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My Last Night in Aix-en-Provence

As I sit here writing the last blog, I can’t help but feel sad. Tomorrow I leave France after almost four months of the best experience I have ever had in my life. I have met so many amazing people and have had so many life changing experiences that I can’t even truly express how grateful I am that I have been able to go on this trip. I’m so grateful to my host mom for welcoming me into her family so openly and going far past what is expected of a “host mom”. I don’t see her as my “host mom” but as my French mom. She has been there with me for every bad day and okay day and always waiting up for me when I return from a weekend trip. She has been such a vital person in my life here in France.

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I will also miss my host brother Paul who has openly accepted me. Though he is nicknamed Paul the Terrible, he really does have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. I know that I will forever cherish the colorings he has made me and the two Christmas cards. He has been just like a little brother to me. And I hope he is old enough to remember who I am. He has been a constant source of joy for me as I have never had a younger sibling. Though he can sometimes have a lot of energy, he has reminded me that every day is a day to cherish and make the best of.

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I will not miss the showers here, or the constant need to preserve water or electricity. I have a new awareness of just how much of this we use and how we feel that it will be a resource that will last forever though it will not.

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When I first came here I worried about my fluency level with French and fear that I wouldn’t assimilate into the culture. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I assimilated completely into my family and with their help have grown far more confident in speaking. I no longer have the fear of saying something incorrectly and ca switch between the languages much faster than I used to. My only fear now is that my English has taken a turn for the worst because of constantly speaking and writing in French.

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I think that Franc is very similar to what I thought it would be. Even though I was never able to find Escargot and the French do not eat crazy and bizarre foods like I thought, there are occasions where I had to give an odd glance at what I was going to be eating. I also was worried about being mugged and though I was attemptedly pick pocketed I was smart in traveling and was always aware of stranger’s access to my personal items.

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I am excited to go home as well. I know I will miss my french friends that I have made here and am a bit worried about keeping in contact with them, but with all the technology that we have now days, I think it will not be too difficult. I also worry about keeping in touch with my French Family. I really want to keep them involved in my life. I am excited to see my friends and family when I get home and to be able to share some of my experience with them. I worry about re-assimilating into life at home, but it will be better knowing that they are right there to support me.

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3 thoughts on “My Last Night in Aix-en-Provence”

  1. pricemv on December 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm said:

    You have accomplished so much–you have a new French family, new friends, and increased French fluency. And you’ve been able to travel, learn, and grow. You are now a young woman of two cultures–the USA and France. You will always have your heart connection to France even as you reside the the US. Michele

    • Tate Sanders on December 21, 2013 at 4:41 am said:

      I agree about technology. That makes leaving easier to swallow. But getting home is so much better, especially this time of year. I don’t know if I will have trouble re-integrating though. I think that won’t be the problem. I think my main ‘problem’, is that I likely have as many British friends or more, than American ones. At least the type you can talk to more than once in a while and actually have a stronger than occasional bond.

      Merry Christmas and hope you have great success back home.

  2. Alysha Gonzales on December 19, 2013 at 9:53 am said:

    It’s so hard leaving isn’t it?! I didn’t want to leave, but was ready to come home. I didn’t stay with a host family so I didn’t quite get the same experience as you, but I can imagine the connection you get with a family living with them for months.

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