So it’s apparent from the long time in between posts I have been crazy busy!! Short recap: My community service teaching the students English is awesome. It is fairly similar to what I do with the America Reads program at Sue Buel in McMinnville. I love working with kids and am glad I have the opportunity to do that here too. Choir is awesome! Besides another exchange student from Germany I am by far the youngest in the group. That being said, everyone adores me because I’m like some sort of novelty. I love the music and am glad that I was able to continue my passion for choir here. Everyone is really friendly and welcoming, which makes me feel great. Vacation was last week and I went to Italy (Florence and Rome) with a friend from my program here. We had a blast, of course! Saw all the typical museums, the Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain, and the Coliseum and such. Everything was really cool but the Palatine was by far my favorite. There were some beautiful gardens up there and it was sunny when we went. We ate far too much pasta, gelato, and pizza but that’s what you’re supposed to do on vacation, right?
This week is exams--gross, I know. Exams have been really hard so far and I haven’t really felt like I knew what to study, so I was kind of going in blind. Hopefully I did better that I feel like I did, but we’ll see. I have finally made some French friends! Or they made some American friends rather because they did all the work. In general, I am a lot more content here now that I have friends to go out with on the weekends and such. My suggestion for anyone going abroad is make friends in whatever country you’re in, not just from your program. Not only do they help you integrate into the culture but they are instrumental in learning the language like it is actually spoken. I am definitely less homesick than I was the last time I posted and I attribute a lot of that to my friends here. Only two weeks until I go to Morocco, which is crazy and exciting! I know the name of the student whose family I will be staying with and I also know I am in an older more traditional part of the city which I think will be an awesome experience. Stay excellent, Lauren Orr