Bio: Studinski, Therese (Exchange Student - 1974)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Studinski, Vargas, Castro

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 9/26/1974

Studinski, Therese (Exchange Student - 1974)

Therese Studinski found her make-up tests in Spanish “easy” when she returned recently from Quito, Ecuador, South America, where she had been an International Fellowship exchange student. She is a senior at the Loyal High School.

It was her first real venture away from home, and she found the altitude of 9,000 feet somewhat different. Her first family, the Senor and Senora Marco Vargas has twin sons, age 14, another son, age 15, and two daughters 17 and 18 years old. The household included two maids.

Senora Vargas is a doctor who was in the process of opening a pharmacy. The number of pharmacies is limited, and there was a short delay for another to complete closing out his business. Her exchange father is a lawyer.

When the season arrived to harvest the cane on their sugar plantation, the Vargas family moved to that location some eight hours away. Therese then went to her second family, the Senor and Senora Jorge Castro, who were the owners of a chain of hardware stores. The Castro’s daughter, Susana, who is married, had been Miss Quito in 1970, and Miss Ecuador in 1972. She is the coordinator for the International Fellowship.

Although there are wealthy people, common problems still abound. Certain sections of the city have water limited to certain hours of the day. So, Therese learned to leave the water in the bath tub, along with getting accustomed to cool bathing as there was no water heater. The maid used the tub water to flush toilets after 11 o’clock in the morning.

Abundant foods, Therese said, were “lots of shrimp in salads and soups, and lobster, clams and oysters. We had rice instead of potatoes.” Meal time was also a little different with the noon meal at one o’clock, and dinner at 8 o’clock in the evening. So, the maid would fix a lunch for Therese at five.

The ornate churches amazed Therese. She attended with her families. Her first family took her to the equator, just a 30-minute drive from home. Another great adventure was climbing up a mountain where they had a picnic. Her second family took her on drives to other towns.

Since all girl babies have their ears pierced, Therese’s mother pierced her ears, so she could wear earrings like her friends.

Good clothes are a symbol of affluent families which means you have new clothes often. Seeing the maid scrub the clothes by hand, using homemade soap in cold water on a cement block, didn’t do much for keeping clothes new looking.

Automobiles are mostly the small European cars which are expensive, but gasoline is only 30 cents a gallon. The boys in her first family drove the car. To get a driver’s license you learn to drive first, providing you don’t get caught learning.

Parties mean dancing, and the boys were graceful dancers, a delightful switch. She said that at birthdays, everyone slipped a ring over the candle and made a wish. After the candles were blown out they took the rings back, licked off the icing, and wore them again. Young people have high standards, and respect the drug laws which are very strict.

Like all exchange students, Therese brought souvenirs for her family. Mrs. Florence Studinski, who is secretary-deputy director of Clark County Civil Defense, appreciated an Indian wall hanging for the living room. Her sisters were given ponchos, and her brothers games, and leather goods.

After graduation, Therese plans to study Spanish in college to become an interpreter. The English movies with Spanish captions were a great help in improving her language.



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