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Journals from American University Center of Provence

2009-12-16 I Haven't Been to Paris!

Once again it has been too long since Ive written, and December 20th is coming soon, the day that will carry me back to Oregon. Knowing that there is an end to my stay here makes everything so bittersweet. So, I go home in a few days. I am trying to keep my head in France. It is beautiful here, cold and crisp most days. I hiked to the top of Mount St. Victoire on Sunday and even saw a bit of snow! I must keep my head where my body is. I still have plenty of things I need to study for: my architecture et urbanisme exam this afternoon and my grammar exam Thursday. But another part of me is so excited to go back to Oregon and family and friends! And, I never thought Id say this, I am even looking forward to writing essays back at Linfield--- because theyll be in English! But enough about departing France. Let me share a few things that Ive been savoring the last couple days. Yesterday I made pizza with my language partner Guillaume. He is a really nice guy; he just finished school and started working as an aircraft controller. He has a car too, with which he drove me and some others to Les Calanques last weekend (a place on the ocean where there are little bays and the water is blue like at mini-golf courses"I must return with my swimsuit when the weather is warmer). I have been relishing what I live here. The toast and coffee I have every morning, the funny things my host mom does, the rare little smiles I get from my host brother, the look of total concentration I often get from my host-dad when I try and talk with him (he really has to focus to understand what Im saying most of the time), the bus to school, the numerous pasteries and baguettes (I just found a magnificent bakery), the streets that really only work for pedestrians, and oh, the list could go on. I was talking with a friend the other evening and I mentioned how much I like goodbyes that arent real. I know Ill come back here. I have to. There are way too many things that I havent yet explored. Like Paris. I havent been to Paris! I have to come back to France. There are way too many people I am just getting to know. Like the girls I had dinner with last night, I would love to spend many more evenings with them! So, when I say my pretend goodbyes this week, I know that really, Ill see them again. Maybe not everyone, or all the places, but life is long and Im only 21. It can only expand from here. Joy Nelson 16, decembre 2009

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