My Last Night in Aix-en-Provence

As I sit here writing the last blog, I can’t help but feel sad. Tomorrow I leave France after almost four months of the best experience I have ever had in my life. I have met so many amazing people and have had so many life changing experiences that I can’t even truly express how grateful I am that I have been able to go on this trip. I’m so grateful to my host mom for welcoming me into her family so openly and going far past what is expected of a “host mom”. I don’t see her as my “host mom” but as my French mom. She has been there with me for every bad day and okay day and always waiting up for me when I return from a weekend trip. She has been such a vital person in my life here in France.

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I will also miss my host brother Paul who has openly accepted me. Though he is nicknamed Paul the Terrible, he really does have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. I know that I will forever cherish the colorings he has made me and the two Christmas cards. He has been just like a little brother to me. And I hope he is old enough to remember who I am. He has been a constant source of joy for me as I have never had a younger sibling. Though he can sometimes have a lot of energy, he has reminded me that every day is a day to cherish and make the best of.

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I will not miss the showers here, or the constant need to preserve water or electricity. I have a new awareness of just how much of this we use and how we feel that it will be a resource that will last forever though it will not.


When I first came here I worried about my fluency level with French and fear that I wouldn’t assimilate into the culture. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I assimilated completely into my family and with their help have grown far more confident in speaking. I no longer have the fear of saying something incorrectly and ca switch between the languages much faster than I used to. My only fear now is that my English has taken a turn for the worst because of constantly speaking and writing in French.

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I think that Franc is very similar to what I thought it would be. Even though I was never able to find Escargot and the French do not eat crazy and bizarre foods like I thought, there are occasions where I had to give an odd glance at what I was going to be eating. I also was worried about being mugged and though I was attemptedly pick pocketed I was smart in traveling and was always aware of stranger’s access to my personal items.

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I am excited to go home as well. I know I will miss my french friends that I have made here and am a bit worried about keeping in contact with them, but with all the technology that we have now days, I think it will not be too difficult. I also worry about keeping in touch with my French Family. I really want to keep them involved in my life. I am excited to see my friends and family when I get home and to be able to share some of my experience with them. I worry about re-assimilating into life at home, but it will be better knowing that they are right there to support me.

Return from Rosario!

After spending three weeks in Rosario, Argentina, I was finally feeling settled in my homestay, and classes, and in meeting new people, and using Spanish more often and with more confidence. So of course it was time to head home!


My lovely host mother, Noemi, and myself.

We finished up our final school projects, took our last few walks through the streets of Rosario, and had a fantastic last night as a group. I had planned to take Tienda Leon back to the Buenos Aires airport, and I was a little nervous because for the first time, I was travelling on my own. But it ended up working very smoothly, and I witnessed one of my favorite sights since being in Argentina: on Sundays, they close Blvd. Orono, which is one of the larger streets in Rosario, so that cars can’t drive down it and people can instead ride bikes, or skateboard, or rollerskate, or otherwise travel down the normally busy street. I saw many families taking advantage of this, and I thought it was such a good idea. It was encouraging people to spend time with their families, and people were actually taking advantage of it.

On the last Saturday I was in Argentina, we walked down to the waterfront, and it was one of the first really sunny days since we had arrived. We reached the waterfront, where we had been many times before, and for once it was filled with people! There were tons of families, and couples walking dogs, and we spent a fair amount of time just watching the people, and enjoying a day where we didn’t need to have several sweatshirts on to stay warm.


Here’s a classic candid photo of Cain and I by the river.

Also, the day before that picture was taken I had the greatest churro of my life. Of all the reasons to return to Argentina, that one is truly making me consider returning next summer. There are few things better than a warm churro full of dulce de leche, I promise you.

As I was beginning to truly reflect on my time abroad, I boarded Tienda Leon with a sense of relief, admittedly. I had never really left the country before (just a brief trip to Canada when I was 10) and I was relieved that the trip had gone so well, and that I had found it easy to become friends with the people on my trip, as well as the Argentinians we met while abroad. Anne


Miss you guys already!