Lately, I've been super tired all the time because my internal clock tells me that I can't go to sleep before midnight. It's a horrible routine because I always have to wear my enormous noise-canceling headphones to block out a certain someone's snoring. Now the battery in my headphones is dead so I'm a little worried. Anyways, I had my class of economics, badminton, and history on Friday. I ate in the cafeteria again and didn't have to endure the crazy supervisor pushing everyone around. Why? Because standing behind people in a line is sooo last week. Instead, my friend and I cut in front of everyone. Yeah, that's right. We were rebels just like the other twenty smart people who wanted their food. After school everyone had D.S. which is a graded two-hour testing time. It's on certain subjects to see if the students had learned anything that week and also to make sure that their brains are still functioning. I don't have D.S. being American and exceptional and all :) Instead I went to St. Bernard and helped out with the little ones again, but it was in a different class that was much bigger and louder. The thirty kids were divided into three groups and I was told to rotate around to each group and talk solely in English. That's pretty much impossible for little 10-year-olds. I can't even do that with the girls in my own class without getting blank stares and awkward, confused silence. But it wasn't so much fun getting stared at like some type of monument when the room was 90 degrees and I was sweating like a pig. But I was glad that the kids were so interested in what I had to say. Most of them hovered a foot away from my extremely red face the whole time.
And then at last.... Saturday! Today was my one-month anniversary in France. Already?! It's absolutely insane how fast the time has flown. It's like water slipping through my fingers. I've done so much, learned so much, changed so much, grown so much, adapted so much, and it's only been a month. It feels like a lifetime. A wonderful lifetime that I've never known before. Nine more months left. What will happen? All I know is that adapting to the environment is much more effective than adapting the environment to you. I just hope that's it's all wonderful and that I will become a much better person than who I was when I left America one month ago. It's serious adventure time :)
So my anniversary day was a super busy day filled with wonderful Frenchie things. I had horseback riding in the morning with Marie-Michelle. It was much easier than the week before because all we did was go on a long walk outside past the canals and forests. I was on my giant horse again and got a good share of whacks from tree branches. But it was gorgeous and super sunny outside. Unlike last week, my horse was in a mood to go really fast so we were about two inches from the horse in front of us the whole time. He wasn't really into personal space.
Immediately after lunch I went over to hang out at my friend Justine's house and also at her friend Mathilde's house. They're totally best friends, but it wasn't awkward at all having me there. They're super nice and into baking cookies and American music. Sounds familiar... :) Justine spent a year in Portugal with her family last year and her pictures looked amazing! It was nice to spend some time with teenagers outside of school. It was also nice to be invited somewhere and actually being able to go.
Afterwards I had to go directly to my music school. Oh, music school. I'm still not quite sure why I decided to play my clarinet again. I'm really not that good. But the other people in the Saturday group are GOOD. Amazing. Brilliant. For example, I sat next to a guy who has been playing the clarinet for twenty years. He wasn't the only one that experienced. The music was amazing to listen to and all the songs sounded almost perfect on the first try, but man I was so lost. I pretended to understand the crazy tornado of music notes, but it was useless. Also, something happened later that was interesting to me. When we had a half an hour left to class, a bunch of people suddenly went outside all at once. I peered around and saw that they were all smoking on the stairs. It was probably one of the worst times to smoke. I mean, during a music rehearsal– when it's sort of helpful to have some air in your lungs to play an instrument. But I'm in France and that's just how France is. People smoke. A lot.
So after that interesting and mind-blowing musical experience, I carpooled back home to greet Marie-Michelle. She came to sleepover for the night. Dinner was a lot of fun because it wasn't just Marie-Armelle, Xavier, and I talking the whole time. Later around midnight I forced Marie-Michelle to watch Glee with me with French titles and afterwards we talked for a long time about everything. I'm used to staying up late at sleepovers and talking and talking and talking. That hasn't changed :) My French is surprisingly good at one in the morning....
So talk about busy. Two hours of horseback riding, two hours at Justine's, two hours at music school, then the rest of the night with Marie-Michelle. Phew. There were about ten minutes total all day spent doing nothing in particular. I fell asleep around 2:30 thanks to my dead headphones and Xavier's snoring (we were down in the living room and I could still hear him from his bedroom on the third floor!!)
Today was a wonderful day shared with many wonderful people. All three of my host families came over for a big presentation of my photos taken during our week at L'île de Ré. Marie-Michelle and I woke up around noon and found that Anne-Soizic had returned for the day. Then later Morgan showed up... and then the entire Robalo family came over: the mom, the dad, the two sisters–Lucy and Clauthilde– and Gregoire; the autistic brother. They're my second host family, but I don't know much about them yet like the Guinsets whom I've done a lot of things with already. We had a big lunch with a giant tiramisu cake that Marie-Armelle had made for my one month anniversary in France. I got a chance to talk to Edern on the phone for the first time (he's the Raux's son whose currently in Taiwan for a year doing an exchange like me). He's super nice and having an incredibly hard time learning Chinese. Then a bit later we all ate crêpes... with Nutella! Gahh, so good. I'm going to gain ten pounds here, I just know it in the back of my gourmet mind. I managed to turn my crêpe into a ball of fried crêpe dough and Clauthilde burned hers. We're obviously master chefs. Later, Clauthilde, Marie-Michelle, and I looked at a ton of my pictures of America. The girls were awed by the things that I see all the time like the mountains near my house and the big shopping malls. Then the entire Guisnet family came over. So that made.... 15 people over at the house that usually only has three :D It was great. The photos were a big hit and the food was delicious. Speaking of photos, while the girls and I were hanging out we took some pretty intellectual photos on my computer. Check them out:
|Left to right: Me, Marie-Michelle, and Clauthilde|
|Two host dads in the background :)|
Dinner was rather humorous that evening with Morgan being here for the night. We talked a lot about smoking, since he smokes regularly. It's obvious that the Raux don't like his habit, but they weren't too harsh about it. Morgan even got out his box of cigarettes to show them a design on it and they all casually passed it around. It was the first time I've even touched a cigarette box. He asked me later if I wanted to go for a smoke with him, but I declined because I would like to preserve my lungs for future use. But he's my funny, sometimes temperamental host brother that I wish would stay around the house longer. I'll have siblings soon, I know, in my other host families... but I'm not patient.
Well, I must go to sleep now at this lovely hour of one in the morning. Xavier is snoring, but I found a new battery for my headphones. School starts at eleven for me tomorrow :D I'll need the sleep. A bientôt!