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June 15th 2009
Published: June 15th 2009
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A view of Le MansA view of Le MansA view of Le Mans

So the weather wasn't great, so the sky is kind of grey...but here is a little view of Le Mans
So I've started my last week in France before I go back to the States, and I must admit that I am not at all excited. Sure, the US is a fine country with lots of really cool places and landscapes. But I have never in my life felt so at home as I have this semester in Angers. At one point during the semester, I had set my mind on staying in France...going to school here and starting my life "over" à la française. However, considering I am leaving this country Saturday morning, I obviously had a change of plans. And frankly, I'm not exactly content with my decision. I think that either way, I will learn a wealth of information and will experience an abundance of new things. It's just that I'm truly happy here... truly and utterly happy.

Ok, enough of the soap box...let me tell you what I've been up to lately:

Well, I've been doing an awful lot of reading...one book every 1 or 2 days. Of course in French. I actually don't enjoy reading all that much in English. Never really have...not even as a kid. I remember that my step-mom used to
Wall surrounding the old Le MansWall surrounding the old Le MansWall surrounding the old Le Mans

Le Mans used to be enclosed in a big wall that encircled the entire city. Now, the city has of course out grown the wall, but it is still there around the older part of Le Mans.
make all of my brothers and sisters go to our respective rooms each day during the summer break and read for an hour or two, and I found it to be complete torture! In fact, I was talking to one of my friends here the other day about our weekly family excursions to the library, and I was telling her that I never wanted to read story books. There were these really cool French/Italian/Spanish/German phrase books at our library, and I always checked them out, much to my parents' dismay (their objective, naturally, was to get us to read stories...). Then, after I had checked all four of them out, I had no other option but to check out "real" books, for we weren't allowed to check out the same book over and over and over again (I tried!). I had completely forgotten about those books until a few days ago. I suppose I have always been drawn to languages!! =)

I guess there is really no huge difference between French novels and those written in English (well...that's not true...but I want get too picky). I mean, I've read a couple of American/British novels translated into French while studying
Lots and lots of stairs!Lots and lots of stairs!Lots and lots of stairs!

Walking up to the Cathedral, there are sooooo many stairs. I didn't think we'd ever get done. So when we were almost finished, we took a picture of the cathedral. Woot.
this semester...and I've loved them. I guess reading in French, for me, is just more appealing because the language is so rich and decadent... I have never read a book without discovering countless new words. And the grammar! I absolutely ADORE French grammar. I know that sounds silly, but in a French piece of literature, the words and story line (of course) speak for themselves...each word has a meaning, as in any language. However the grammar itself speaks as well...sometimes more profoundly. I don't know, it's just beautiful and makes my heart sing 😊

Last week, I spent a few days in Le Mans with Floriane, a friend of mine that stayed in the foyer during the school year. The first night I arrived, we had dinner at Le nez rouge (an amazingly delicious French restaurant) with Rebecca and Marie, two other girls that were also in the foyer. It was so incredibly amazing to see them all again, for it had been about a month since they had left the foyer after a trying year of studying medicine. How sad it was to see them go! For the rest of my stay in Le Mans, we did a little sight seeing, visited stores, and just walked around the city, despite the rain.

Since returning to Angers, I've spent a lot of time with some friends here. Huan, a friend of mine from China, and I have walked countless miles these past few days, soaking up the sunny weather. As well my friend Doo Hong (from South Korea) and I. Lots of aimless walking, coffee drinking, and park visiting. Nothing to complain about there! I, unfortuantely, had to say good-bye to Doo Hong, for he is off to Paris (he's entering a university there next semester). But Huan and I plan to make the most of this last week. Also, Floriane and Rebecca are coming to Angers Thursday (they will have the results of the concours!!), and we are going to grab lunch together and catch up one last time before I head off 😞

So, my plane leaves Saturday morning at 11h40. And my best friend in the entire universe (Kristi, of course!) will be waiting for me at the airport at 22h40 in Columbia (4h40 Sunday morning in France!). I cannot wait to see her...and everyone else back "home"... but I'm trying not to think about Saturday...otherwise it'd put a damper on the rest of my week in fabulous France.

So yeah, everything is still going great here. And I consider myself very lucky to have had this experience (even though my bank account doesn't love me for it at the moment!). I've learned so much, about so many things, and I think that is it inevitable that I have evolved a bit as a person in general while being here. And I can't wait to share everything I have "acquired" this semester with the people back home.

Well, it's approaching 1am here in France, and I only had 4 hours of sleep last night (the result of trying to spend all of my time with my friends here!), so I'm going to go to bed soon. But I'll write once more before I head back home. And that, my friends, is a promise =)

Good night!
HMA



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Party in the fountain?!Party in the fountain?!
Party in the fountain?!

One of the many schools in France had finished classes this past Friday, so Saturday morning they decided to throw a party in the fountain right beside the main market... and no...that's not legal...
The wall around Angers!The wall around Angers!
The wall around Angers!

The wall that used to surround the Chateau d'Angers
The sky was so pretty.The sky was so pretty.
The sky was so pretty.

Crazy cloud patterns make me smile.
Fumer tue!Fumer tue!
Fumer tue!

Bad stuff...DON'T DO IT!


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