92% on my Spanish exam… get in!

Today was the final day of the level I’m studying at in my Spanish school, so the class had to sit an exam! It wasn’t a big formal one, but if we wanted to progress to the next level then we had to pass it. I thought it was a bit hard but I was delighted when I got my result: 92%! Woohoo! 😀 So now I’ve officially passed “Intermedio 1” and on Monday I’ll move up to “Intermedio 2”.

It was Paula’s last day at school today, which I was quite sad about because she’s such a lovely, bubbly person and I’ve really gotten on well with her. 🙁 She’s heading off to other countries in South America now but it looks like we’re going to be in Bolivia at the same time, so hopefully we can meet up again at some point! Victor was leaving today too – he’s in another class but I’ve been chatting to him during breaks. In fact, he’s leaving the entire continent tonight because he’s flying back to Britain! Best of luck, guys, and thanks for being great study buddies! 🙂

I volunteered in another part of Ciudad Oculta (the favela where I’ve been working with LIFE) yesterday and it was interesting to see a different centre and meet more kids. An adorable little girl called Micaela attached herself to me like a leech and hardly stopped talking to me the entire time I was there! I think my Spanish is getting better so I understood quite a bit of what she was saying to me, but she didn’t seem to mind whenever I lost the thread. She asked me if she could draw a picture, so I gave her a sheet of paper and she drew a giraffe next to a tree and a flower. She then said, “para vos” (“for you”) and gave it to me. What a sweetheart! 🙂

I’ve decided to try and raise some more money for LIFE when I get home. I’m sure there are innumerable charities like this all over the world, running on a shoestring and recruiting through word of mouth, and every donation they receive will genuinely make a difference, no matter how small the amount. Volunteering has definitely made me appreciate my life and the opportunities I have much more. I’ve never consciously taken things I have for granted, but now I’m much more aware of how lucky I am to have a supportive family, a roof over my head, food to eat and a university place awaiting me. It really pains me to think that these kids may never have the chance to fulfil their potential simply because of where they were born. It’s given me a new found determination to make the most of everything that comes my way and to chase my dreams.

Finally, it’s my birthday tomorrow! I keep forgetting actually – travelling turns all your senses and emotions upside down. I’m going to have a virtual party with my family back home by using Skype and a webcam at my usual internet cafe. (Hail Skype… it is honestly the most amazing thing ever.) Can’t wait, it should be great! 😀

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