Hi! I’m Clara. I’m fifteen years old and I live in Pando, a small city which is 32 kilometers away from Montevideo, the capital of my country, Uruguay. I live with my parents, uncle, sister, Sara and my Hungarian host sister, Barbara.
I’m an AFS volunteer, which means I’m part of an international organization called American Field Service. This organization is an advocate to making a better world, promotion of understanding and respect among different cultures. AFS makes exchange programs for students all over the world, and thanks to them I’m here, and Barbara is in Uruguay.
Regarding myself, I like cooking, travelling and I absolutely adore reading. I read every thing that comes to my hands, from brochures to poems. I enjoy going to the gym, in Uruguay I spend about 9 hours a week there. However, I’m very bad at sports, and I can’t last more than 3 minutes running. I also like languages, in Uruguay I was cursing my first year of both Japanese and German, sadly, I understand very little, and I’m kind of shy when it comes to trying to speak them, since I’m not good yet.
My favourite color is blue, or maybe sky blue. If I had to eat the same thing every day, I would gladly eat pasta. I don’t like dogs all that much. I prefer cats, maybe because my mother never let me have a puppy. My favourite subject is literature, and the one I dislike most is math since it’s really hard for me.
About my country, Uruguay, in my opinion, it’s not exactly a great place. We’re just a little country with 3.4 million inhabitants, trapped between two giants like Argentina and Brazil. I kind of like my country, but not very much. Even though we’re considered to be one of the most democratic, green and innovative countries in the world, I can’t ignore the lack of opportunities or the fact that we’re still considered an under developed country.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a politician. I wanted to make my country a better place, but I gave up on that childhood dream long ago. Now, when I grow older, I want to study communication or foreign affairs, and work in something that allows me to travel as much as possible. I don’t want to live in Uruguay when I’m an adult. We’re made for roaming around, and I think that the world is too big and has too much to offer to just stay in one place our entire lives. There’s always somewhere new to go, something else to learn and someone new to meet.
Sometimes when I’m asked about why I came to Japan, I believe that is because I’m on the chase to find that something different and new. Now I’m as far from Uruguay as I can get. Even though I’m on the other end of the world, some things are always the same.
It makes me dream that someday we will realize that a brighter future is possible, that deep within, we’re all equals, that violence, illness and poverty are everywhere, and we can’t stop them when we’re all on our own. I think that coming here taught me that we’re closer than we think, that the rest of the world is not that far away and untouchable, that even growing up world apart we’re similar, and that it’s better when we are together.