Well, sorry to not have updated in a couple weeks but I´ve been having major issues with my internet here. We´ve now switched to a new server, and I will hopefully now have reliable internet service. Now.. to catch you up on the past two weeks. It´s been quite exciting, especially last week, because of my graduation and prom events.
Last week, the exchange students tried to organize a trip to Noel Kempff National Park, and park up in the far NE reaches of Santa Cruz to go explore the Amazon jungle. I was quite excited about this proposition since I had wanted to go to this park prior to even arriving in Bolivia. As we organized the trip through a travel agency, I found out that the cost was going to be far above my budget (mostly because I´d be going to Brazil less than a week after getting back from this trip). I brought my dilemma to my trusty mother, and we figured out that it would be best if I didn´t go (she was also worried that I would catch malaria, being in the jungle without any medication). I was quite upset, thinking I´d be in Santa Cruz by myself for a week and a half.. and then I found out that Rotary had cancelled the trip, finding the jungle unsafe for the exchange students.
I spent a Saturday with my councillor´s family last weekend and they took me to Las Palmas Country Club. Upon arriving, I found out I was in heavan. This was where all the rich people of Santa Cruz were hiding from the heat of the summer. It was absolutely gorgeous, and maaaaassive. Tennis courts, golf courses, pools, restaurants, a gym.. eveything you could need to kill the heatstroked afternoons. We spent the afternoon tanning, and then jumping into the pool (which had a swim-up bar might I add) to cool off. My councillor´s wife offered to write a letter saying that I was their new hostchild to see if I could be a part of their membership, since it´s quite expensive ($60 per month, $15 per guest a day).. so hopefully I´ll be able to swim away my summer, and go to the gym there (they also have a swimercise class in the mornings!!).
Last week was quite a busy week, leading up to graduation and prom time. I was so busy (as well with the on again off again internet connection) that I forgot to hand in my Rotex Roundup paper. I got it sent, a day later but I don´t know if they accepted it or anything. I had to get my cap and gown etc.. which was a little hectic, having to also pick up Brodie´s because she was in La Paz with her family. We had a graduation practice one morning. There had also been a couple others (apparently, according to Brodie) but none of the exchange students had known about it. Graduation went really well. We get to walk down a red carpet with our parent (usually father for girls, mother for boys) and then receive the certificate.. no walking across the stage for us. After graduation, we had a going away party for one of the exchange students, who was leaving to Argentina the next morning (her american club felt it was unsafe here).
Then it was prom time, which was equally as hectic. My host mom went out and bought me jewlery for my dress, which were absolutely perfect and I can wear with stuff other than extremely formal wear. I picked up my dress just in time, and it was PERFECT.. and it only cost us $50 which was relieving, since my family insisted on paying for it (I was afraid that they were going to want to pay for a $150+ dress). My host mom also found a hair salon to make an appointment with, which we waited at for over an hour, and then they curled my hair with a straightening iron... girls, do you know how much that hurts? For future reference, stick to the curling iron hahaha. Prom evening, it didn´t take too long to get ready for me, but my family took forever. I wanted to be on time (the invites said 8pm) but we didn´t get out of the house till 8:45! When we got to there, I found out that we were very early and ended up rushing for no reason. I still can´t get use to this Bolivian lateness thing. We were supposed to do the "parading" of the graduates at 9pm, which ended up happening two hours later.. I ended up taking my brother with me since I didn´t have a date. I found that since families were invited to this event (and everyone took advantage of this, some people inviting up to 45 people) it was a lot more fun, a lot bigger..
My family also had taken me out to buy a graduation ring, which they presented to me on prom night. It´s very cute, a star with amythystI need to get used to everything happening really late here. We ended up eating dinner way past midnight, dessert at around 130am and then dancing. A bus arrived at 3am to take us to our afterparty (we had changed into actual clothing at Brodie´s) and then we drove the 15 minutes to a classmates quinta (country house) outside of the city. It was a massive place, with a pool and everything. It was definitely hard to stay awake, it being so late... but I made it to about 630 before I fell asleep. I got almost two hours of interrupted sleep (it´s hard when the massive stereo system never turns off) on a cement floor, and then it was off to lounge around the pool. I wasn´t expecting there to be a pool, so I had no swimsuit.. but ended up getting dragged in with my dress on, which was quite refreshing. The bus ended up coming at 230pm to take us back home.
I was so exhausted, and napped for a bit when I got home.. but then the family told me that they had another prom fiesta to attend that night, a cousin or something, which I had to go to as well. They reassured my look of horror by saying that we´d come home early, since everyone had to work in the morning. We didn´t leave the house till 1030pm (and this is me functioning on 2 hours of sleep), at a formal event, sitting there (starving I might add) not knowing anyone and trying to keep my eyes open. By 1am, they decided that it was enough pain for me and took me home, right before the food was brought out.
There´s an Enrique Iglesias concert coming up soon, which all of my girly friends are planning to attend. I really can´t wait, especially if he sings some of his English songs (hahah I really only know what´s been on the radio). I'm going to Brazil in a few weeks so the next little while so I´ll be slightly hectic, running around trying to get visas and tickets organized. We're celebrating the American Thanksgiving in a few days, since most of the exchangers are from the States. I´ll give you another update when I´m home from Brazil!!