Saturday, December 11, 2010

Is this really the end?

I am a horrible blogger.  I know.  I only wrote once in November and this is my first post in December.  School happened and visitors happened.  Chris came to visit me for a week over his Thanksgiving break.  It was the best Thanksgiving and we didn’t even celebrate it.  I was sick but oh well, they don’t do all the yummy carb filled noodles, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and many other good things.  Chris and I visited the castle in my town, ate dinner with my host family one night and did very French things.  We tried lots of different food and spent one day in Paris.  We got there at 8 and didn’t leave until 8 that night.  We saw everything that one could possibly see when visiting Paris, just all in a day, and we went inside the Louvre.  Being on top of the Eiffel Tower together was very romantic.  I am very thankful and lucky that he got to visit me.
I had a whole week of school and then my grandparents came to visit for a couple days.  They got to meet my host family as well.  We walked everywhere and I think I wore them out but we had lots of fun.  It was nice being able to show everyone my home away from home and my “family”.  My grandparents had done Paris before so we just stayed in my town. 
It snowed about a centimeter and that made everyone think the world was going to end because I guess my area of France doesn’t do snow.  The rest of the ISU students and I thought this was hilarious because we wouldn’t even consider what they had to be snow.  We still go to class when the snow is up to our knees or higher (and I like it that way!)
The days have been flying by.  It my days aren’t consumed by school then I am home writing papers or speeches or reading getting ready for finals week/week and a half.  From last Wednesday to next Friday, I have 4 speeches (which add up to an hour and ten minutes) and 7 tests.  I miss having 4 or 5 tests and being done.  I want to enjoy my last couple days here but school consumes about every minute of free time I have.  Until I get an urge to shop…
My urge to shop has been helpful because I am getting most of my Christmas shopping done, since I will only have 7 days to finish it when I get home.  I love giving gifts much more than I do receiving gifts (not that I don’t like to receive gifts).  I like the feeling of watching someone opening their presents and getting excited about what they received.  I love the look on their face.  Hopefully everyone will love their gifts from France. 
My host family put up their Christmas tree last week.  It’s a real tree and the first real tree I have ever had.  It looks kinda scrawny and naked to me because I am used to a big fake tree but it is very pretty.  There is also a Christmas market in the center of town.  All vendors selling things they made.  It is very neat and a great place to buy gifts.  What’s better than something handmade from someone in France?
I’ll write one more post before I leave but today is my last Saturday here living in Angers, France.  I have a wonderful roommate, Becky, who I will miss very much.  We only live about 6 hours away from each other in the United States but it will be very weird not seeing her every day and doing homework together.  We’re a good match and have a lot of fun together.  In a week I won’t be able to walk down the hall to her room and rant about school or home or life here or split a bottle of wine at night.  She’s a wonderful person and I’m very lucky to have had the chance to be her roommate.
I will miss the little things about living here.  I’ll miss the bakeries, the lightheartedness of French teachers and how every single day is a new adventure of learning the language and culture.  I am having the same feelings that I had right before I left to come here.  I absolutely love my town here and the size of it.  It’s exactly what you picture when you think of a French town.  I’ll miss all my friends that I have made here.  I’ve made really good friends from all over the world and they are all amazing and different.  But on the other hand, I’m excited to go home and see my real family and my friends from home, I’m excited to drive (sounds silly right) and to eat food that I know the ingredients.  Everything is a bitter sweet about leaving.  
I can’t believe that I will be home in a week.  It doesn’t seem real.  It feels like just yesterday I got to my host house and had a meltdown because I knew no one and was all alone.  Now that’s the last thing I am feeling.  There is lots of love in my program. (I love all you CIDEF students J). I am very lucky and thankful that I had this opportunity.