When I start to tell stories to my friends about Paris, they start off with things like "So last night I was bored, so I decided to take a walk by the Eiffel tower," and finish with something exciting like "And then he drove me home on his vespa." I'll talk about sipping espresso in a café by Notre Dame, writing in my little journal on the banks of the Seine, and dancing the night away with a cute Parisian boy in a French nightclub. My life sounds pretty much like a cheesy chick flick, the type that girls laugh about but secretly wish they lived in.
And while yes, there were moments here that I still can't actually believe happened to me, that's not how I spent the majority of my time. The majority of my time, what did all day, was taking care of a very small child. As much as I'd love you to think that I got to spend my days shopping and tourist-ing while you were working/studying/do ingsomething less exciting, I actually spent it making sure Eben doesn't fall off the play ground equipment or dump his dinner on the floor. Now don't get me wrong, building forts and reading stories certainly beats what ever other entry-level job I would have had in Towson, but it's not nearly as romantic a lifestyle as I may have led you to believe.
Still, it was a good learning experience for me. I got to see how much of a responsibility having a kid was without actually having to be a mother myself, and I learned to appreciate everything that my family has done for me over the years. I also really began to appreciate the community that AFS gives you when you study abroad. Not being in a structured work place or school meant that I had no set social setting, and that was definitely a feeling that I had to adapt to.
And now I'm spending my time getting pumped up for my next adventure! I have to be in NYC for my orientation Feb. 1 and my flight is the 2nd. Soon, I'll be off living with my new host family in San Ramón doing community service with Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical! I'm busy trying to learn as much Spanish as possible seeing as I don't speak it at all, but progress is slow. (According to Rosetta Stone, the most important things to learn to say are "Es una manzana" and "La mujer maneja el carro"...)
I'm excited and nervous, but in a totally different way from those weeks before my flight to Millery. While I'm less nervous about the whole "diving into the unknown" part, I'm scared I may be over-estimating my ability to adapt quickly. But unlike pre-France, I have no second thoughts. The trip can't come fast enough!
That's about it for now, I think!