I have officially completed my NINETEENTH birthday. How exciting is that? Apparently here in Bolivia, it's not. Because I'm spending it with either a) Bolivians, with the legal age of 18 or b) Americans, where as we know, they can't imagine this day for another two years.
It was definitely a successful birthday, going by smoothly and calmly. Sarah came over in the morning, skipping school to spend the day with me... And then we got together with two other girls that I've recently become friends with, Claire and Belen. We hung out for the day, I skipped my Spanish class. After going home and having a nap, I got my place ready for a BBQ that I was going to have in the evening. It was strange having a meat bbq, and everyone was asking why I had one when I was the vegetarian... but apparently a bbq, called a churraso here, is the Bolivian thing to do for birthdays. At the end of the night, I got the cake shoved in my face, in the apparent Bolivian tradition. It was a small but awesome gathering spent with good friends, and I'm glad that I got to spend it with them.
The past couple of weeks haven't gone by especially fast, yet these last two months here in Santa Cruz seem to be flying by. At the moment, I've got 38 days left here.. Which is fantastically scary. I don't know if I'm ready to be going home. I've been gone so long, and gotten so used to living in this house with strangers that once upon a time I hardly knew. I'm still so far away from being comfortable with my Spanish, and just starting to use it now. Obviously what happens happens for when I get back, but I still can't get rid of the nagging feeling that I will definitely miss this place.
I've started going to the gym in the morning. Just a quick wake-me-up that will hopefully loose a few pounds before I get back home.. The summer is fast approaching (at least in Canada) and we all know how painful that Rotary 10 really is hahah. I've also been taking Spanish classes, which are going great. I realize that I work so much better in a one-on-one situation, and am finally getting comfortable with my Spanish (heck, for the first time, I've started speaking to my brother Chris in Spanish haha).
I'm trying to work on my tan in my last days of living in the tropics. My host family took me to the Mariposario the other weekend, which is pretty much a big Butterfly World. It was a beautiful park (I have the photos posted on my photo site) and we got to laze in the sun all day. I've also been trying to get to a pool as often as I can, but there seems to be a ton of rain lately, especially in the mornings, when Chelan happens to be the least busy. I know that when I get home, I won't look white, especially compared to some of you... But I could definitely be a lot darker than I am, and I need to take advantage of living in South America!!
My dad has a friend that is the conducter of a Youth Symphonic Orchestra here in Santa Cruz. When he found out I played the flute, and had some free time, he got me to meet up with the guy to talk about me joining for a while. He was super nice, and when he heard I had 8 years of experience, wanted me to teach hah! I politely declined, but am definitely interested in playing with them. He said he'd lend me a flute and everything, since I failed to bring my baby along with me. I also got to see them perform the following night. Quite impressive, especially since I'm so used to a concert band (no string section whatsoever!). I'll keep you updated on this part of my life since I have yet to practice with them.
We've had a few holidays and birthdays over the past week or so. There was St. Patricks day, which I celebrated with a few exchange students at the Irish Pub (how idyllic, no?). It's not an especially celebrated holiday here, but we had our own little fiesta. Then came up el Día del Padre, otherwise known as Father's Day, here in Bolivia. They celebrate on March 19th because, being a predominantely Catholic country, it's celebrated on el día de San José (Joeph, Jesus' father). We also had my brother Christian's 24th birthday, which involved a lot of cake. It was fun because I invited a few of my friends, and we all ended up hanging out with his friends till three in the morning.
Everything here in Boliva seems to be going amazingly. Which shall lead to a sad ended when I leave, but at the same time, shall leave me wanting more. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this crazy city in Bolivia... and will one day return, hopefully to find everything the same as it was when I left. BUT until then, I shall continue to enjoy myself, and not think of the date that looms in the near future. LIVE IN THE PRESENT!