2023-24 Delaney, outbound to Argentina

Jul 21, 2023

I can’t believe that in less than 6 weeks I will be in Argentina! When I got the call that I would be going abroad, the idea of leaving for 10 months to live in a new country, while speaking another language, without knowing anyone was daunting to say the least. While it’s still pretty terrifying, the last 7 months of preparation has replaced a lot of those nerves with excitement. I’m excited to share with you all a little bit of what I’ve been doing to prepare. The part of preparation that I have found most fun is researching my host country. Through Google rabbit holes, talking with Argentines living in Gainesville, and virtually meeting my first host family, I’ve learned a lot about my host country; everything I learn makes me more excited to go. One of our assignments from the ROTEX was to create a presentation that gives an overview of our host country. We got to give this presentation to our fellow outbounds, ROTEX, and Rotartians at training; then yesterday, the outbounds from Gainesville visited our Rotary club to tell them about where we are going. I really enjoyed getting to share a little bit about something that I am so excited for with the people who are helping to make it happen.

As I mentioned, I got to meet my first host family via a WhatsApp call a couple of months ago. I got to meet my two host parents and host brother, Jano. Jano is my age and will be on exchange next year in Belgium, so while I won’t have any host siblings while I’m there, he has been so helpful in answering my questions and connecting me to his friends. My whole host family is so kind and patient and overall they have really positive vibes that make me excited to meet them in person. While speaking my host language was pretty difficult over the call, they were so supportive of my attempts to speak Spanish and calmed much of my anxiety around not being good enough. It’s crazy to think that I will be in Argentina with them so soon.
On that note, I really need to start packing. While I’ve started to mentally plan what I’m going to pack, I know that plan is going to go completely out the window once I start for real. Trying to condense my entire life into one checked suitcase and one carry-on is pretty overwhelming. It’s also compounded by the fact that my parents are hosting a student in my room while I’m gone, so even the things I don’t take with me have to be packed as well. I know it won’t really matter in the long run, most things can be replaced, and I’ll be so happy to be there that my suitcase won’t be a big deal.

As far as why I haven’t started packing yet, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks taking vacations with my family and Girl Scout troop. After 3 years of planning and multiple cancellations, my Girl Scout Troop finally made it to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. We spent 7 days in the wilderness area between the U.S. and Canada canoeing and backcountry camping. I’ll put pictures below, because the scenery was breathtaking. It was such a perfect way to wrap up my time with my troop for the next year and makes me that much more excited to explore National Parks and Wilderness Areas in Argentina.

The next time I write I will be in Argentina! With how quickly time is going, I’m sure it’ll seem like tomorrow that I’m updating you all on my experiences. I’m so excited to see what this next year holds and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!