The First Week.
It’s been quite the journey. All the way from East Greenwich, Rhode Island to Rennes, France I’ve had a multitude of experiences. From inconvenient flight times, getting lost in the Charles de Gaulle Airport, meeting my host family and experiencing my first bout of homesickness it’s been eventful to say the least.
The day of my flight I was unbelievably excited and nervous to embark on the wildest joinery of my life yet. I was about to enter a country totally foreign to me with a different language. It was going to be interesting to say the least. Through awkward hello’s and questions through the flight and time spent in airport I started to get to know the generally nice class of SYA France 2018. When we landed in Paris we were all jet lag, tired, and confused. It ended up with half of the group, me included getting lost in the airport for a good hour. However, like any other problem we solved it with a lot of confused looks, franglais, and face timing the other half of the group on our spotty international data. We eventually boarded the bus and most of us knocked out immediately. We ended up stopping briefly at a very futuristic looking gas station and half asleep we all went in and had our first meal in France. For me, a pain au chocolat and a bottle of l’eau. We soon arrived in Rennes and entered our school for the first time, a converted mansion. That’s when the real butterflies hit, I was about to meet the people I would be living with for the next year.
When the RD(Resident Director) called my name I got up and got the first glance at my family in the flesh. My host mother and sister had come to pick me up and I honestly don’t even remember my initial thought. I stuttered a few words in French and my mother, Marie just smiled, understandingly hugged me and ushered me to the car. The house itself is extremely charming and I am absolutely in love with my small but trop mignon(very cute) room.
However, one of the things I was not ready for is how much the french conserve electricity. The houses feel perpetually cold to me and I’m always looking for a second sweater. It also rains. A lot. Constantly. There has not been a single day where it has not rained. The days start out pleasantly enough but sure enough a drizzle starts eventually. I have really started to regret my choice to not bring an umbrella. My host family even took me to their countryside home in Cap Fréhel. It was honestly one of the most beautiful place I have ever been.
However, Rennes is a place of immense beauty and I cannot wait to explore more of it once I have my footing. I get the odd bouts of homesickness when I see something that reminds me of American or after a phone call with my mother but I know that’s normal. My french is already getting better and I look forward to the daily dinners with the whole family where Marie makes delicious meals and I can practice my french in an informal situation. I am already adjusting to life in Rennes and I can’t wait to see what the next 8 and a half months bring.