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In Transit and the First Few Weeks

Written on: Thursday September 25th, 2008

A journal entry from: Studying Abroad in France

Wow!  I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks already since I've been here!  I am so sorry that this blog has been way over due, but I have been having many computer related problems. 
First it took 3 weeks for the internet to be hooked up in my dorm, even though it was only suppose to take 6-10.  That pretty much sums up the French when it comes to getting stuff done, lol.  But after that, then my charger for my laptop broke.  So long story short, I bought a really expensive charger that ended up being dead when I bought it.  I also took my old charger to a repair shop, but it can't be fixed.  So the search continues tomorrow for a charger that will hopefully be under a hundred dollars, sigh.  So since I have no computer to use right now, my access to the internet is still very limited.  I have the internet on my phone, but there are only so many things it can do.  Writing blogs on here is not one of them!  =)

Getting here...  was awful!  I had planned out so carefully exactly what I was going to pack so that it would be easy to carry on trains and stuff like that, but it didn't seem to do much good.  When we got to Paris we had to wait in line for 3 hours before we even got tickets to Lyon and then to St. Etienne.  Then we have to wait like another 4 plus hours for the train to come.  In the end it was like 48 hours of traveling without sleep and proper nutrition.  It was a terrbile experience, lol.

But enough complaining!  I don't want to give anyone the inpression that I am not enjoying my time here.  It is exactly the opposite.  I love my journey so far.  This city is really greatm with a million organizations that are devoted to organizing and finding things for young people to do.  There is literally something to do every minute of the day, if you can do without sleep.  I have been constantly busy playing sportsm going to bars, and school.  I feel like I am really making friends.  At this point in my journey to the Czech Republic I think I was ready to pack my bags and leave.  However the second time around I am adjusting much better to the new culture.

My dorm..  is unbelievably small!  I almost freaked out the first time I saw it.  And my bathroom is like 3 by 3 feet including the shower!  The toilet juts into the shower!  It is truely awful!  But I am getting use to living in such a confined space.  At least I do have my own room, I guess that can't be substitued with any amount of space.  And also I have a decent sized frige and microwave and there is a group kitchen for each floor.  St. Etienne is a very hilly city, and unfortunetly there is a massive evil hill to walk everyday.  I call it the devil hill!  lol.

My french... is getting better!  (I think).  I was really impressed with my french ability when I first got here because I was able to be atleast understood in what I was asking people.  I started to have converstations with French people immediately after stepping off the plane.  So at first I had alot of confidence, but then I was starting to get down on myself and feel like I would never be able to truely speak french like a native.  However since classes have started I have noticed a real inprovement of my french.  I have almost felt as if a sort of clarity has hit.  Not saying I can actually speak it now, or write it for that matter, but understanding conversations at a normal speaking pace has definitely improved.

Well I have to end this blog short because class is about to start.  I just at least wanted to say that I am really having alot of fun and that I am doing alright.  I hope to post pictures soon!


From T-dawg. on Sep 26th, 2008

:-D That's freakin' awesome. I'm glad you're having a great time there! I'm going to another EA meeting to pound out the paperwork for my trip. I think it's going to happen!

From Roberta Shinhearl on Sep 29th, 2008

Great to hear that you are ok and are getting along pretty well. Sounds as if this trip is already better than the last one. We will keep checking the blog to follow your progress both in school and living there.