?’ and I had a little giggle to myself before assuring them that we do talk and dance like normal people. Speaking of funny questions, I forgot to mention in my last report that I have been asked ‘How many wives do the men in NZ have?’ and ‘How many bugs do you eat at every meal and what kind?’. I love teaching about my country, but it is quite funny to hear what people think New Zealand is like. 

My friend Ezgi from Turkey leaves on the 5th of May and this is quite a difficult thing for me. I really love her, even though we are both busy and don’t see each other often, we have such an amazing friendship. I am so grateful for exchange and that it has given me the opportunity to not only meet amazing people in Argentina, but amazing people that live really all over the world and that I would have met in no other way. I’m sure I will find a way to visit her and that we will stay friends for a very long time. 
 
I still love, love, love school! Really, going is the highlight of my week. I love being with my friends and it’s a relatively relaxed environment meaning I can talk, learn Spanish, and also see a bit about what they are learning! I am able to participate more lately and am talking to more people as well as having slightly more advanced conversations. For me, it can really depend on the person about whether I can understand, for example some people I understand almost nothing that comes out of their mouth which is so strange! I am really starting to feel like part of the class. There’s a girl in my class that brings mate to school and I am sitting with her for at least a little bit every day, so we can talk and share a mate because i absolutely LOVE it! I am definitely taking as much mate home with me as possible. This month we had our ‘Promo” which was where we presented our leavers gear to the whole school as a surprise and it was so much fun. Again, I lead the class for a haka which was an amazing feeling. We also did some dances, and someone bought in 150 cans of spray foam which we covered the crowd of students with! 
 
 

Cassidy leading the Haka

 

Dancing

 
I have a really nice group of girl friends at school and it’s so nice being invited to things which keeps me so busy! Sometimes we will go to merienda and we all go to one girls house every Monday. With my friend Jose, we did a small road trip to Carlos Paz and spent the day on a beach by the river. For Easter, I went to Capilla Del Monte with Jose as well, where I spent the weekend with her grandma, mum and aunty. It was so nice to be welcomed in like I was, and to spend time with her family. I really loved them! And because it’s Argentina, of course we went out to party and a ‘boliche’ because here, they use parties to celebrate anything and everything! I am falling in love with this country and its people, and I am so unbelievably excited for what’s to come. 
 
 

 

 
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