Tomorrow I start my long voyage home. Domitille's family is taking their summer trip to Greece, so I've been staying with Claire's family since Saturday. Her mother is such a wonderful cook, and I've really enjoyed my stay here. Tomorrow we take the train into Paris and will stay over night at her brother's house. Then on Thursday, our flight leaves around noon-and I'll be back home that night. Today, they took me to the grocery store, and I was able to purchase some French things to bring back with me. Let's just hope I don't eat it all before we leave in the morning. French snack food is heaven sent!
In my first week here, I finished reading all five books that I brought with me on the trip, so I had my mom mail some more. It ended up working out perfectly because in the week it took the books to come I was able to overcome my American way of not being able to do nothing. Europeans are masters at this, just doing nothing. I can't really say it's being lazy, it's just doing nothing. It was so hard for me to be able to do this. The second week I was so desperate that I started making journal entries on my computer. That day I wrote sixteen thousand words, and it only got worse from there. It would be a lie to say that I'm as good as the French at doing nothing, but I am getting better.
Being on this trip also gave me a chance to learn to live on my own before college, which has really been a blessing. Although France was once a very Catholic country, things have drastically changed. I brought my mass book, but to my disappointment nothing has been in Latin.
Before I left I could already feel the pressure of college searches. We've been visiting all the schools on my list, and I knew that early admission paperwork starts at the end of August. At this point I'm not really sure where God wants me to be, or what He wants me doing, but this trip has greatly increased my trust in Him.
I am so thankful for my parents. They are both such wonderful people, and are always there for me. I receive about 5 to 10 texts a day from my mother--telling me everything she would if I was sitting in the passenger seat of the van. They never failed to make me smile.
I had the great pleasure of being told by my father that my room was being turned into an ice rink the first week I was gone, thankfully it was only used for intense games of knee hockey (which on second though may be just as bad...).
Reid has missed me very much. He sends me little messages on Facebook, but since it usually takes him until Wednesday trips to Kansas City to start talking to me, he's really ready for me to be home after 5 weeks away.
The twins had a little bit of growing up to do--the first two weeks of my trip they were the only kids at home. My Mom wrote me saying she was dying for us to come back because without Reid and I there, the twins just didn't know what to do with themselves.
So many of my friends have been really great during this month. Becca never fails to make me laugh, Kristen keeps me informed on the latest music trends, and Alyx is always there when I'm ready to cry. I'm told that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but truthfully I'm dying to see them again.
I had a wonderful last night with Domitille. We stayed up late watching "Pride and Prejudice" on my computer, and laughed a lot. We both have little patience, and since my computer was running low on battery, we watched the movie for 10 minutes, then charged the dead computer for 10 minutes. It took us 4 hours to watch the movie, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I told myself I wouldn't cry when she left, and it's true that when they backed out of the driveway I didn't shed a single tear. But as soon as I was alone in my room, all the emotions started to flood in. In the past two weeks I really became part of their family. I was no longer a guest at their house, but someone they loved. It was my home, and I will miss them all so very much.
We've already started to plan something for next year. Maybe I will take Reid there, or maybe her and I will travel to Italy. Paris is said to be the city of love, but Domitille swears that it has nothing on Italy.
Please continue to pray as I start my travels tomorrow.
I love you all,