In the craziness of leaving Tours, doing some travelling with limited access to internet, and returning to school, I forgot to upload my final blog post, so here it is!
At the risk of sounding trite, I can’t believe that it’s over! Even though it hasn’t been that long, it’s so strange writing this from the United States and thinking back on my time in France. It was such an amazing experience and so far out of my everyday life that it’s a little bit hard to believe I was actually abroad this summer.
My host family has a tradition that they ask each student to make a traditional dish from their country the week before they leave. The Japanese student who was also staying with my family made okonomiyaki, which is somewhere between a crepe and an omelette, with pork and cuttlefish. I made brownies (pronounced “broo-NEE” in French!) for dessert, and although American foods are well-known enough in France that they were already familiar with them, they were excited to try the homemade variety!
The night before I left, I went to la guinguette with my Chilean friend. A “guinguette” is a bit like an open-air bar or restaurant, and there is often live music and dancing. They are very common along the Loire River; in fact, Degas painted lots of them in his works. I was excited to go there, because I had not yet experienced la guinguette, which is an important part of French culture. Although there were threatening rain clouds all afternoon, we only got sprinkled on a little bit, and being there was more than worth it!
I adjusted to life in Tours so fast that it seemed very natural to me, and it was hard to leave my classmates, my host family, and the place that had become a home for me for over a month. I made some amazing friends who helped me practice my French (and who weren’t afraid to correct me when I said something that made no sense!), and I will certainly miss them. This summer was an opportunity to fall even more in love than I already was the French language, culture, and countryside, and I loved every minute of it! I am so grateful for this opportunity!