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Journals from American University Center of Provence

2009-10-12 The Days of October Slip Like Sand In A Sieve

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Amy and terrence and I on our hike. We set the camera on a rock to take the picture, that's why we're crouched down, and look so adventurous

I went hiking today. Provence is absolutely beautiful (pine trees, white cliffs, hills and mountains and nuclear power plants in the distance). As a result of my adventures, I havent finished my homework, but I am not worried. Being outside ranks quite a bit higher than reading complicated articles and analyzing texts (both of which I know are good, just not as good as picnics in the woods). Before the hike, I was getting a bit of what might be called cabin fever if I were a sailor, or cooped up if I were a chicken. I found myself complaining a bit more than necessary. They were all legitimate complaints, I will assure you. They are still important concerns, but they had their time and now it is time to move on. Fresh air and sunshine have a way of setting things back in place. After the adventure, my friend Amy came over (a friend from school who lives nearby"we often walk home from the bus together and do a lot of laughing about nothing. Ive met quite a few really wonderful people through the program here). We went swimming and then did our homework in our bathing suits. How often does that happen in October? I may be getting a bit spoiled. My French is not leaping to great heights, but I do feel the triumph of a correct sentence more frequently these days. Amy and I decided the other day that weve reached the adolescent stage in our grasp of the language"still self-conscious and awkward, but hopeful. I hear its a stage everyone goes through. I have a funny story to tell. I am not very good at telling stories, though. They usually end up long and full of detail without ever really having a punch line. But I am going to try. A couple weeks ago I joined a frisbee team. We practice Thursday nights and I dont usually get home until about ten thirty. Sometimes I eat with my host family, but usually they leave some dinner for me in the oven because it is so late. One night my host parents were going out, so they didnt make dinner. My host brother (Gwion, 15) made dinner for me instead. It was amazing. I was amazed. But not in the way you might think. His mom recently explained to me that when he cooks he often experiments with ingredients. That explains why I was amazed when he pulled his creation out of the oven. For dinner that night Gwion had prepared pizza and an omelet. This was no ordinary omelet, though. First there was a layer of some kind of meat (somewhat similar to bacon). Then egg, of course, then pasta. Yes, pasta. I had a pasta omelet for dinner"a curly pasta omelet with cheese on top. It was great. I was hungry. I ate with gusto. Tonight he cooked again. We had sunflower shaped pasta with creamy corn sauce. Also delicious. Its been one month and seven days since I arrived. October is slipping by, but not in a bad way"the more it slips, the closer vacation comes. Soon I will be on a train to Austria for a few days and then a plane to Edinburgh for a few more. Before I go gallivanting, though, I have mid-terms and birthday parties and Mexican food nights to attend to. For now, I should probably get back to that one thing they call studying Joy Nelson 12, October 2009

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