Just when you think things are settling down is when life throws a curveball at you. This week I have orientation. Yesterday IES staff members took us on a tour of Nantes to show us the center of town, supermarkets, banks, and more. I came prepared in my rain boots, expecting rain. What I was not expecting were sporadic showers worse than Florida. It even started hailing at one point during our tour and we had to find shelter for a bit! This may have been my third orientation in the past couple years but this is an orientation I won’t forget.
I also realized that I make a terrible French person. During orientation, the phrase “Observer. Respecter. Imiter.” was repeated multiple times. (Translation: Observe, respect, imitate…this makes the French language look easy.) I have been trying my best to do so, but it is incredibly hard when you do not like cheese by itself or the taste of wine. Other than that, I am trying to do my best to fit in. This experience is different from my experience in Spain because I am not yet fluent in French. I have to think more than I do when I speak English or Spanish. It can be tiring and frustrating knowing I am making mistakes. However, in the words of my Vietnamese doctor, “As long as people understand me, that’s all that matters.”
Over the weekend, I went to Tours, France and got to see some of the Loire castles. I saw Cheverny, Chambord, Amboise, and Chenonceau. Each castle was so beautiful in its own way. I am a little biased but I think I enjoyed Cheverny the most because of the hunting dogs and ducks in the pond. I love animals!
Check out my video from the trip and part of orientation when it started to hail! You will see that it also rained during my trip. I think that will end up summing up my semester!