One month. 4 weeks. 35 days. 696 hours. Even though there's a million ways to put it, it's still hard to comphrehend that I have been in france for a month now ( actually a month and a day, if you want to get technical). So much has happened since I began this adventure. So much has changed sicne I said goodybye to my life In the states. This month has definatley not been easy all the time but I have also experiance so many amazing things already in the short time I've been here. On saturday my host parents and I went to Monacco for a boatshow. The ride there was spectaclar- it was right along the coast of the medditeranien. Before we drove down to the port we ate lunch at a little cafe right by the sea. As I was eating my delicous salmon fillet, looking out at the sailboat spotted sea, I had another oh-my-gosh-i-am-so-lucky-to-be-here moment. I realized that a year ago I was sitting in my nice little room in Wisconsin, completing Rotary applications and talkign about the latest homecoming gossip. I had no idea that in a year I would living in the french riviera. My life has changed so much in a year and I know that this year will only add those changes. After we ate our lunch, we headed down to the port for the show. There were hundereds of mega-yachts filing the port. The yachts were unbelivable. One had a helicopter pad on the top and then an infiniti swimming pool on the middle deck. It was fun to see all the different boats. The majority of the people there were From England and Australia, but walking around I heard french(obviously), german, italien, and even some russian being spoken. The whether was good the whole day excpet for 10 minutes of rain- which actually felt good after a whole day of blazing sun. When the boat show wraped up my h.parents drive me through the city of Monaco. We stopped by the Monte Carlo Casino...it was amazing to stand in the place that i have seen so many times in pictures and movies. Monaco is a great city- with a nice city life but still has a feeling a nature becasue of the beautiful mountains and sea.
Monday I started swimming. I love it and am so glad I decided to join the club. I reconized some kids from school so I hungout with them. But I also met a girl from CA and a boy from England that have been living in Antibes for 3 and 9 years becasue of their parents' jobs. So, i can speak French but when I don't understand something they help me out. The pool is outside- and we swim outside the whole year, which is a HUGE change from Wisconsin where I go to swim team int he winter with 3 feet of snow on the ground. Since we swim at night when the sun is gone- the air is colder than the water but once you get warmed up its fine. I actually enjoy being outside better than in a stuffy,chlorine infested building.
After swimming on Monday I went to a dinner with all the wives of the Rotarians and I Tuesday I went to bowling with all the Rotarians. Since my host is the club president- I go to a lot of rotary functions which is good, but I am also always the youngest person by at least 20 years.
My french is getting better but I the language barrier is still the hardest part. When you can't communicate to the people around you start to feel lonley. Add some tiredness and confusion to that and you have the perfect recipe for homesickness. But, thats all part of this program- leaving your life you 10 months isn't easy but you start to adapt and begin a new life- with new adventure and new challenges. I've learned that making mistakes helps you learn more so you can't beat yourself up when they occur. I make mistakes everyday- whether it's messing up my tenses in french or getting on the wrong bus, they are going to happen no matter what, the hard part is learning how to embrace them.