What we’re taking with us and what we’re leaving behind: Goodbye Montpellier!

Hey there friends and family, it’s Emma and Maisie!! We are writing this blog post as we speed through the countryside of southern France. A mere few moments ago we rapidly boarded the train, 17 suitcases in hand (actually more because light packing is not a strength for everyone haha…), as we depart Montpellier. This morning we all had our bittersweet goodbyes with our host families, who have been unbelievably generous and caring to us for the past 3 weeks. Before leaving for work, my host mom (Emma’s) woke me up to hug me goodbye and give me some lovely french chocolate to bring back to my family (get excited Rybeck’s!!). I’ve really adjusted to my bright pink room and double bed at my host mom’s house, but of course I’m excited to see my family back in Cambridge in a few days.

So as we sit here enjoying the view on the train, we think about what we will take with us from Montpellier despite having to leave so much behind (due to logistics). Although we leave behind our host families (and maybe a sock here or there), we are bringing with us all that we have learned about their language and their culture through our countless dinner conversations and fun family outings. And even though we won’t return to our school ILP, the time we spent in class and getting to know the other students from all around the world with stay with us. Thank you everyone in Montpellier who has contributed to our education on the french language and culture!

Today we took our last walk around la Place de la Comedie and our other favorite spots in Montpellier. We spent some time this morning sitting with friends on the steps of a building, soaking in the sun and reminiscing about the trip. We talked about the numerous times we had used the Cafe Riche bathroom, the funny encounters with waiters at cafes, and unforgettable host family stories that we had shared over the weeks. We will take these memories with us, despite the fact that we won’t be seeing the fountain in la Place everyday (or maybe we’ll construct a duplicate on the quad???). Also, we worry that the economy of Montpellier will struggle after our departure, for we all took advantage of the inexpensive yet delicious food stops (see Nate, Noah, and Kari’s post for an overview of the wonderful falafel place).

As for now, we are off to Paris for a last several days together as a group. We are grateful for all that our chaperones have done to make this trip what it has been and are still talking about all the fun times we have had this mod. We look forward to seeing everyone at home again and sharing some photos (and possibly gifts) with you all. Sending love from train seats 111 and 112!!! Merci beaucoup, Montpellier.

~Emma and Maisie

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