The start of my very long day was in the airport from the week I spent "on holiday" in ireland with some girls from my school. We went to check our bags as a group and almost everyone's bags were over weight which wouldn't be a big deal in the US, but, they wanted to charge us 500 euros which is about 750 dollars. Luckily, my carry on was only 5 kg over so I was able to take out a book and something else and put it in my purse to make it work. It was really frustrating to deal with first thing in the morning, but I tried to be patient. The one thing I've learned from working in the food industry is that it's easier to be nice and more helpful to people that are patient and understanding with you... and now i've learned to pack very light when traveling within europe! Anyway, the flight was quick and I slept the whole time. When I got to the airport my host mom Sylvie was there with her friend Eliza. I found out later on that their best friends and they do everything together. Sylvie does not speak a word of English so it is very difficult to communicate. Eliza speaks VERY little english, but enough to get by for now. Luckily, from taking 10 years of Spanish, so I am able to figure out what they are saying in context. it's more difficult for me when they ask a question and for me to answer it. I live in an apartment building with just Sylvie and it's absolutely adorable. I unpacked my clothes and had lunch. Later, Sylvie's daughter came over with her granddaughter Lola who is two. She is way too cute! But it's so hard to communicate with her because she only knows a little English. Sylvie wants me to only speak English to Lola so that she can learn. Marybeth, Eliza's American student arrived later that night and we all ate dinner together. It was really nice to have her there to help me speak with them. She translates for me I I don't get what their saying and I use her as a dictionary to tell them what I'm trying to say. I always try and respond in Spanish which is frustrating because I can always think of how to say it in Spanish... But it's not Spanish its French! We have really nice balconies on our apartment so it's really nice to sit and eat outside since its SO nice out! In France, it's interesting that every bathroom has a separate room for just the toilet and then another room for the shower and the sink. In my building, there is a laundry shoot type trash were we dump trash. Luckily, I don't have to wait for my water to heat up like some people do because I'm in an apartment complex. However, the shower head is not connected to the wall, you have to hold it while you try and rinse your hair. My first night I slept like a baby in my room designed for baby Lola. Our first full day, my host mom told Marybeth and I to sleep as late as we want and we will go to the beach tomorrow! Before we went to bed, we did some exploring downtown Aix. It's absolutely beautiful (and crowded) on a Saturday night. There are amazing fountains that you can drink from everywhere! I really like Marybeth, we get along really well. She is from rhode island and goes to school at bryant university. The beach near marseille was absolutely breathe taking. We had a picnic at the beach and the water was so warm. I noticed my host mom and Eliza smoke a lot of cigarettes and drink a lot of "cafe" or coffee. I don't mind. Its funny, they even brought hot cafe to the beach! I noticed that when someone smokes a cigarette in the US they smell really bad and so do all their clothes, but for some reason it's not like that here! Maybe its because they roll their own cigarettes. But Im glad they don't smoke in the house. After the beach, Marybeth and I went to IAU's open house were we met other students and then went to the local American bar by school called "wohoo" for happy hour. We went home shortly after that to eat dinner with our family. We were informed that we will eat together every night and that we were like a family and would do everything together! It's the ideal situation because we're kind of like house mates but not. We were also told we would take a "family" vacation to spain for the weekend!! Haha no big deal! Im so excited! Especially because then I will be able to translate for them... From French to Spanish!! Haha or I'll translate to English for Marybeth and she will translate it to French. We talked about everything at dinner... And they happen to think my "companion" is very beautiful ;) we are very lucky to have such great host moms. Some kids parents won't let them go out or anything. Our moms offer us wine with dinner because it's part of their culture. They also said that we can have a party eventually and we can have friends over for dinner as long as we give them notice. I'm so excited that I got matched up with Marybeth and these amazing French women!! In terms of food, everything is amazing! I have no idea most of the time what I'm about to eat but its always so good. They first night we had some kind of steak that was amazing and the next night we had a quesh. I had no idea what either of them were and I don't know how to ask even of I wanted to know. I've already eaten so many things I would normally pass up or make a face at at home. Like tomatoes. I don't like tomatoes but I've been eating them anyway cause they're apart of a lot of our meals. I'm still trying to figure everything out and it's not quite hitting me yet that I'll be in France till december... That's all for now! Au revoir!



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