Monday, January 31, 2011

You are not a tourist

We are not tourists anymore. We are not French, though. We have to act as if we’re the culture but not  actually be French. Clearly, we are not worthy of such a title J I have had no problems with the French and love being here already. It’s been a long few days. We got in at 6 am and our hotel at 9 30. We met our program director at 11 and then just sat until our rooms were ready at 2. FUN.

If you've ever stuck your head outside of a car window you know what it's like to feel like the world's coming all at once towards you. That's how these past 2 days have felt. Instantly we're only speaking French. Everyone walks faster than my dad's jogging rate. Insane.

I'm currently at our hostel in Paris which is very nice. We're having our orientation week before we live with our host families. It's the typical linguistic tests, orientation of the school, and getting to know the subway. I've had my first crep :) So wonderful.

The best part has been my first real French meal tonight and my dessert. This is in honor of my father. Yes, dad that is real chocolate. Actually death by chocolate.

I'll have more to say tomorrow. Jetlag's kicking in. Wanted to let you all know I'm well and safe :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The First Day of School Butterflies...

T Minus 2 and a half days until Paris!!!

One of my first kids I babysat said, "Stephanie, I think I have the first day before big girl school butterflies". She said she didn't want to eat her afternoon snack because she was afraid the butterflies would fly out. Six years later I can't help but feel as if I'm in the same boat... 

I'm 20 and feel the same as my sweet little 5 year old friend. I'm finishing packing up my apartment here at Elon, participating in 2 rounds of my sorority recruitment tomorrow then heading home sweet home. I'll be home for a grand 30 some hours before taking on Paris.

Since beginning studying the language at 13,  French has caught my attention and hasn't let go even 7 years later. Despite going to my dream place, I can't help but feel a roller coaster of emotions. Being around my good friends in my sorority makes me realize how much I'll miss them while abroad (don't forget me pretty ladies!). One of the biggest blessings I've had has been to be a Tri Delta, so it will be hard to be away from such great friends for bit. (shout out to you tri delts, be excited). 

Being some place completely different, away from home, and in a different language is quietly tugging my heart a little. Being away from my three best friends at Elon who help, encourage, and make me smile every day is a weird enough concept. Topping missing out on our girl nights with less phone calls to my mom, dad, brother, grandparents, and cousin is just inconceivable.

Even with those conflicting feelings I can't help but want to shout HOW EXCITED I AM FOR THIS! If you're reading this, you know how much I enjoy a challenge. This is just one more way I can push my comfort zone to learn new and different life lessons. Wish me luck, keep reading, and thanks for the support. I wouldn't have been able to have the courage to leave my comfortable, beloved Elon or physically move out without the love and support from most of you. SO THANKS.

P.S. Pray for the girl with OCD trying to pack 4 months in 1 suitcase. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! :) haha