So September.. how the months fly.
This month has been a crazy busy month, I would say my busiest yet (and that’s saying something)! 
 
I guess the first big thing that happened was that I went to a cumpleaños de 15 (a 15th birthday). It was certainly something different! We all had to dress up super fancy and arrive at about 9 pm (which is super super early in Argentina). My school friends (the 5 of us that were invited) and I arrived at 10 (unsurprisingly as we are ALWAYS late). We were the last to arrive and got quickly ushered to a table. A few minutes later Chiara (the girl who was turning 15) entered with music, her dad and this absolutely gorgeous dress which was white and lacy. Then photos were taken as everyone cried, Chiara said hi to everyone and then she danced firstly with her dad and then with all her family members and friends. It was gorgeous!
 
After that we all sat down and had dinner. The food was delicious, if a little bit common, with the usual milane (schnitzel that we eat everyday here) and chips. After dinner we watched videos of Chiara when she was younger, people gave speeches and she gave the 15 most important people in her life a candle each. After that, the party started and the dance floor filled up rapidly! My friends and I all felt very old as nearly everyone was 15 and 16 or adults. We danced regardless and had a great great night. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to go to another neat some point in the near future!
 
The following weekend I started what was probably the most busy week I have had on exchange so far. So on the Friday, my family took me on a trip to Villa General Belgrano which is a small town that has German influence. It was an incredible weekend and the best part about it was that we had absolutely gorgeous weather. That meant we could spend time by the pool in the hotel, cook up a bbq, do a hike to a nearby waterfall and of course explore the nearby villages. We also went out for dinner on the Saturday night and ate all types of German food such as sauerkraut! My host brother also came (he’s 20 and doesn’t live at home) and we get along super well so that was a major plus as well!
 
On the Sunday night we arrived home from Villa General Belgrano at around 7pm and it was one exciting thing to the next. That Sunday night we had “La Serenata” which is a typical event in Bell Ville for all the year 13 students where we go around Bell Ville on bike to deliver presents to the teachers (as it is the day of the teacher) and in return they give us food and drink. We all biked around singing school songs and all dressed up with headbands and our school jacket and t-shirt. Then after we had visited all the houses (at about 2am) we went to the park and ate all the food with all the other year 13’s from all the other schools. It was super super fun and I got home at around 4am (and so obviously the next day at school our classroom was empty haha). 
 
On the Monday I had my friends birthday which was a lovely afternoon which I passed with her and all her friends, eating and chatting. Then on the Tuesday I had school but due to the fact that the Wednesday was the day of the students and we didn’t have school, we celebrated the day of the students on the Tuesday in school, all day. This meant that we didn’t have classes and instead spent the day playing handball and football between the different classes and in the main hall there was music and food for those who weren’t playing (was definitely more fun than my average school day). Then after school Luisa (my friend from Australia) arrived and she was going to be spending the whole week with me! At around 9pm we got ready and went to the dance to celebrate the day of the student! All of the schools went and we even had a famous band come in from Buenos Aires to play. We danced cuarteto (a famous Cordobes dance), screamed and sang all night! It was a very typical Argentinian dance and I loved it. Luisa and I returned home at about 5am, very worn out, with sore feet from dancing so much! 
 
The next day we were up at 12pm to go and pass the day of the students with my classmates! We arrived to my friend Agos’ house to the smells of Sausages on the barby. It was a super super nice day and so we all sat outside in the sun, chatting, with loud music and good food. We danced, played games and just had a lovely chilled afternoon. At around 5pm we went over to the park, along with around 2000 other Bell Ville students and there was a stage with a band. We passed our time seated on a picnic blanket with loads of friends and families. Finally, Luisa and I returned to my house and had dinner before falling into a nice long 14 hour sleep hahahaha.
 
The next day, Thursday we had absolutely gorgeous weather and Luisa and I spent the day by the pool, sunbathing, swimming and drinking terrerre (a typical Argentinian summer drink) before going to have dinner with some of my friends. It was really nice to just chill and catch up with Luisa, as I hadn’t seen her in what felt like so so long (but was probably only about a month haha).
 
On the Friday we travelled to Cordoba (for the very much awaited Orientation) and we also went out for dinner with a few of the new exchange students that night in Cordoba. However getting to know the new inbounds really began on Saturday at 9am when we met everyone at the bus station to make the trip to the hotel. It was honestly an incredible weekend. I love each and every single one of the new exchange students however it was so so weird being an oldie, being asked questions, having to translate all the spanish… Regardless, I loved the whole weekend and already have so many plans to meet up with them. Something I also observed was that this new group are a lot more united than the old group already and without so many cliques (well so far). I think with the last group, with us being only 5 newbies (who arrived in January) made it really difficult to integrate ourselves as they already had groups, whereas with this group there were no preformed groups and so it meant that we are part of the groups as well and not just on the outside.
 
I have also been told by nearly everyone, from my first host family, to all the coordinators during the orientation, to some of my teachers, that I have developed a very Cordobes accent and it is odd to hear as it is like a mixture of foreigner with a clear Cordobes lilt. I’m so happy about that as it was honestly a goal of mine to get the Cordobes accent since arriving here in January. In fact, when I went to have dinner with my first host family the other week, they were like “no, I can’t even listen to you..we need to get rid of it” hahahaha.
 
Some things I have coming up is, 10 days in Cordoba/Alta Gracia/Carlos Paz visiting exchange students and Charo (the exchange student from last year) as I don’t have school as all my friends are going on a 10 day school trip but I wasn’t allowed to go as it is known for involving a lot of partying! I am also going to celebrate my 18th birthday in Cordoba this coming Sunday (that’s one of the main reasons I am going to Cordoba as I don’t want to spend it here in Bell Ville alone) hahaha. I also am going to a festival in Cordoba called “We Color” that raises money and awareness for depression (and you get compacted coloured powder kind of like the colour run) to throw around. It is in a massive forest next to a river and has major acts that play music during the afternoon! I’m so excited to be going with some of the exchange students! I also have the South Trip coming up on the 27th of October until the 11th of November…then I have less than 2 months left… 
 
It’s so crazy, I am so conflicted. I absolutely LOVE my life here, but at the same time I am super excited to come home for summer at the beach with my family and friends in NZ. I know I will miss Argentina so so much when I leave, especially my friends (school and exchange students) and so I shouldn’t wish away my time here by thinking of home and yet the closer I get to leaving the more I think about home. It’s odd as I know I should spend time living in the moment rather than thinking about NZ, which don’t get me wrong, as you can see I have been! I honestly also just want to say thank you so so much to you guys for everything you have done to make this happen… it is honestly the most incredible thing that a teenager can do and it helps you grow as a person so so much, as I find myself changing little by little every month.
 
I have seen you have been having a lot of rain over there.. Hope it’s not too miserable!
 
Molly
 
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