Already 8 weeks have gone by, and with just 2 remaining, I realize that there are so many memories that I will retain for a long time. I’d like to take his opportunity to share a few. 1. Twingo! That is the name of the small two door car which is the VW Punch Buggy of France. It’s the same concept: when you see a Twingo, you yell “Twingo (insert color here) and punch somebody. I swear, these cars are everywhere. In fact, my own host family has one. 2. Brioche: the delicious soft bread that I have only found here. My host mom likes to joke about the one time we passed a Briocherie on the road and I thought it was cool. 3. The parties. So I have been to a whole lot of birthday parties. There was a surprise one for Brock, an American doing a Rotary Exchange program, then a sleepover for a friend of my host sister, a party for my host sister’s grandpa (who turned 80), a party for Gino’s 16th birthday, a party for a baptism, and four dinner parties. See, here in France, the parties last a very long time. For example, for the grandpa’s party, we arrived at the “salle des fêtes” at 11:30 on Saturday morning and we were there until 2:45 am on Sunday, and that’s not all. On Sunday at 1:30, the guests return to the same salle to have another meal and end the anniversary. Part of the reason for why they are so long is that the meals take a lot of time to eat. For the baptism, we arrived at 7pm, had small snacks and drinks until 8:30, then the meal itself went until 12:30. I’ll remember this for a long time, and whenever I have a dinner at home it will feel so short! 4. The School Bus: in French, the word for ‘bus’ is ‘car’ so I was confused at first when Camille told me we would take the car and it ended up being a giant bus. The buses here are not your average yellow school bus, they’re actually coaches, the type one would take on a guided tour of a city or something of the sort. The car leaves school at 5:30pm, and I’ll always remember the feeling of ‘ahh I miss my car at home’ because sometimes I finish classes at 3:30 or even 2:30 yet I need to wait to take the bus back. However, the 50 minute drive is a very relaxing one, giving me time to listen to music and relax a bit after a long school day. I am always amazed at how the bus seems to fit through the tiny country villages and the small roads. In some towns, it’s almost as big as the buildings themselves. Driving through fields and past grazing cows is just so different from what I normally see on my drive home from school in Seattle, and when I do, I’ll be reminded of taking the ‘car.’
So, there are a few of my memories. Of course, I have so many more that are all noteworthy, but I can’t write them all down. Overall this Passepartout exchange has opened me up to a completely different way of life and I have been privileged to get to live it with my host family, creating lifelong memories and friendships.