Here on the other hemisphere things are so amazing, I don't even know where to start.  I went on my first Rotary trip for exchange students at the beginning of the month.  It was ten days in the Pantanal, a huge wetlands area covering much of central/southern Brasil.  Every day we had so many activities: horse riding, trekking through the forest, seeing waterfalls, wetlands safaris... We got up at 6:00 am every day, and barely slept at all. It was definitely one of the best trips I've ever taken, and the most tiring.  I know that everyone says this, but the best part was being with the other exchange students, the only other people who have experienced the exact same things I have, felt the same things.  Our whole group became very close, very quickly.  And now, if I want to go to Taiwan, or Austria, or the Czech Republic, I have someone to stay with and show me around.  What an experience!

 
I've been very busy ever since.  I've been figuring out the public transport system, getting myself to and from school every day alone.  The first few times, I got completely lost in this city of five million.  Luckily though, my Portuguese is good enough that I found my way to school, having taken four busses, and arriving two hours late.  I've gotten more efficient since.  This weekend I went to a Rotary party at a Rotarian's beach house.  It was so beautiful there, and the Rotarians are a lot of fun.  I spent the whole day there on Saturday.  I also went to a Rotex meeting. (Rotex meaning exchange students who have returned to their home country.)  Rotex is just getting started in my city, so it was nice to meet everyone and throw in a couple suggestions for how they should operate as well.  When I get back to Canada I want to start something like this wherever I end up.  The Rotex group is very helpful, not only with our problems adjusting or with host families, but also because they know the best and most interesting places to go in our cities.
   Sorry for taking so long to update!  Better to be too busy for this than to have too much free time.  Thanks again for this opportunity, so much.  Already, this is the best year of my life!