A Travellerspoint blog

Second Host Family!

Yesterday after French Thanksgiving dinner, I moved to my second host family. As a going away present from my first family I got a Christmas countdown calendar with chocolate. As a welcome present from my second family I got... a Christmas countdown calendar with chocolate! Now I get two pieces for each day in December haha. My new family is recomposed so my host mom (Sophie) has 2 sons (Antoine 17 and Emille 14) and a daughter (Angèle 12). My host dad (Laurent) has a daughter (Maëlle 20) and a son (Sam 17).

Here's some pictures from Thanksgiving:
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My commute to school is now much easier. I leave at 7:45 instead of 7:20. Instead of walking to the bus, my host mom drives me with my host siblings to the tram (this cuts the bus out completely in the morning). Not having to wait at the bus stop is amazing news considering how cold it's getting. After school is exactly the same as it was. I take the tram to the middle of town where I wait at the same stop for bus 4 as opposed to bus 11. I'm glad the after school is the same because it gives me the option to stay in Caen or go directly home.
My family also told me on our drive through my school route that there is a bike path that leads directly from our town to the middle of Caen and specifically the pool. It's just a 20 minute bike ride so we can go pretty much whenever. I'm looking forward to the Christmas market in Rouen in two weeks! The one in Caen is already being set up and features a beautiful ferris wheel in front of the Abbey.

My new house!
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New room!
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Day 2 (kind of 3)
I didn't get lost so this is an amazing start. I did have to run to the bus after school though because I saw bus 4, realized that it said the other destination and not my town, calmed down, then a few seconds later saw bus 4 with my town and had to sprint. Using public transport can be great exercise lemme tell ya. So far having a large family is really nice. Lots of laughing over dinner and explanations to me of French play on words. The family had a fun time cleaning after dinner too. We cleaned a pot for about 10 minutes because the water had to boil to get some food off and letting it almost boil over but stopping it by picking it up was extremely amusing.

Posted by rachelkronk 12:54 Archived in France Comments (4)

Videos

Uploading videos is a bit difficult on here unless I transfer the files to Vimeo first. So, I made a video of all of my videos...

PS-Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by rachelkronk 11:27 Comments (2)

Stories Part 3

rain 0 °C

Half the Rotary club thought I was from Oregon because 1.) Oregon is pronounced Or-hey-goan so kind of like Ohio I guess 2.) Oregon is commonly known here because of Portland

At the district governor meeting two different Rotarians asked if I was the Mexican exchange student

The district governor meeting was amazing by the way. The speaker was the oldest Rotarian in the club at 95 years old. He spoke about his life. I had a great conversation with another Rotarian about his life. He's German, came to study in France, then went to Switzerland for a year, then Britain where he met his wife, and then back to Normandy. He told me he was very nervous living in France as a German, but he met a tailor that made him feel better. The tailor had no legs because of a bomb in WW2. The Rotarian told him he was German, and the tailor had no reaction. He said that his wife was British and the tailor said, " I lost my legs because of those ****** Brits"
He told me,"Don't let anyone make you feel like you don't belong for being yourself or feel ashamed for a past that you weren't a part of."

The back of my blazer is a collage of cheese packages because I think it looks cool and represents Normandy, but common responses to it have been, "MOOOO" "Are you from the cheese district?" and "Say cheese!"

I don't really "have" to do anything in class unless it includes english. So sometimes I forget to prepare, but luckily I can wing it because, well, it's in english. My literature teacher gave us all headphones, and we were supposed to make a 3-5 minute recording. I talked about how I went to the zoo last year. The prompt was to talk about a moment that made you who you are. Well still got a 20/20 :)

On that same topic, all too often what I say makes absolutely no sense but it is just accepted. My history (in French) teacher asked me what PM stood for and I completely blanked. I knew it was Post-something so I said Post Mid-day. He said correct... it was not correct.

I know my French is still not that great because when I finished my mediocre spiel about TNCs the class clapped for me. I'm serious, they applauded. That was extremely embarrassing.

I went to a neanderthal exhibition at the Castle with my family the other day. There was this place where you push a button and try to guess what the smell is to see "if you have the smelling ability of a neanderthal". That in itself made me laugh, but then my host mom smelled the middle one and said, "That smells so good!" The scent was blood... should I be worried? I'm kidding, it was meant for kids so it wasn't realistic lol

I move families in less than a week, wow! I think the plan is my second family is coming over Saturday for Thanksgiving (or my version of it at least) then we leave afterwards. My family is not looking forward to trying pumpkin pie. My host dad keeps asking for lemon instead. I have no idea how I am going to pack up everything. It is scattered everywhere and theres so much of it.

Posted by rachelkronk 06:35 Archived in France Comments (2)

November 13, 2015

There's not much I can say about the attacks that hasn't already been said. At least 129 dead. 352 injured-99 seriously. Islamic State has claimed responsibility. They have also threatened further attacks. Yes, please pray for Paris, pray for lesser known casualties, and pray for peace.

The names of the bombers, details of ongoing investigations, etc. I am getting the same way and time as everyone else. While I am relatively close, I felt and still feel rather in the dark. I woke up this morning to a million messages asking if I was alright. Information came in one text, tweet, and email at a time until I got a somewhat less blurry picture of what had happened while I was asleep. Often, with such news, I take the claims to be strictly a rumor until confirmed by multiple sources. I thought that by being here somehow all information would be straightforward and accurate. This has not proven true. I have been told that this was a response to the US bombing of Syria. As much as I wish I had an opinion on what should be done, I have not a single clue. I feel like I know absolutely nothing no matter how many articles I've read or news stories I've seen.

Thank you to everyone who asked to make sure I was alright. My host families and friends are also all safe and accounted for.

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Martin Luther King

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Posted by rachelkronk 13:23 Comments (4)

Thank you!

I thought this was fitting seeing as it's almost Thanksgiving

Hello all!

There are so many people who I am grateful for. Inbounds, outbounds, rebounds, American Rotarians, French Rotarians, and many others! As much as I would love to send a personal letter to each and every person who I have met through or has helped me with exchange, I don't think it is possible! Here is a small video I put together that I hope shows you how grateful I am. Thank you, Rotary!

"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."

Bonjour a tous!

Merci à inbounds, outbounds, rebounds, les Rotariens américains, les Rotariens français, et d'autres! Je veux envoyer une lettre à chaque personne à qui je l'ai rencontré à travers ou m'a aidé avec mon échange, je ne pense pas qu'il est possible! Voici une petite vidéo que je fait qui je l'espère vous montre combien je suis reconnaissant. Merci, Rotary!

Posted by rachelkronk 10:24 Comments (4)

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