I’m Josh, and apparently Michaela and I were supposed to blog yesterday. Also, we are apparently the first to blog, although we had a schedule AHEM JACK MATTHEW SHEER AND ALEXANDRA. The problem with blogging on this trip is that we are often having so much fun that it is hard to find the time or energy for it. Well, I’m happy to say that with the sudden change of pace provided by our host family experience, we now have both!
First, today was a free day with our families. Each and every one of our experiences from today are unique. And although I will recount today’s experience from my end, I will start by adding to the general sentiment of yesterday–a muddled mass of severed nerve endings, aka a combination of fear, excitement, nervousness, happiness, tiredness, confusion, and, well, more confusion. All of these were prevalent when we got off the train. Most people were worried about if their host families were nice or if they would be able to say that they have a moral objection to quilts for some reason. I, on the other hand, was worried about another thing. Diana had told me that in addition to receiving our info, our host families had also received our school photos. Now, to be honest, I have gained a little weight since I took that picture. So I was genuinely worried that my host mom would say, “Who is this guy who ate Josh?”
All these nerves have calmed by the second day, having seen the friendliness and generosity of the French people. Throughout the past twenty-four hours, we have kept sane and in touch through Facebook. We shared many stories and photos of the process of settling into our new very French lifestyle, many stories ranging from figuring out the showers to getting permission to go out. Some people have met up at meeting points across the city like La Place du Comedie or Les Jardins Botanique. Most people spent some time with their host parents, either at home or around the city. I tried to meet up with some CSW folks at the Botanical Gardens, but I couldn’t find them! After, I spent a lot of time with my host mother, walking endlessly through the glowing streets, seeing very French and almost magical sites such as magnificent architecture from other times and people outside at cafes drinking coffee and smoking. My host mother loved to point out architectural beauty, les trompe l’oeils, murals, and other very beautiful sites for me to photograph. Some photos are presented below.
The rest is stuff you really need to see, so check out the photos below! We are all doing great at the moment, and we are really excited to start school tomorrow. I guess we are also a little bit nervous about the beginning exam and meeting more students, though, although I am sure that everything will turn out great, just as it has so far.