Monday, August 30, 2010

That's All, Folks

For now... at least.

My last day in the country until July 10, 2011 is tomorrow! I leave Tuesday on a red-eye to NY because we "West-Coast kids" have no other way of getting to NY by 1:00 PM on the 1st with a three hour time change. From this, a problem has arisen. I get into JFK at 7:00 AM. AFS volunteers arrive at noon. Uh-oh. I guess we'll wait and see how that goes.

On another note, I am finished packing except for a photo album or two that will go in my carry-on. My suitcase is 41.6 pounds out of a 44 pound limit..... living on the edge. :O I have lots of host family gifts because I think I will have a welcome family... but boy, is it hard to buy gifts for a bunch of unidentified people. If I end up with a single parent, they will be showered with Californian/American gifties.

Another random thought:
Everybody went back to school today. It doesn't feel like my summer's ending, though. I'm ready for adventure! But isn't it weird to think that whereas there are plenty of other people in my situation right now, waiting to go on to the next chapter of their lives, whether it be college or studying abroad or starting a job, some people are just starting to grow up? There is an elementary school right near my house, and right now there are tons of cars driving back and forth picking up their kids. Some of those parents might have just picked up their children from their very first day at school. It's weird how fast time moves. I remember kindergarten. Anyhow--

I found the list of things I will miss. So here it is!!!
The Los Gatos city limit sign posted on a small side street off of a large one.
The paint near Fisher Middle School with all of our names in it. After three years, it's still there!
The ability to take the wrong bus and still end up walking distance of my house.
The front lawn of my High School, LGHS
Pink Flamingoes!
Those moments in fall when I get out of school and walk down to my bike while watching the field hockey scrimmages and football practices, feeling like the quintessential American teenager at the quintessential American high school-- in a good way.
The English language
English class
Getting to talk with our neighbor's exchange student...
Taking night walks and only being scared of whether a zombie will come jumping out of the nearest bush.
The "Almost Summer" sign that is up next to the health/driver's ed classroom. It never goes down.
The dude I just saw wearing a USA colored fanny pack.
Walking to downtown Los Gatos so easily with friends.
Powell's Sweet Shoppe
Babysitting!
Velociraptor jam sessions.
Being so close to my family, neighbors, and friends.
How the three aforementioned groups have become the same group throughout the past 12 years of having lived here.

Now all I have to do is say goodbyes. This is the hard part for me. Getting mushy and gushy. Darn.

So long, USA. Hello, France!

Sincerely,
Carly

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

OH MY GOODNESS

I just realized that I totally forgot to mention the generous donors that gave to the chipin widget before it closed!

A heartfelt thank you to:

Susan and Lynn and Garrett and Olivia Woodford-Berry

Jim and Elizabeth and Isabel and Elena and Joe Chadwick

Peggy and Alan Spool

and

Randy Houk

Love love love! :D

Everything That Has Been Neglected

Dear Anyone who chances to look upon his page....
Well, first of all I sincerely apologize for the lack of updates in the past couple of months/ weeks/I can't really keep track of time anymore... But moving right along--

Current Visa status: OBTAINED
Woohoo! On August second we went to the consulate and everything went perfectly fine. They were very.... hmmm... what's the word? Kind of cold, but not really mean, just unemotional. Well, it may come to me later. It was very easy, though, and less than a week later we got my passport with a fancy little page included just for France. Hip hip hooray! :D

Current Host Family Status: Nonexistent... :|
I don't really have anything to say about this, except I would like to give a shout out to the French world and say "I'm not really as bad as you think I am! Please, pick me...!" I chalk it up to my lack of a good host family letter and the fact that almost everything about me is different than it was 11 months ago, when I started the process. Go figure, I have changed even before the program has begun. But all in all, I don't really mind the absence of family. I trust AFS and I know I won't be thrown out on the streets at any point, so it's all good. I do feel slightly sorry for my mom, though, because if I do get a welcome (temporary) family, she won't know the details until I actually call her the first time from France. I expect it will go smoothly, however. One thing I wish I did have control over at the moment is my courses that I will be taking at school... The "L" track is what I am aiming for; it seems the most suited for me while also allowing me to learn the most French. But, whoooaa! I just realized that there is a possibility that I will not even be in the grade level in which you split into tracks. Holy crap. The possibilities are endless..... Ok, well now that that ramble has gone on for a while, I think I'll change the topic.

Current Packing Status: SEMI-DONE
If you call having gone shopping this summer every chance I could get packing. I rarely go to the mall during the school year, and I hear that clothes are more expensive in France, so all of the shopping will be quite beneficial over the long-run. As far as the actual packing itself goes, I have written a list. Does that count for packing? All I know is that it'll get done eventually, but right now, the important things are saying goodbye to people and spending as much time as I can with my family. Therefore, let us transition into the next topic--

Current Saying Goodbye Status: I don't really know.
It's been kind of weird. I have kind of forgotten almost to say goodbye to people. I'll see them, and I just think, "oh, I'll probably hang out with him/her next week." In some cases, it might actually be the last time I'll see them... It's a weird concept. And some of them it won't just be for the year. A lot of people will be at college or beyond. It's really weird having such a crucial year kind of chunked out of your life. So now I'm trying to mention how much I'll miss my close friends and family members next year as much as possible because the truth is, I only have 14 days left in the country... Anyhow, let's get onto a brighter topic.

I've decided how to lay out my blog once I'm in France! Right now, if you haven't noticed, it's kind of random. :):D:P But once I get to France, I am going to divide each post into three different sections: Language, School, and Culture. Of course I'll also say anything at the end that needs to be pointed out, but that'll pretty much be it. I think it will make it a little easier for me.

And finally (Last thing I'll say, I promise), I want to add that this whole year I have been making a list of things I will miss, and my next post, probably about two weeks from now, I will put it up.

Au Revoir,
Carly