Last Friday, I woke up before nine for the first time in what felt like years. It was finally time for my first day of school. More precisely, my alarm was set for 5:50 and it was my first school day in exactly one month.
I had a hard time sleeping the night before, nerves. But I told myself I had done this once before, I can do it again.
My host sisters and I spent the night before carefully deliberating my outfit. So after hair, make up and a nutella baguette, I was good to go. My older host sister is in Terminal so we walk to the bus together. In Tournon I had a five-minute walk, here I have a 40-minute bus ride that stops in all the villages. My comparison with life in Tournon will stop there because there’s no point in comparing the two. This town and school is what it is and it wouldn’t be fair for me to go into everything judging it by how it stacks up with my old town. For example, I'd bet every penny I have that this new high school was built after America was discovered...unlike Lycee Gabriel Faure.
I thought the bus ride would be a golden opportunity to listen to music and sleep… boy was I wrong. Two factors made this bus extremely talkative: a. it was the last day before vacation and b. there was “UNE AMERICAINE” in the back of the bus. News about said “Americaine” had spread around school before the sun even came up. My host mom later explained that because this is a pretty rural area, people don’t travel often and they see foreigners even less frequently. Consequently, I was given wide-eyes all day and asked many many questions. But who am I kidding, I like the attention!
The day although packed with classes, went by pretty quickly. I had met with the principal the day before. He had suggested that someone accompany me to class and then ask if a student would show me around. At the time I dreaded the idea. What if no one volunteered to show me around?!
But that proved to be a silly anxiety as my class was very welcoming. There is actually a Venezuelan in my class here with another program. She also changed regions when changing families so she was quick to let me know I could confide in her.
My teachers are also very nice. Because of a lack of space in all the other classes I was placed in premier S (sciences). After six months of Terminal Economy...this should be interesting.
I ended up eating with the Venezuelan and her friends for lunch; it was a very international, multilingual, talkative table. Later we had a break in our schedule, which allowed me to visit the town and get a drink with my new friends. And before I knew it I was back on the bus, to conclude my first day of school. It went really well and I'm confident that I will find my place in this school just like I did back in Tournon.
And now, for another three weeks of vacation. (: