Sabrina, Outbound to France

It has been a while since my last journal, about three months to be exact. But I swear those three months passed by so fast, too fast even. And I have done A LOT. Also, please excuse my poor writing. Not only am I naturally just very uncreative but English is also my second language and is not always easy for me. I also blame the fact that French has become my first language here, I seriously forget English and Portuguese sometimes, It's a crazy feeling. Bilingual? More like Byelingual.

Firstly, in December my district had a nice little Christmas celebration with all the inbounds, getting to spend another day with my exchange family is always the most fun, but that was also the day when we had to say goodbye to our oldies, which are exchange students from the southern hemisphere, usually from South Africa, New Zealand, or Australia. It was a little preview of what we would have to do once our time was up, and we would have to go back home. It’s super crazy to think that I’m already half-way through with my exchange when it feels like it just started. Anyways, I’m not looking forward to when my time to leave comes. I also went on a small Christmas trip to the West of the country with my host family and got to visit the beautiful Baie de Somme which is a large estuary in the Picardy region of France, where I live. But technically the region isn’t called Picardy anymore since it joined with another region called Nord-Pas-de-Calais and now is called Haut-de-France.

Then, at the beginning of January, I changed host families and now I live in the center of my city, Senlis, which I love! It is a lot easier to go to school now and to go out with friends. I also am enjoying my new host family, I have three small host siblings now and even though sometimes it can get crazy, I like the fun. And at the end of January we had another district meeting but this time it was only with the Rotex and we all went Ice Skating in Paris which was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to what is to come, especially since I have gotten used to my life here now.

I also have some tips for future exchange students. Sometimes locals can be mean, say mean things, call you names, make fun of your accents, and all that stuff. Just know that, most of the time, they don't really know it is hurting your feelings. Jokes are different in different countries. Here in France most of the jokes are very sarcastic and they love making fun of others for no matter what. So don't worry too much about it because most of the time it's not personal. And if it really bothers you, talk yo your family, Rotary, or school, about it. It could also really help to talk to the person who is making the jokes and understand their point of view.

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