Sunday, January 15, 2017

Being Happy Where You Are

               It's been almost a week now since I said goodbye to my first host family, and things are going pretty well. I guess I have to make them go well. I've found it really helps to keep myself busy and to not contact my family, friends or former host family too much, so I've been putting that to use. My temporary host family has really helped me improve my French accent, and I'm even getting my fair share of cooking in. Also, it really helped to have already explained from where I come from to one family. This time, I immediately brought up the Amish:) I've found that adjusting here came much easier than expected in general. I know how this country works, sort of. It's more that I know how I work. I've learned how to learn how to adjust. I am happy where I am, who I am with, and the different experiences I've been having even this week.

               It's interesting to see how this family is different from my other host family. It's pretty fun to wake up to your door creaking open some days, hear a meow and then have a cat jump up on your bed and come snuggle with you. (By the way, many French people kiss their pets.) My stomach adjusted to the eating times of my first host family, but we eat earlier here, so I have learned to eat a normal "American" lunch in order to have a healthy appetite in the evening. The very first night I walked into my room here, I noticed that there was a blanket with New York on it. How nice:)

             The villages are different too.  If I thought my other village was small, well this is even smaller, so I guess it's good that Troyes is only 25 minutes away. Yep, I'm the kid who complained of her hometown city in her home country being too small, and the closest "big" city here is the size of that. It's funny how life works, but I am not complaining in any way! This is Europe. The towns are different. I am happy. I've had my fair share of traveling anyway, and Troyes will always have a special place in my heart. That's where it all started here,

             Today was one of the best Sunday afternoons I've had in a while. I went with my "temporary host mom" to my "temporary host brother's" house and we had a grand time. We ate French patisseries and coffee, and I was able to hear about his experience as an exchange student in Brazil. In fact, I demanded to hear about it:) Then, he pulled out his guitar and treated us to some songs he wrote in Portuguese and some other songs as well! It was just so good to be with them in a stress free situation. I know that I want to be an AFS volunteer just like my temporary host brother after my experience abroad. It's after the year that you see, or hear about, how much the experience impacts you.

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