#LeighsLessons: New Friend from 4,775 miles away
Hi Everyone!! When writing my schedule of blogs I didn’t think I would have enough exciting stories and information about my French Exchange student but I do and I am so excited to share them with you.
First of all, we had a boy. His name was Antoine and he is 16. As if the language barrier wasn’t enough, pairing a teenage boy and teenage girl together can be awkward… no matter the country. After waiting for their plane to arrive, we greeted him with a hug (not the French greeting of two pecks on each cheek). My mom took a picture and off we went to baggage claim. I asked him how the flight was, if he was tired, and what he was excited about.
When my dad began talking to him Antoine would look to me and I would say it a bit slower and pronounce consonant sounds more. For those of you who don’t know, most Americans talk very quickly and don’t articulate very well. Before preparing to explain in English, he would roll up his sleeves, lick his lips, and prepare to use what he had studied for so long.
Some of the little things like ordering food, going to the grocery store, and going to church all excited Antoine. Before the exchange I knew there was going to be a language barrier, however I did not realize how different the culture would be as well. For example, dinner is always a NPZ (No Phone Zone). But for some reason, Antoine continued to be on his phone during meal times. All of the French exchange students (at least it appeared) were obsessed with shopping. Vans, Nike, Apple, Levi, Champion (yes the Target brand), Popsockets, Macy’s you name it, they most likely bought it.
When Antoine would get confused or struggle with a word he would look to me and say “comment dit-on -French Word”? Asking how do you say, whatever it was. And I would answer with the English translation and we would continue our conversation.
On the day of the student's departure, I was sad to see my new brother go.
As I look back on my time with my French exchange student, I am truly blessed that I got to have such an amazing opportunity so early in my life. The exchange has taught me 4 things I will definitely not forget:
French cuss words (you aren’t really an avid student of the language if you don’t know how to apply yourself when it is necessary).
Batman is a Superhero all throughout the world, not just in America.
Always smile and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
Sometimes, you have to go with the flow because you only live once (even if it means studying less and partying more).
I am so excited that I will be able to head to France in just five short months. I am looking forward to developing my own French skills and truly using what I know.
Leavin, Later, Out.