Re: I get around... but not much

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From: novela-harmon@bethel.edu
Date: Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 6:33 PM
Subject: I get around... but not much
To: grace-k-nelson@bethel.edu

Everyone else in the home-stays has a roommate. I was supposed to have one, but for some reason she fell through at the last minute. They asked me if I wanted to switch to the dorms instead, but it seemed like an opportunity to have an even better immersion experience, without the cushion of another English speaker. I suppose it is, but the host family situation has been so different than I had expected. Anyway, now I'm the only one that doesn't sort of have auto-friends. I talk to people in class, but when they make plans for outside of school it generally involves going to clubs and getting drunk, which I don't do, so it alienates me even more. And for some reason my house is far away from pretty much everyone else's, as well as the school, so I'm geographically isolated also.

I hate to admit this, even to myself, but so far I am rather disappointed with this semester abroad. You know how much I wanted to study in Mexico, and I realize the fact that I'm here is exciting in itself, but the truth is there is nothing to do when I get home from school. Señora serves me lunch ("comida," a meal at 2 or 3 p.m.) - alone! I'm not sure when she eats, but it's not with me. Between Señora feeding me and Lupita cleaning my room, I'm starting to feel like a princess locked away in a secluded castle or something. (I even have a balcony off my room to stare off forlornly!) All right that's melodramatic, but Señora always takes my dishes when I'm done and washes them, and then disappears to her bedroom. There is no internet at the house, so every afternoon I come to the internet café and write you these long emails, email my parents and Levi and anyone else who has emailed me, and finally log off when I realize it's been two hours (11 pesos an hour adds up). I'm a little scared to go out at night, especially by myself, and I don't know where I'd go if I did.  I don't really have any friends at this point, and Señora doesn't seem to have any interest in me other than keeping me fed and sheltered. There is a TV in my room but it only has Spanish channels. That's fine but the shows I've seen seem stupid, or maybe I just don't understand enough of the idioms to get them. I watch them to improve my comprehension, but I get bored after a while. You know I'm not a big TV fan, anyway.

Other than that I have nothing to do at night besides homework, and I (yes, even I) can't read textbook-Spanish about the early presidents of Mexico for four hours straight. So I journal and write emails that I will send when I get on the wi-fi at school or just stare out the balcony window until I get sleepy. 

Needless to say, I am a little stir-crazy. Please write back! Getting emails is the highlight of my day, other than, perhaps, class.

- N

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