Friday, August 17, 2012

Wait, who is this...? OH!

Notice that sense of realization in that title?  Yup, of course it's my mom's reaction when she answered the phone call from my first host-mother in France a few days ago.  (Oh mom... do you know how glad I am that you didn't think it was a telemarketer?!)

I swear my jaws not only dropped but perhaps popped out of place when my mom made these silent, but HUGE and WACKY gestures with her free hand, trying to convey that my first host-mother was on the phone.  I thought my mom was going nuts at first!  We just couldn't believe that moment was our first real connection to France! 

I was so awestruck that it was very difficult to calm myself down to speak at a regular volume!  My heart pounded with so much exuberance, and it wasn't possible for my French to work either!  Luckily as I have said earlier, she is an English teacher so our communication in English was understandable for each other and successful.  I had to slow down my normal talking speed from a 10 to 3, but it worked out anyways!

The phone call was generally about simple questions I have wanted to ask her before my departure.  For example, I asked if any of her family members are allergic to peanuts.  Thankfully it was a no, so guess what I'm bringing for souvenirs?  (psssss... I'll tell you that when I get there!) (Hint: Apparently there are none or maybe a few peanut butter products sold in France.)

Back to the phone call.  I found out that she is the English teacher at my host-school!  Also, I found out that I will take the village's public bus to school which is about a 5 minute ride!  (For such a small area, I never knew there were buses!)  She told me that we'll go shopping for school supplies together!  Oh, so much fabulous news rushed into my ears that I couldn't just sit and talk.  I was literally jumping, walking up and down the stairs and twirling around with the phone.  Ask my mom for more details.

I think what made me the happiest is when I heard that there are so many families in town, (and in fact, too many) who wants to be my host!  It reached to the point where my host Rotary Club had to clarify that a student should stay with only 3-4 families to avoid an overwhelming experience, giving plenty of time for him or her to get along with each family.  I smiled so much I almost cried when my host-mother explained how she promoted to the club that her family should be my first because having a host-father, mother, and two siblings would feel homely and minimize homesickness.  I felt welcomed and being seriously taken very good care of, so my parents are now not only grateful, but super comfortable about sending me to this tiny village.  (Maybe not comfortable with my poor French speaking ability though!)

I can't wait to go!  If my visa arrives and everything else flow with ease, I have exactly 10 days left till departure.  The countdown of not only days, but hours and seconds starts now.  What a scary but wonderful thought. 


Yesterday, I met this year's inbound of my hometown's Rotary Club.  He is from Croatia!  It was so cool listening to him speak about his home country!   (And yes, his English was so good that I understood everything!)

We biked and I showed him around my town including the high school and the library.  Because of his amazing fluency of English, I think he will have a very good start! 

In front of Mt. Three Sisters

Croatia is one of the countries I could have gone to because it was included in my district's outbound country list.  I remember that name so clearly because actually, it was the one and only country I have never heard of before!

If you are also like the me before, I have some basic facts for you to know: Croatia is a very small, "C" shaped 56,594 sq km country between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia, touching the Adriatic Sea.  (It has a gorgeous blue colour!)  It will shortly become part of the European Union since they recently agreed to become part of it.  Canada is around 9,984,670 sq km large!  Therefore Canada is approximately 176 times bigger!  So Croatia is indeed difficult to find on a globe if you don't know where it is.

You would ask, how do you know the exact measurements of the land areas?  I went to a really useful website called The World Fact Book:  It is a very informative and interesting website that explains a country's history, people, government, and so on!  Perfect for when you don't know anything about a certain country.


Thank you dear reader for reading my blog!  I am happy to announce that there are now over 800 pageviews and it's all thanks to you!  I am currently working my butt off practicing my French, so souhaitez-moi bonne chance!

Bisous ♥

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