Plus Belle La Vie

A More Beautiful Life

Month: February 2016

Squiggles, Lines, Circles, Dots

It’s strange how a random order of letters after awhile doesn’t look so random, but starts to make sense. Also, how strange sounds and similar words have new meanings and start to become clearer in your mind.

But that doesn’t happen without many mistakes.

I was telling (well, attempting to tell) a story about why I am afraid of lizards.
I was telling one about how I was sitting in a class before taking a test and I reached down to scratch my leg and I ended up with a lizard in my hand. I squealed and threw it.
As I was telling this story I accidentally used the word for “ham” (jambon) to say my “leg” (jambe). Everyone started laughing, even I did, but still it was embarrassing.

A mistake that I do often is using the word for “wind” (vent) when I count for “twenty” (vingt). I have told a few people that my sister is “wind” years old.

More often than not I say ‘yes’ to things that I don’t really want and ‘no’ to things that I do want.
Someone will ask what I want and I don’t know what they are asking so I just give a response and hope for the best.

I have a few inside jokes now in French, which is encouraging.

I understood a conversation talking about gasoline which was nice.

I understand what Pauline, Margot (Paulines Sister), and Dany (Paulines Mom) say most of the time, but when it comes to Didier (Paulines Dad), I neither understand his French nor his English.

My first few weeks my head really hurt, I think it was just the transition of not being able to understand anything and not being able to communicate. Now, I can understand quite a bit, but I still can’t respond very well. I relatively understand instructions, but when it comes to conversations I can get lost.

I was taking a face to face French lesson once a week, but now I am taking a online French lesson twice a week.

It is kind of ironic, being a legal adult and learning things now as a child again.

Moving into Week 3

For the past two weeks I have been trying to figure out how I was going to update all of you. I started a few times and ended up deleting the drafts, because I just didn’t know how to put it all.
When I arrived it didn’t know exactly what I was doing and to finally be here was just a shock in it of itself. France is beautiful and full of so much history. I look out my window in the mornings and think about what new things I will learn that day.
Marseille is unlike any other place I have been thus far.
It is strange to have my own room and to have something that is going to be relatively consistent for the next 6 months.

2016-01-15 11.05.20
Since arriving I have seen things I never even dreamed of. I walk just about everywhere; plus, take the metro and the city buses to get around. It takes me about a hour and half to travel to where I work and attend a church (same building) in L’Estaque (a different section of Marseille).

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On these journeys I read and listen to music. Never thought I would be one of those people that walks around a city with headphones in, but I am.
I enjoy just looking out at the sea and breathing in the salty air. It is absolutely stunning to just watch a sunset over the sea and a sunrise over the mountains.

On Fridays, I help out at Dany’s (Paulines mom) school. Her kids are so cute and they are constantly hugging me, giving me kisses on the hands and cheeks, it is really adorable. Plus, they speak French like 20 miles an hour and can barely catch what they are saying. The kids are 6-7 years old.

The school I help out with in L’Estaque is small but nice. The kids I help with the most are 2.5 to 5 years old, they are so cute and very funny.
On Thursdays I help with an English class for children that have English speaking parents. In March I will start teaching this class, which makes me a bit nervous. It is 5 girls whose ages range from 7-10 years old. They are very sweet smart girls, but I have never taught formally before so this should be interesting.

French is very difficult with all of its conjugations and the pronunciation. I stay quiet most of the time, because I either do not know what is being said or I do not know how to put input into the conversation or I just don’t know the culturally appropriate reaction.

I have been having a lot of headaches recently and have been very tired. I believe it is from everything that is culturally shocking and the fact that I don’t know what is going on 45% of the time.

I miss home, my family, and my friends. These 6 months will pass by quickly I am sure. By the time it ends, I probably won’t want to leave.

Continue to keep me in your prayers. It is hard being a Christian in France, especially when you fall under the Protestant umbrella.

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