I have made it through my first week in France! It has been exciting, overwhelming, and exhausting, but things are starting to calm down. It is safe to say that total immersion is a real challenge, but Im already starting to think in French! It was exciting for me to realize after only a few days that the first words to pop out of my mouth without thinking were French. My host mom, Ginou, lives in a teeny tiny apartment in a complex of apartment buildings. It is just outside le centre ville, so it is very quiet. My room looks out onto a courtyard in the center of all the buildings. It's not particularly beautiful, but it's in France! Everything I have experienced so far has been extraordinarily small - our apartment, my bed, the streets, the cars " it is quite a change from the U.S.! When Ginou met me at the airport she had carpooled with another host mom, who brought her adult son along. As the 5 of us were walking out, with all of our luggage, they said they brought him because he has a VERY big car. So when we entered the parking lot I was looking at the 3 SUVs in the whole place, but much to my surprise his VERY big car was a very small Peugeot sedan. But it had 4 doors! The trunk was also almost entirely full of groceries, so I sat with a suitcase on my lap on the ride to Aix. Luckily it's only a couple miles. Emotionally this week has been draining. I am experiencing a constant undulation of feelings. I am happy to say, however, that the happy feelings are starting to outnumber the sad ones, and I expect that to continue. La vie est belle! More later.