Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Third and Final Chapter

I have moved host families! Since yesterday morning I am living with my third and final host family, the Brodins, back in Roubaix.  The move went incredibly smoothly.  One could say I have grown accustomed to packing up my life and belongings and plonking it down into an unfamiliar place all while speaking a different language.  But I can't take too much credit because having known the family and spent some time with them before moving in, things became a lot simpler.

Packing up all my stuff in my room at the Dervilles
The ever-present question in an exchange student's mind when moving host families: "how on EARTH am I going to bring all this stuff home..."
I didn't have classes Wednesday so Valentine drove me to the new house with all my junk in the morning.  Severine and Thibaut, my new host parents, both work during the day, so only my new host brother Lancelot (who's 11 and adorable) was there to help me get settled.  And what a good job he did.  He was all "official man of the house" and probably carried in as much baggage as Valentine or I.  My new bedroom is on the third floor of the new house.  Yep, THIRD floor.  There's my bedroom, and then this giant games/exercise/book room next to it and that's all there is, so I have a whole floor to myself which isn't so bad.  So obviously the 2 flights of stairs weren't that tempting for any of us standing there with all my stuff, worst of all two HUGE suitcases that weigh a ton, when Lancelot proceeds to say "Oh not a problem! We'll use the elevator!"    .....     THERE IS AN ELEVATOR IN THIS HOUSE. WHAT.  I always wondered what it'd be like to live in a house with an elevator.  I guess the last resident of the house was disabled and needed the elevator to get upstairs. So all my stuff was sent up to the third floor in one easy trip that lasted approximately 5 minutes.  Lancelot hopped in with all the bags and he made it upstairs before even Valentine or I could.

The room I moved in to belongs to Anouk, my 17 year old would-be host sister who's currently on a Rotary exchange in Mexico.  It can be weird to live in someone else's room, but it's big and really nice, with an awesome view of the giant backyard so it's not so bad.  The house itself is incredible and beautiful, but I can't say I'm overjoyed about living in Roubaix again.  I walk to the bike station (signed myself up to use the city bikes) in the mornings, then bike about 10 minutes to the Metro/Tram/Bus stations where it's only about a 5 minute walk to school.  Wasquehal was so calm, and I'd forgotten that you kind of have to pay more attention to yourself and your surroundings in Roubaix.  I need to get myself back into the proper mindset, because I definitely relaxed a lot while I lived in Wasquehal!

Living room/room where guests sit and have drinks before dinner/room where Siobhan has the best wifi 
Dining room
Not a great view of my bedroom but the only photo I have so far! Plus you see all the stuff I have... :o
terrace just outside kitchen
This wallpaper is EVERYWHERE.  Second floor.
After all my stuff was moved upstairs, Valentine headed out.  I'm going to see her and the rest of my second host fam as early as TOMORROW but I was still sad saying goodbye to her.  I had such an incredible connection with that family, and part of me is scared that moving farther away, being in a different family, as well as having a busy schedule for my last 2 months of exchange could make it difficult to stay in touch and maintain that connection, but I'm going to do my absolute best to keep in contact and visit them all the time! 

It was the day of Sixtine's birthday, and even though we didn't have classes, we all wanted to meet up for lunch so she wouldn't spend her birthday alone at her house.  So after unpacking about half my bags I skated into Roubaix to meet school friends.  We all bought something to eat and brought it with us on the tram to Parc Barbieux where we sat in the sun and had a chill picnic.

Afterwards I took the metro to Lille to meet exchange kiddies.  Daria, a girl from Russia on exchange in Lille (not with Rotary), is going home next week and wanted to see a lot of us before she left.  So I got to Lille and arrived at another picnic.  I love nice weather. It was cool because we just sat at this one sunny part of the park as exchange students came and went and often brought food (YESSS).  

Thibaut, my new host dad, had texted me asking if I wanted to go running around 7pm, and after my day of picnicking I figured it might not be a bad idea.  I took the metro home with Liz and ended up running into Alix, my new host sis, on my walk back to the house! We grabbed the bus together to get back.  The run with Thibaut was cool! I feel like I've been able to see so much more of the countryside and general area just from going on runs with my host family members.  

Tomorrow is my last day of school before I have 2 weeks off YESSS! After school I'll be going to the Dervilles house to stay the night.  Early Saturday morning I'm going to be taking the train, then the bus, with Louise and 9 of her friends that I've met and sort of gotten to know since January, to L'Ile de Ré!! It's an island on the west of France where the Dervilles have a vacation home.  It's just going to be us young people for 5 days before the Valentine and the rest of the family come, and it should be a really fun time. Seriously cannot wait.  But that also means I won't have my laptop or wifi connection so this'll probably be my last post for 2 weeks.  

Wednesday is my 8 month mark.  Meaning I have only 2 months left of France.  When vacation is over I'll only have 5 weeks left of school, and only 7 weeks left before my flight home.  This is INSANITY. 

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