Im not really sure hat happened to my "weekly"
updates they seem to have morphed into monthly updates but i am going to make an effort to change that. Anyways October has been a super busy month. when I first arrived in France everything was so new and amazing and as fellow exchangers know "the honey moon stage". That stage lasted for about all of September for me. Starting highscool and meeting french kids- everything was so different and exciting I didn't get homesick at all for the first 5-6 weeks I was here. Now, as the newness is starting to wear off Im starting to appreciate France in a different way- It is no longer an extended vacation for me. It is my life. With that change I've been happier in some ways but I've also starting to feel some pangs of homesickness every now and then. Basically, it's just the little things I miss; giving hugs, being able to walk anywhere, having the ability to sleepover at peoples houses and having a solid group of friends that I can depend on. When I saw all the college peoples facebook stauses that said they were all visiting home for the weekend- I found myself wanting to be able to visit home too for a weekend or so and then be able to come back here. I don't want to leave france, by any means, but I can't help but think about how nice it would be to sleep in my old room for a night and give my friends and family all big hugs. But, then a local cafe owner will recognize me and ask me how my day is going or a kid from school will come over and talk to me at a bus stop et voila i feel a million times better. It's those little moments that make me feel apart of the french life: the simple recognition or quick hello that makes me feel like people do care about me here and Im not just seen as a foreigner. I feel so lucky to be here and look forward to making close friends and moving on with my life here.
On october 3 all the exchange students went to St.tropez for the day which was super fun- 8 excange students + 1 amazing city = incredible times. Then around the 2nd week on october ther was some major strikes again- this time with the highschool students. Instead of going to class kids lined outside the school holding up signs and yelling stuff out about how they didnt want the retirement age to go up. Then the marched down the streets trying ot gather up more kids. They would lock the front gate shut and put garbage cans infornt of the school- trying to get as much attention as possible so people would recognize their anger.There was strikes everywhere- it was a chaotic week to say the least. In marseille, the garbage men went on strike so there were masses of garbage stacked everywhere: in the streets and infront of houses, It was a mess. Basically, the french people are angry that Sarkozy is signign a law rasing up the retirement age which woudl reqiure the french citizens to work for a longer time before they recieved retirement funds formt eh governemtn. People don't want to have to work longer so many people are aganst it. But, as alwasy there are two sides to the story and I don't think alot of people are looking at bith. Anyways, after the strikes settled down my host parents left for their vacation to China so I stayed with my 3rd host family for 2 weeks. At first i was really nervous to have to compeltley start over with another family so soon, but once I got there I felt very comfortable and at home. On october 22 I went to "Pays Cathare" for the weekend with a local rotary club ( here is the fb link to my photos: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=243510&id=506127662&l=76e56634ed ). Pays catahre is a region in south western France that is home to a bunch of ancient castles and catherals dating back all the way from the crusades. Although I was the only kid- it was a very interesting and beautiful trip that allowed me to see another part of France. I liked that it was so untouched by the modern world; everythign was so green and peaceful. It's definatley a place i want to come back to in the Future. Then, once I returend from that my 2 week vacation started. Durign the week I did a day camp in Antibes form 9-5 everyday. Each day we did differnt activities fron bowling to makign bagettes. It was nice meeting other kids even if they were all younger :). On Saturday my host family was planning on going to St.Tropez for 4 days in their camping car but the weather wasnt good so we decided to just go up for the day. The weather contiued to get worse and a downpour started Saturday night and didn't stop until early this morning. Normaly I dont midn rain- sometimes I actually enjoy it but 4 days of non-stop heavy down pouring made me never want to hear the pitter-patter of rain aganst my window again. I had plans for Halloween but since it was raining so hard no one felt like leaving the house so for the first year ever I spent Halloween reading a book in my bed- it really didnt feel like halloween at all- and i can honeslty say i missed passing out candy to the kids and eating pumkin pie and drinking apple cider in some crazy costume with my friends and family. I didnt leave my house all weekend due to said weather issues so today since it stopeed rainign me and the other American took advantage of that and went shopping in Cannes for the day. Although the heavy rainign stopped it was still gray out and started drizzling. But, it was still fun and it felt SO good to get out of my house into the fresh air again. Tomorrow is my last day of vacation sadly but, Christmas vacation is just around the corner!!! Hope everyone is doing well- I miss you and love you all!!