Bariloche

Honestly I don´t think I need to write much, the pictures speak for themselves. This place is absolutely breathtaking.

I´ll admit I travelled to Bariloche a little bit cocky, like mate, I know mountains. Mountains are my backyard, my weekend past time, my view from the bus on the way to school. Oh there´s lakes too? Cool, we have them, they´re alright. Don´t get me wrong, I was super excited to get back to something a bit more familiar, feel the fresh air and the freedom of being surrounded by the world. But woahhhh this is something different. These are continent mountains and continent lakes. Peaks bursting from the mirror still surface with shear cliffs, the snow just managing to cling on and pine trees carpeting the hills.

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However, of course this majestic beauty calls to the eyes of the world. Everyone wants a taste of the nature and moutains, and due to this the place is VERY touristy. For me, the man made things and development of a place can take away from the beauty, because you just dont have that same connection to the environment that surrounds you. For example we went on an amazing boat ride on the lake and arrived to a place called Puerto Blest and here they had built a huge hotel and restaurant. I can´t help feeling that we come to these places for a step away from the development of cities, something about these places beckons to us, our insistictive human nature to be close to the world and yet with it we bring our industralisation and ways to make money. Yet I have to just accept it for  what it is, because the reality is I am one of those tourists. Maybe I would prefer to stumble upon a secluded mountain lake during a hike on the paths less tread however beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if you think to much about what it could be you miss what is.

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On our way back to the airport my host dad asked my favorite part of the entire trip was and I said this place:

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The picture does not do it justice. This perefctly still lake mirrored the surrounding mountain. It was so silent and still, one of those times where you just want to sit there and feel it all, breathe it in.

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Ruta de los siete lagos:

We drove this famous road on one of the last days in Bariloche. It winds between mountains and lakes from Bariloche to San Martin de Los Andes, passing through Villa Angostura, a prestigous little village about an hour from Bariloche, apparently both the president and the Queen of the Netherlands have their holiday houses there. Unfortunately for us it was simply to cold to properly explore San Martin de Los Andes, you couldn´t be outside without absolutely freezing. The snow made it pretty amazing but I can definitely see the advantage of visiting in the summer, camping out by one of the lakes and hiking in the mountains.

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We were so lucky that it snowed during our time there as we were able to experience Bariloche in it´s full winter glory. It made for some epic snowman building and snowball fights. Also a trip to Bariloche can´t be done without stopping by one of the many chocolate shops. I was really missing my Whittakers chocolate but it made up for it!

Also I haven´t mentioned that Bariloche is in PATAGONIA! I´ve been wanting to visit Patagonia for a few years now after we watched a video of some people climbing there in Outdoor Ed class. Such a dream come true!

Stella

Change of Plans.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this year, apart from a ton of Spanish, it would be that life is very hard to plan.

I left New Zealand over 3 months ago knowing that I was going to Argentina, I would have 2 placements and I would be back sometime at the end of the year. Yet here I find myself almost 4 months on with a change of plans.

This was definitely not a decision I took likely, I made absolute certain that I was not just being driven by a fleeting emotion and that I truly believed it to be the right decision for me and that is I am no longer continuing with Lattitude. Let me explain.

Almost a year ago I created this blog. I created it to write about the amazing adventures I´d have, the excitement and to write all about how I was living for each day, without a care in the world and that my heart was happy. And man was I so right to think that, but also so wrong. For one, I´ve posted 9 times in 11 months so we can´t say I´ve been writing about everything hahaha but 2. I´ve realised that it doesn´t take a huge change to have an adventure. Let me try and explain this in the best possible way because it´s difficult to walk this fine line about explaining the truth of an experience without sugar coating it and without making it sound awful, when as just about everything else in life it is neither black nor white, and it´s not gray either…it´s just a bit of both.

I’ve tried to write this post many times and each time I’ve been in a different frame of mind which I found really shaped the words I was writing a little too much. However now I’ve had a good amount of time to think about everything. The good, the bad and ultimately why I’ve decided not to do a second placement.

To put it the simple way I guess the placement wasn’t quite what I was expecting. More often than not there is honestly no real need for me to be in class. In a small school, some classes with only 7 students in a class the help of one teacher is more than enough. As the days dragged by and each one was the same it just became more and more unbearable because I didn’t come halfway across the world, spend thousands of dollars simply to sit in a class all day. Essentially it feels as if I’m a student again but without learning anything!

These days in class with nothing to occupy your mind really lets it wander.

I would think of home, of the fun times with my friends and family. Of what I could be doing instead of sitting, bored. Boredom, exactly what I came here to avoid. This gateway of negative thoughts had cracked open and the flood came rushing through. Along with about 2 months of being sick, and little to occupy my mind it was whirling with thoughts and most of all I was homesick. Maybe 4 days out of 7 I would have this weight in my stomach and on my shoulders as a number whirled around my head. 9. I was going to be here for 9 months, 9 months in which the majority of my time would be spent in a classroom doing nothing. I played with the idea of only doing one placement but it was never really serious until one day when I woke up feeling physically sick. I didn´t want to eat and I just wanted to cry and let it all out. Here is something I wrote that day because putting my thoughts into words always helps me process it, i didn´t intend on making it into a blog post but this just gives you a little insight into where my head was at during the worst point

***

At what point do you call it quits?

I knew the reality when I signed up for this, well at least I thought I did. I knew homesickness would be factor, that maybe for the first month some nights I might cry myself to sleep but then it would be out of my system and the next 8 months would be fine, I would have found a new home here.

And I have found another home here. I absolutely love it, I guess it is what I expected it to be in that sense but what I didn’t expect what how hard it would be.

Sometimes I feel like I’m homesick more than I’m not. It´s not crying myself to sleep every night but it’s a silent longing in my chest and stomach for home. For my family- those drives home from work with Dad after sport training, meals full of fresh veges while me and my brothers queue up and make sure we are dividing it equally. Runs on the gravel road with mum and those fricken trips to riccarton mall that I disliked, I long for it now.

I long to sit with my friends, watching some stupid movie and the conversation flowing. Those old jokes being brought up and again and again. I want to explore the mountains and swim in the sea. I want to wait for the ferry in the cold, knowing that in under an hour I’ll be back home.

I get stuck in to life here and I forget about all of it, but my brain is distracted and as soon as I’m tired and the conversations switch to Spanish, well that feeling comes back. I’m having a good time here but I had good times at home too.

I’ve never been one who is sad, I guess. I’ll feel that emotion but soon enough I’ll be bubbly and happy and if you saw me now I guess you’d think the same. I laugh because I am happy! I gaze around in wonder and revel in the fact that I can communicate in Spanish. I have an amazing family here that makes me feel so welcome, and I could almost convince myself that they are, but they’re not my real family. Honestly more often than not I have a little tear in my heart. I guess my default emotion of contentedness isn’t quite there, in New Zealand I longed for adventure but I just needed to open my eyes and see what was right infront of me. Now I’m living the adventure but the familiar is what I crave.

So this brings me to the question, at what point do I call it quits?

Because to tell you the truth I’m scared. Not of being so far from home any more but scared that this feeling of not quite contentedness will manifest itself into something more. Can I really afford to let my mental health suffer under the pretence of being brave and sticking it out. Is it more brave to except that I gave it a really good crack, more than that, I actually fricking did it? I can have conversations now in Spanish. I’m more independent. I’ve made pretty huge decisions and here is another one. However I’m scared that as this is a mental thing what if I go home and nothing is how my homesick mind made it out to be. I go home and I’m lonely cause none of my friends are there. I realise that those rides home with Dad after sport aren’t a thing because I’m not playing those sports any more. That Christchurch is actually very boring and I become homesick for Argentina.

However I know nothing changes about seeing my family and friends again.

So will the most important decision I make be, to be brave? Not the conventional brave of stick it out, harden up, but admit that health is what is more important, that happiness and not just being happy but truly content is what I need. And that I know with all my heart that being home is where I’ll find it.

I’m 18, I have more time to explore.

I’m 18 and I don’t think I realised how young I was.

I’m 18 and all I need right now is my home.

Do I admit that I quit?

***

However this story isn´t one of the homesickness getting the better of me and returning back to the familiar simply because the challenge is too great, not that there is anything wrong with that either, rather it´s about making the decision to live the life I want to live. Essentially it wasn´t these negative thoughts that shaped my decision. It was that the situation I was in allowed me to have these thoughts, and that wasn´t ideal.

What sent me half way across the world, to this country, away from everything I know was the thirst for adventure, for a challenge and because I´m a firm believer in living life to the fullest. Yet here I was. Stuck in a class, feeling useless and unhappy. I realised that failing myself wouldn´t be not completing the 9 months, it would be coming home and saying, ´well, that was a waste of 9 months!´.

I´m not at all saying I´ve wasted my time so far, far from it, rather I´ve had that experience and now, whether it wasn´t what I was expecting, whether I was misled, or whether I simply grew out of it, I know that I need to do something else.

Far out, they say you learn stuff from these experiences and I always thought ´mate, I´m not writing a goals sheet of my personal development objectives´ *looking at you lattitude hahaha* but it´s been truly eye opening because I guess I realise that when you are facing a difficult situation, facing it head on and busting through may not always be the best option. I think that was a hard thing for me to realise. As you can see from what I wrote earlier I kept saying ´calling it quits´, and I´ve always had that mentality that I need to be tough and grit it out and if I don´t I´m essentially failing. However choosing a different path is not giving up. It´s simply choosing the best option for you.

So what´s next?

Don´t ask me because, as I´ve just spent the last 1693 words explaining, life is hard to plan. However, I do know that I´ll spend some time in Lobos and after my goodbyes that I know will be so hard, because I´ve met so many great people, made amazing friends and in general really love this place, I will then head to Mendoza and from there spend a couple months travelling around Argentina and Chile which I am very excited about. I do have some travel plans, there is a difference between being flexible and screwed because you have nothing booked.

All I can say is I am so much happier than I was a month ago. I´m feeling so much better physically and mentally and have begun to truly enjoy my time here because the time feels so much more precious.

And I guess I´ll be seeing New Zealand again sometime in September, if all goes to plan (hehehe)

Stella x

Missing home

I know you’ve heard of the big wide world too

the promise of bigger things, better things

Life changing things

So you stand on the shore,

after all has been done and said

The big blue expanse stretching between you and happiness

Adventure with a capital A, is all that lies ahead.

Soon this precious heart that yearns to drift with the breeze

equally it yearns for home,

And to tread those well worn streets filled with memories

familiar ones, with cracks that can be jumped with corners easily turned.

It yearns to scale mountain paths of intoxicating air, up where the keas soar

knowing that at the top it’ll look upon the world it knows

It yearns to look somewhere and say, ‘I’ve been here before’

12 years old

9 years old

5…

4…

This once far off land is seen,

laying draped in clouds, and forever they seem to last

A fog that viels reality

and whispers the best times of the past

Whatever you have here, darling, you’d be happier at home’

And the first familiar thing is this voice, you’ve heard it speak before,

A voice that held a promise of better if only you dared to roam

Rays pierce the cloud, bouncing from one blinding particle to another

It dissipates, slowly but surely

Finally your open eyes are free to gaze around in wonder

They stop looking for better,

And realise what you have,

Well it’s pretty f***ing awesome.

Uruguay🇺🇾🇺🇾

Until I came here I can’t say I’d ever heard much about Uruguay. Infact until today I couldn´t have picked the right flag emoji to put in the title. I’ve never heard the words ‘Oh I really want to go to Uruguay’ or the answer to the question of where someone wants to travel be ‘ Well, Uruguay is at the top of my bucket list!’ Which is a shame because this place is so cool!! I guess it must just get swallowed up in South America a bit, it’s a country half the size of New Zealand smothered between Brazil and Argentina, 2 of the largest countries in the world. Having only been here one night I guess I can’t have too much of a say about the entire country and the things to do outside of Colonia but what I have seen so far is the most beautiful town, full of amazing buildings and cobblestone streets and people that follow the road rules unlike some other countries (I’m looking at you Argentina!) Its so nice being able to cross a road without the imenent fear of death every time you do so. Here, if you cross at the corner, the cars stop and wait for you to cross! It doesn’t even have to be on a pedestrian crossing!

The cobblestone streets and colonial architecture are so amazing and make you feel like you’ve been sucked back in time. With different colour buildings decorating the streets and plumes of vibrant flowers on the trees. Interestingly Colonia was actaully a portuguese colony before it was taken over by the Spanish so there are a lot of portuguese style buildgins too. I learnt that on the tour we did, and it was pretty much the only thing I did learn because the tour was in Spanish. It´s so hard to concentrate on someone talking in Spanish for a full 2 hours and if I zoned out for even a second I´d loose the meaning of the entire bit of infomation!

Another thing I found super interesting here was how the people are even more obssesed with Mate than they are in Argentina, they carry it around on the streets while they´re walking- with a thermas full of hot water under on arm and Mate in the other.

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Stella

Mar Del Plata

*This was originally 2 posts but I thought it would make more sense to just combine them. Hope you enjoy!*

A dream come true:

So I’m on my way to Mar del Plata currently on a bus. The bus ride was supposed to take about 5 hours and it’s been 5 hours and we’re about 2 thirds of the way there because of traffic. I’m sitting on the bus bored. Annoyed at the traffic. Questioning my decision to travel on Easter weekend when I take a step back. I look out the window and think wow. Not cause of the view because it’s just been dry grass since we left Buenos Aires but because I’m in Argentina, travelling. It’s been my dream to travel when I left school for so long and since I came to South America last time it’s been my dream to return and explore more. And I am.

I’m so proud of myself. Like I didn’t put it in the too hard box or say ‘when I’m older’. As we were sitting in the 5km line for the toll box I was thinking what a waste of my day but that’s not even true. It about the journey not the destination right? Like yes I would love to get some food and be at the beach right about now but the very fact that I’m able to be on this bus heading on an adventure is something amazing.

It’s just a little reminder to myself that it’s all about perspective and a positive attitude can work wonders.

Mar del Plata:

Its really hard to capture the essence of an experience within words. No matter how you describe it, it’s difficult to express ‘the vibe’ I guess. This weekend was amazing.

From walking 16km in one day in order to see as much of the city as possible to touch games on Argentinian beaches, it was just one adventure after another.

Argentinians that I had spoken to about Mar del Plata seemed to not have high hopes for our weekend. They just recited about how crowded the beaches are and how at this time of the year the water is freezing. How the city beaches aren’t very nice, not natural. And this was true. The beaches were crowded, but not as crowded as during summer! However for us this was such a cool experience in itself, to have only one square of sand for our space and to be surrounded by other people was very different from what we’re used to back in New Zealand. It gives the place such a good vibe! Everyone is just relaxing, chatting or kicking a football around. I’m not saying I’d like to have this every day but it’s amazing to just be able to see a different way of doing things. In terms of the water being freezing- it wasn’t haha. New Zealand is a little further south than Mar del Plata and therefore we’re used to water even colder. The beaches themselves seemed man made, I’m not sure of the history around them but I might look into it. They were also very commercialised and touristy with umbrellas set out and chairs and little beach couches which was interesting.

The CHURROS!!! So I thought I’d had churros before but I hadn’t. These were churros. Crispy on the outside, light on the inside and filled with he most delicious array of different fillings-chocolate, cream and dulce de leche. Everyone had told us to go to Manolo churros and I’m glad we did. It was especially amazing sitting there eating them on the side of a hill overlooking the sea, having walked for an hour to get there.

The most amazing moment for me however was when we brought a bit of kiwi to Argentina. Having carried a rugby ball through a bus station(cause we didn’t already look enough like tourists haha) it was necessary that we put that rugby ball to use. We brought it down to the beach and were throwing it around but then decided to have a little game of touch so went over to the neighbouring little bay with less people and played as the tide came in, which resulted in soaked clothes, the ball floating on the waves as they surged into shore rather than sitting on the ground and a lot of fun. As we were already soaking we just went for another swim as the sun set and it was so magical. It really hit me just how much my home has shaped me and how it will always be part of me no matter where I am in the world. Also that no matter the differences between places there are always little similarities. For me this evening was a classic ‘New Zealand’ evening. Touch on the beach and swims as the sun sets. You may be far away, may be swimming in a different ocean and be surrounded by a different language but there will always be commonalities as long as you realise home is from within.

Stella

Time and Communication

It is said that time is subjective but I’ve never realised just how true that is before these past 2 and half weeks. If I think about 2 and half weeks during the school year- when I have a routine and each day is the same as the next, possibly with a slight variation in what sport I have on after school or the quantity of homework I have to do- I would think it’s a reasonably short amount of time. However these past 2 and half weeks have felt more like 2 and half months. I guess that’s what happens when you’re constantly learning, constantly having new experiences and most notably constantly concentrating!!

Back in Christchurch I’d come home from a long day and just relax, have a conversation with my brothers, or mum and dad. However now when I come home the challenges are just beginning. At school, here in Argentina, I’m speaking English for a large amount of the day, except with the little kids when I have to explain things in Spanish, however when I get home I speak with my host family in Spanish. Now, this is challenging! Sometimes I find myself listening to what someone says how I would if I was listening to some speaking in English before realising that I didn’t understand a single thing! I can understand however it just takes a lot of concentration and sometimes I just can’t Spanish!

Recently I realised something, that I’ve been saying I know ‘un poquito’ (a little) Spanish for about 3 years now. It’s not that I haven’t improved, it’s just that the more I learn the more I realise I don’t know. I think I’ve graduated from knowing just a little now, but still I prefer to keep people’s expectations low so they don’t come at me with some rapid fire Castellano. When I have time I’ve just started saying ‘yo puedo entender pero es más difícil para hablar’- I can understand but it’s more difficult to speak. Because that’s the truth of it!! Never judge someone’s ability to understand a language by the amount they can speak!

Another thing I’ve come to realise about languages while I’ve been here is how inpatient and rude some New Zelanders can be to non-english speakers! I’ve maybe encountered one person, serving at McDonald’s who spoke to me super fast and then got annoyed when I couldn’t understand but the majority of people are so incredibly patient and helpful. They want me to learn their language and know that I’m not stupid I just don’t speak Spanish fluently. However sometimes they don’t realise that I could in fact understand the words if they just spoke slowly! I guess that brings me to my next point- how incredibly kind and friendly everyone is!

This is a culture full of hugs, kisses and saying hello to strangers(not in a creepy way). Every time you great someone it’s with a kiss on the cheek, no matter how many people there are everyone will welcome and farewell everyone that way. For example, at the end of the school day at the primary school the principal stands at the door and kisses every single student on the cheek! Well, there are only 130 of them but still. Also the other day I went to the shop and every time someone would walk in they’d say hi, not only to the person at the counter but also to all the customers lined up to pay and the same when someone left! I’ve been told that this is more the culture of Lobos and that it would not be the case in the city however all the same it’s just so lovely.

Also the other day I started volleyball(known as Volley here). I was so nervous because, well, I didn’t know anyone, I don’t speak the language that well and I didn’t even know how to play volleyball. However, it was the only sport here I could play cause apparently girls only have the option of hockey and volleyball and insurance rules out hockey so Volleyball it was. Anyway, I was standing there for maybe 1 minute before a girl comes up to me and starts talking to me and asking me questions and they were all like that! So friendly and didn’t even care that I didn’t understand half of what they were saying, they were just so happy to teach me how to play and ask me questions about New Zealand. I was actually pretty decent at it thankfully.

This is already pretty long so I think I’ll write a different post on the food here, my typical day and where I live!

Thanks for reading x

Stella

Buenos Aires🇦🇷🇦🇷

11 and half hours after taking off from Auckland we landed in Buenos Aires. The city was very different from how I had remembered it, I wonder if my version of what it was like had been distorted by the other cities in South America that I visited on the previous trip, but whatever the reason my memory had Buenos Aires recorded as much dirtier, and more run down than the one that greeted me on the 7th of March 2018.

The streets of B’s A’s are generally very nice, at least in the area of the city in which we were staying. They are decorated with trees and beautiful buildings wherever you look.

We arrived just after 4 and made our way to the hostel in which we were staying. After dropping off our stuff we headed up the road to a resturaunt for dinner. Here we had our first introduction to Argentinian culture where one of the other volunteers accidentally ordered an entire bowl of ham and chicken instead of a salad cause of the language barrier!! Full of pizza and salad(and meat!) we went back to the hotel for some much needed sleep. We were exhausted but unfortunately 10pm in Argentina is 2pm in New Zealand, so despite how tired we all were it was impossible to sleep. At 2:30am we decided we needed some fresh air cause the fan in our room wasn’t quite enough to refresh us from the 30+ degree heat inside. We found the roof which gave a bit of a view of the surrounding buildings as well as the southern cross. It was pretty cool to see it all the way across the world as knowing you can see the same stars helps you feel not quite so far from home. Honestly, the first night was pretty difficult, just as I knew it would be. That along with the goodbye was what I was dreading the most. Lying in bed for 6 hours and not being able to sleep gives you way too much time to think and being tired makes it especially hard to be logical and not let emotions take over. Eventually at 4:30am I got to sleep and didn’t wake up until 11:30 the next morning.

The rest of the time was spent exploring the city. Visiting all the same places that I’d seen before but it was really good just seeing it again and fully experiencing rather than taking photos and stuff.

La Boca was as cool as ever, we went to this amazing place for lunch in which I experienced my first asado and choripan which is like a sausage in bread on steroids. It’s soooo good. That evening we spent on the roof of our hotel chatting and having a good time. It was such an amazing way to begin the next 9 months!!

Stella x

See ya later👋

What an emotional day it has been! I’ve never felt so many different emotions, nor so intensely. As I write this I’m sitting in seat number 59G on Air New Zealand 30 and I’m about 100m off the ground above Auckland. Bye N.Z see ya in 9 months!

Today, despite the tears, and there has been A LOT of them, has really shown me how lucky I am to have the people I do in my life. In fact it is the tears that has really shown just how much my family and friends mean to me. And importantly, it’s made me realise how much I mean to them too. Goodbyes are always the hardest thing, they leave you empty and drained mentally but your heart even more full as you realise the love and support that surrounds you. I just want each and everyone of you to know just how much I love you and how happy I am to have you in my life, because despite the tears and the sadness and leaving, I know that you’ll be there for me whenever I need it. It’s a big big world but really everyone is only a phone call, or a Facebook message, or a Snapchat, or a Skype call away. Yes, I know that’s not quite the same thing but there’s always someone there to talk to if needed. Also despite the Km’s, with the ingenious invention of air travel Aregntina is only 12 hours away from home.

*ahhh there’s a bump! A lot of bumps! I don’t like turbulence hahaha*

A few hours ago, just after going through Auckland customs I was hit with such an overwhelming feeling of wanting to go home. It’s such a brutal cycle because you’re emotional about leaving home, friends and family and absolutely exhausted from those feelings and when you’re tired all you want to do is go home, but obviously that’s not going to happen. However, just as any other feeling does, it passed. I put down my phone, played a game of cards, walked to the gate and talked to the others and now I’m feeling so much better. So much more excited to go and explore. I know this feeling will come again at some point, and when it does it’s so overwhelming but you just gotta take a deep breath and realise that this isn’t the end of the world. Worse comes to worse, tell yourself that you can in fact go home whenever you want. The beauty is that every decision is your own and you have the freedom to shape your future and your life.

*omg I hate turbulence so much and I just fastened my seatbelt way too tight and can’t loosen it hahaha*

Talk to you soon, because the adventure is just beginning!

Stella x

Almost time to go!

It’s at that point where I’m counting down in weeks rather than months and that’s when you know the time is getting close!! At the moment I’m mostly excited but the other morning I did wake up, open my eyes my eyes and the first thought that came to my head was ‘What am i doing??’. Every now and then I have these moments when I think too much about the fact that I’m going to Argentina for 9 months. Leaving my family, friends, my house, my bed, my language- really everything I’ve ever known. And that is both scary and incredibly exciting. The more I think about it the more I realise I am ready for this adventure, ready for new challenges and to do some more exploration of the unknown.

Finding out who my host family is and having chatted to them a bit online has really helped ease my mind of any worries about being alone over there because they are THE nicest people and seem so excited for me to arrive. I just know it’s going to make everything so amazing to be surrounded with such lovely people.

Logistically I’m yet to have sorted my visa because I’m waiting on the apostille and translation of my police check, that with any luck, should arrive within the next few days. Once I’ve done that and once I’ve paid my final lattitude fees I should be all good to go. However there is also a bunch of random little things I need to a) Think of and B) Do before i go. Things like sorting out a card that I can use to pay for things overseas. If anyone has any tips on good things to have while travelling please let me know because I know I’ll struggle to think of everything!

This post is a bit shorter than usual but it’s because I’m in that in between state where most of the organisation has been completed but I haven’t actually left on the trip yet!

Anyway, thanks for reading!

Update: It’s a couple weeks later and I’ve sent off visa application finally! Yay!

 

Stella

What I’m doing and Where I’m going!

Hola chicos!

Long time no write…

I meant to make this a regular thing but I didn’t really have much to write for a while and as soon as I did things got HECTIC! I mean, I should be studying right now but sometimes it’s just super hard to be motivated so I thought instead of jumping on my phone I’d write a little update!

Right now everything is a bit stressful. Flight payments are due today and, as I always do, I left it to the last minute, and kind of on purpose…I don’t know why! It’s not like I forgot about it or anything and now I’m stressed. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF???? On top of that, I have 3 exams in 2 days and all this other random paper work and medical checks. It’s weird how much more paperwork you have to do as you get older. It’s like BAM, you’re 18, now fill out these forms please.

I think last time I wrote I had yet to have my interview with Mili, from Argentina. Well that’s done and dusted, like far done and dusted, so done and dusted I actually barely remember what it was about. I think it was more of her just getting to know me and similar questions to what I had in the first interview.

Well, long story short team,

  1. I am definitely going to Argentina, it’s feeling more real and yet I still can’t actually envision myself there!
  2.  I still haven’t got my police checks back that I sent in 4 months ago…so I sent another form through yesterday
  3. I have a tentative, not confirmed placement in Los Lobos.
  4. I’ve had the opportunity to meet all the others who are going to Argentina too!

 

Update:

So I started writing this post about a week ago and once again got side tracked but ALOT has happened in this last week so it’s good that I didn’t get around to finishing it.

I’ve payed for my flights!!! We’re leaving for Argentina on the 7th of March, which is just  over 3 months away! How?!? It was so hard to pay that amount of money because I am someone who saves money and hates to spend it but I think this is one of the most worthwhile things you could spend your money on. Buy experiences not things kids!

I also had to go to yet another doctors consultation, this time about vaccinations. It’s a tricky decision deciding which ones to get because they’re not compulsory and the actual likelihood of getting any of the diseases is so low that sometimes the potential side effects seem more likely than the disease itself. However, what if I am the one in a million person to get yellow fever or something, that would suck… At the moment I’m going to get vaccinations for Hep A/ Typhoid and Meningitis. Not that this is really interesting or anything but it would’ve been good if I had something like this to read to help me make my decisions. My reasoning for not getting the Yellow Fever vaccination right now is that where I am going to be based does not have a risk for it, it’s only in the far north of Argentina and,if I do decide that I want to go there I can always get it done in Argentina (I hope).  The only problem is to travel to Paraguay and Bolivia you need to have had the vaccine if you are travelling to those risk zones. However I don’t know if I even want to travel there.

Potentially the most exciting thing is that yesterday I had my placement in Lobos confirmed!!! From what I’ve read it looks like a really cool place. It’s a town of 40,000 people located 100km away from Buenos Aires.  My position for the first 4 months is to work in this really cute little school and help the teachers and teach the students English. The school is for all ages, from the littlest ones to students my age which is going to be a bit strange but I’ll get used to it! Honestly Lobos seems like the perfect place for me. It has a lagoon where you can swim, lots of sport teams and they have their own website which I thought was really cool. I love the fact that I’m not going to be living in the big city yet I’m still close enough to visit on the weekend and buses travel there regularly (as in every hour). Many of the other volunteers are based in Buenos Aires so I can go visit them on the weekend too.

Photos of Lobos:

Image result for lobos Argentina

Image result for lobos Argentina

Image result for lobos Argentina

I’m honestly so excited right now and it’s starting to feel more and more real! I just realized that I will be in Argentina in less time that it took me to put up my second post…

Also if anyone has traveled to Argentina before or knows much about it, please let me know of any cool places I should check out, or just general advise!

Hope you enjoyed reading,

Stella xx