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May 9, 2013

Local Voices From Around The Globe: Exchange is like a life in a year

(Continued)

Just as the rebellious phase passes and is replaced with adventure, curiosity and overall the best part of their lives, the culture shock and homesickness passes and is replaced with adventure, “culture learning” and curiosity. This is the high point of the exchange.

At this point in time my Spanish came to a point where I could functionally communicate. With the help of this ability I started making true friends. I met a Brazilian at my school that showed me the social night life on the weekends; where people go to discotechas to dance and socialize. I met a Bolivian who took me to play soccer every Monday and Thursday. I also became good friends with the other exchange students. Since they were in different schools, they invited me to their school parties or dances called confrats, where again was a chance to dance and socialize. I explored the different parts of Santa Cruz; from the Micro (bus) system and getting lost many times over, to the soccer games at the stadium. The games are a crazy spectacle of cheering, singing, jumping and fireworks within the stadium. At this time I saw the culture differences of the holidays and Carnival. Also I began taking kenpo karate and my life started to fall into a pattern.

As I became accustomed and comfortable with my life in Santa Cruz, my life became patterned. This is like a graduate of college who settles down into a life and work in which he loves, and a life he is comfortable in. Thus the next section of my life in a year; I became like a young adult. I came to love Santa Cruz and its culture. As the young adult changes where he lives and meets new people and friends, I moved families and schools, met new people and friends.

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