Bienvenue Tout le Monde! >> Welcome Everyone!

I am SO excited, and do you know why? Because I am living in France for the ENTIRE year! I arrived here in Tulle, France on the 26th of August, and I will return sometime in June of 2011. I have three families that I will be living with, each for three or four months. I am attending a lycee or a high school here for my junior year classes. I hope that you will check this blog for updates on my life in France.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A 1,2, a 1,2,3!

When life gives you lemons and you asked for eggs, you make lemonade anyway. My French life has changed once again with my third host family. I am still having a wonderful experience, even with the numerous changes. Families #1 and #2 were charms, so of course the 3rd… (Do I even need to say the cliché?)
My new house!
About one month ago I moved -no dove into my final family. I did not go kicking and screaming even though I wanted to shout “no host mommy #2 take me with you!” But I made a commitment. So I packed my 7 bags (yes that will be a problem for the plane ride home) and traveled ten minutes away to a sportive, culturally diverse, and completely different family. I now have two host brothers who are 9 and 14, and one host sister who is 18 and a senior. My host dad works for an arms manufacturer, and my host mother is a nurse. But what is interesting is that my host mother is Hollandaise, and married my host father in Arabia before moving to France. They are a family that understands the meaning of the word “foreigner.” We do not eat French dishes all of the time, but different cuisines from all over the world.  They prefer and appreciate American movies and love all main-stream American music. However their real passion is…wait for it…rugby! I don’t think I have mentioned rugby, which is amazing actually. If you are French, and you do not like rugby, they may strip you of your citizenship. It is the game of the country. My smallest host brother plays on the team coached by his father, and my older host brother was scouted by a championship winning team. They know every team, statistic, or player there is to know. I have grown to like rugby, but I still prefer American football. Believe it or not, American football is a lot less dangerous. Still, there is something about rugby that intrigues me. My third family is not at all like my families before. I would not say that I am happier, as I do miss my second family very much. But it is another way of life, and another opportunity to learn, grow, and make the most out of my experience. 
            With all of my new family adjustments within the past few weeks, I have still managed to prove that I am a true triple threat. I can sing, act, and give a speech. It all began on May 15th when I gave a half an hour speech IN FRENCH with a Q&A afterwards about my life in the United States and my exchange year. This is a requirement for all Rotary students, whether for your host club or for others in the community. My host club was quite enough. I know that I am a debater, but trust me a speech in another language is indeed much much more stressful. Luckily Romane, my awesome host sister #2, was there to cheer me on and calm me down. I also snuck in a quick prep talk from my Dad. All in all, I would say it was not bad, for an American. ;)
My friend and I just before the concert
            On the 26th I sang in the choir with my high school and the local middle schools. (All in French of course) The theme was Dadaism, or songs that mean absolutely nothing, but everyone sings and listens to anyway because the beat is great. We all had on crazy shirts, and looked like bombs went off in our hair. It was great for the ambiance, and it was great having a bad hair day on purpose.
            The next day, bright and early at 7 am, I took the SAT/ACT for theater. Yes, there is even a test for theater. I cannot take the test, but I can help out a friend. I play Ophelia in Hamlet in the violent scene after “To be or not to be” where I pronounce my love, and Hamlet tells me to go to a convent. It is not the happiest of scenes, but we…were…BRILLIANT! We played that scene so well, even I was crying at the end.
I am in front on the left-hand side
            We are up to Friday night. I sang one again, but this time with the jazz choir and orchestra for my city. Who would have known that an American accent makes for a good singer? We sang in French, with a few English hits as well like "New York, New York" and "Georgia."  I was truly enthralled by everyone’s talent; the young singers, my peers, and the teenage orchestra are all skilled musicians. There were about 600 spectators! The sound filled the entire auditorium. You know how music can just take you away?... Music and I still haven’t returned!
This is the flyer that was posted all over the city
And then finally, (I told you a triple threat) last Monday I performed my scene Hamlet in English, and a scene from Permafrost in French, for the public. Nerves were not defined until before this performance. Hamlet is emotionally difficult, but Permafrost is another thing completely. It’s in French so if someone doesn’t understand my accent, I can’t repeat it. But I told myself, if you say something wrong, at least say it loud and proud. I would say that it was a success, American accent and all. I performed with the theater group managed by my second host family. Everyone in the group comes from a different background, our ages range from 15 to 40, and everyone performs a different text. The way that everyone comes together however, is what makes the group truly special. Everyone performed their scene with passion and true depth. I was just as much of a spectator as an actress. I am grateful that I was able to participate and perform, especially with such a great group of actors and actresses. 
            Needless to say, I have had my share of the spotlight. Now I am looking forward to literally my last few days of school and then…VACATION! Unfortunately, or fortunately, I will be spending my summer vacation in the US. Everyone is asking when I go home, if I am ready to go, and how my family is at home. Of course I miss home, I miss you all in the US, but it is still difficult for me not to cry. I have a life here, I friends from all over the world that I must say goodbye to. It will be difficult to leave my "more than just a home away from home", but I will, and I will be stronger and happier than ever. And of course I will be returning to France next summer. (This is a very clear demand and proposal Mom and Dad) Everyone is still welcome to comment, facebook, or e-mail me. Look out for my last post as it is true that I will be home in a couple of weeks.
             Yes, everything must come to an end. That just means soon, there will be a beautiful new beginning. 

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