Traveling and Learning

Well, so I left off with a short sum up of that I’m basically on an adventure. At the time of my posting, I didn’t quite realize where those adventures would take me, but they’ve been eye-opening and quite unforgettable in more ways than one.

So, what has this coffee addict been doing the last couple of weeks?

Should I mention drinking coffee since that seems to be a no-brainer? So, yes, I have been drinking espresso to my heart’s content. I spend most of my mornings reading until I decide that I will indeed venture out into the wet weather to do some exploring. My French is somewhat lacking in the mornings since I don’t even generally like to communicate in English until I’ve had time to let the coffee have its effect. However, I’ve been enjoying seeing museums and talking to various people.

This past week was probably about the most eventful. I got a cultural education in several ways from taking a student to a French doctor to finding out how enthusiastic people are about soccer games. Plus, I learned that maybe my sense of direction is not as bad as I thought (I know my brother Jesse is laughing at this statement). Let’s just say when you have a large number of students depending on you to get them places, you sit down and figure out that map. Yes, I did, however, veer off the right trail a couple of times trying to find the right hotel in Paris last weekend. They really should have had a clearer sign is all I’m saying! Sorry, guys!

I’ve enjoyed this trip so far because I’ve been able to learn a lot more about the culture than my last time in France. The last time in France, I was trying so hard to learn French that I often missed the cultural aspect. Yes, I learned about culture, but I wasn’t able to observe it and experience it in the same way. Here, I’ve been able to be a lot more conversational and ask more questions than last time. I also know more about some of the history of places I’m looking at which came in handy this past weekend in Paris. I felt like a kid in a candy store because I knew the significance of a certain road or bridge or why this monument means something.

Not many people are able to enjoy this kind of an opportunity. God has really blessed me! How many people are able to take 5 weeks off from a crazy busy life to just relax and soak in another culture? Not many. I have seen how He has been using this time to help me grow. I obviously miss family and friends and all that is familiar, but I will see that again soon enough. Annoying as it has been, I’m actually thankful that I haven’t had much access to internet. I’ve been out doing things and learning instead of sitting in front of a screen.

I have so much enjoyed Reims. What a place! Americans are not very common here, so we are often viewed as some sort of exhibit. I absolutely cracked up on the tram the other day as we were on our way to a train station. I was with two other girls and we had spoken a little in English when we first got on and then were silent. There were two French guys in suits jabbering away in French next to us. Then, one of them looked at us and said chuckling to his friend in French: “Americans. You see them on the internet and then, suddenly, they’re right in front of you.” I don’t think they realized I could understand. I shared what they said with the other two and it just made our morning. I would definitely say that we are learning a lot about the French and the French are probably learning some about us.

Well, my time here is nearly ended. I will head to visit some friends in the south of France this weekend and then will fly home in a little less than a week. I will be able to post pictures after I get home. Something I’m greatly looking forward to!

For now, I’ll lay back and relax listening to the sounds of France through my open window.

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