Posted by Madita Pleiss
After just 2 weeks here in this gorgeous little village, I can say with certainty that this will be an absolutely amazing year for me. Upon my arrival, I was welcomed with open arms by my first host family, all 6 of them showing up despite it being around 10:30pm already.
[From left to right: Gabriel, Esther, Nicolas, Me, Isabelle, Anna & her 2 host parents (the other exchange student from NZ in district 1510), Sarah and Yael]
They're such a lovely family and have really made my stay amazing so far. It's quite a change from having 2 older siblings to having 4 younger siblings, and all though they can get on my nerves, something I'm learning to deal with, they are also the sweetest and I always have something to do with them, whether it's playing board games, helping them with something for school, or going to the bakery just down the road with them. I'm definitely beginning to see an improvement with my French already, as I find myself beginning to get used to the speed of spoken French. I am happy to say that if people speak slowly, I can understand almost everything. I started French today with a tutor from my rotary club, which went very well and I understood everything she was saying.
The village I am living in is very small, but it is absolutely gorgeous:
We have a gorgeous walk around the lake, a bakery with the best croissants and bread, and gorgeous old houses. It's just a few minutes walk to the place where I catch the bus in the morning to school, and although it's a long school day (7am wake up and some days a 6pm end), I absolutely love it. I've made some great friends, and everyone has been super welcoming of me. Although it's slightly harder to understand a lot of the others at school (they speak teenager French, and I learnt proper French), I'm beginning to understand a lot more. The canteen is great and so are the classes and their teachers.
Last week I attended my first rotary meeting, which are on every Thursday, so I got introduced to everyone and this weekend I have my first get together with all the other exchange students from the district. I can tell my social skills have already improved as I'm having to converse with people of all ages in a foreign language which is good.
Overall, it's been an absolutely amazing experience so far and I can't wait for what the next few months have to hold for me.
Kind regards