I remember many years ago my uncle once telling me that he can remember exactly what he was doing when JFK was shot. He said anyone that was alive back then could tell you. I used to think that things like that just don't happen anymore, not in America. Terrible events may take place in far away places, but in America we were in a bubble. A safe, insulated, powerful bubble.
I could tell you exactly what I was wearing at 5:45 AM on September 11, 2001when the announcement of the first plane hitting the tower was made on KOOL 94.5. Life as we knew it would never be the same.
Lets take a moment and take a step back. Forget what political party you belong to. Forget whether you liked Bush or hated him. Forget whether you voted for Barack Obama or John McCain. Forget the value of the dollar, and forget the stress of trying to get on a plane now. Just stop and remember we are all Americans. I love you America.
What I can't remember is the exact moment I decided I wanted to go to France. I remember each year we would pull out our snow stuff just before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday when we would head up to Flagstaff. My mom had a scarf. Purple and grey. She had bought it in Paris many years before. I loved the scarf. I loved the stories my parents would tell of their years in Europe and I was bitterly jealous that my brother was the one born in Germany. If only it had been ME that had been born first. The longing began somewhere around there.
I have had this pencil sharpener of La Tour Eiffel since high school. I got it in one of my French classes. I think it was a gift to the first two AP French students my teacher had ever had. It has gone with me to BYU and to Vermont as a symbol of what I wanted to do someday: live in France for a while and really improve my French.
Now that I'm here I often feel overwhelmed by a language that I have rarely spoken in the last five years, but also pretty pleased that I have successfully managed to open a bank account and travel around the metro, and help others on the metro who were lost and introduced myself to many people in French. I feel like this semestre is a gift and I want to rip the wrapping paper off, but at the same time I want to unwrap it slowly, careful not to miss any piece of it.
So, here are some photos I have taken thus far, and since we all know how picture happy I can get, these are a small sampling of what is to come.
As for ma petite Tour Eiffel? C'est ici. It is now a symbol of so many hopes and dreams becoming a reality. I don't think I believed it could actually happen until I arrived here and saw that I was in France with my very own eyes.
L'automne est a venir!
Regarde maman. J'ai mangé le dejeuner. Avec du fromage.
Jackie! C'est Hello Kitty. Elle aime la France!
Busking dans le metro
|Framboise et caramel du beurre a sale|
C'est tout pour aujourd'hui. No worries, there is much more to come. Next week my church is having a conference in Versailles. J'adore ma vie. France, je t'aime, even if you are a little crazy.