I have now spent a month in México- although it feels like a much shorter amount of time. Everything that has happened since August 8 was a roller-coaster where I had no idea of what would come next.
Starting with the high of arrival- my family is so caring, and for this I will be eternally grateful to have them as my first family. My parents- Lily and Antonio- both have helped me in unique ways and from their actions especially I see they listen to me and they understand where I am struggling or what I´m interested in learning more about. Lily is going to teach me how to knit- something I have wanted to learn for a very long time! My brother Emi- who today will be proctoring an exam or the states of México for me- is all you could expect from a 13 year old. He is a funny guy with a sassy streak and loud laugh. Beneath all that he helps me a ton- revising my sentences and pronunciation when he notices something is wrong. My two weeks with my sister Fernanda was a flashback to my last two weeks at home- frantic packing and being very sad about leaving friends and family for a year. Even from my short time knowing her I know that she will be amazing in France and we all love looking at her photos and sharing photos from home.
While visiting with my extended family- their excitement for teaching me about México definitely rubs off on me. I absolutely love listening to the long histories on my Abuelos´ lives, which reminds me of hours of sitting on the couch at my own grandparents- hearing about past generations.
Growing my family even more is the amazing group of Rotary exchange students that I have here in Atlixco. Giulia and Isadora are two Brazilians living inear me. While we do not see each other every day, we have shared the same struggles and good times thus far during exchange and they make Rotary events much more enjoyable. There are also several Rotex students in my school. They too understand an exchange student´s life and are really great people all in all. I´m also incredibly lucky to have my friend Elle (from Dubuque, Iowa) living down the road in Puebla! This coming weekend is District 4185´s orientation weekend in Boca del Río, Vera Cruz, and I am so excited!!!
School has been good, and about as boring as American school! My classmates have taken me under their wings, even if they annoyingly teach and reteach me all the cuss words in the Spanish language. My favorite class is probably math because I already know all of the material they are learning so it´s easy and I get to show off my crazy Hogg family math skills. I´m happy that I´m in their senior year as I´m with people my age. I also get introduced to many people-learning names is so incredibly hard- and it´s frustrating to repeat basic facts about myself almost every day (this will hopefully stop soon).
For those who don´t know- I am a rather clumsy person, and I have a bad habit of hitting my head. Which of course adds up to rather painful headaches. Long story short I was having some bad headaches last week, and it stressed me out as well as scaring me. This (and a much needed phone call with Robert) led me to realize one of the first big lessons of exchange: you cannot be in control of you´re own life 24/7. Which made me remember a simple piece of advice from one of the RYE mentors- remember to breathe. I know that I should be able to trust the people around me to help me in the right direction when I don´t know what will happen or where to turn to, and I made a pact with myself to attempt to be more open about how I´m feeling. Which scares me just a bit less than losing control. (Thank you to all my friends for keeping my spirits high and Lily especially for helping me with this past hurdle)
I as always have a lot to look forward to, and please (as always) comment or email me any advice or thoughts!
more to come soon,
What was left out...
((Starting now...each blog post I will share the best, worst, and a funny thing that has happened since the past post))
At Fernanda´s goodbye party, there was dancing (of course) and my friends taught the basics of Cumbia
Leaving class sobbing because stress + headaches
Going shopping at Walmart with my family and pushing Emiliano in a shopping cart
Hello, I’m Isabel Hogg, a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student for the 2018-2019 school year. Story 18 is a documentation of my year living in Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico.
Youth Exchange “Slang”
Outbound: A person departing a country, similar to emigrant
“I am an outbound from District 5970”
Inbound: A person coming to a country, similar to immigrant
“I am an inbound to District 4185”
District: Divisions of countries/states that organizes Rotary clubs across the world
Rotex: An Exchange student who has already completed their exchange term
RYE: Rotary Youth Exchange