Entrance of Rennes' beautiful Parc du Thabor
My friends Stephanie (left) and Noemie (right) at Noemie's baby shower (planned by my friend Lana, a Canadian, since before-the -baby baby showers aren't common in France.) It was a suprise, and really fun! The baby was born on Sunday...tiny Eunice Joy. Super!
I know it's been a very long time (over a month) since I've updated, and I'd like to send my apologies for that. Since I've written, I've been to Spain, Italy, Paris, more of the Breton coast, attended a Breton dance festival called a Fest Noz, been involved with a lot of church functions, started learning how to drive a stick shift, and just generally had a good time living here. I intend to write a more detailed account about Spring Break, but you may have to wait a bit longer.
It's bizarre to think that my semester is so soon finishing up. When I think of my time here in relation to my time in Africa, these four and a half months seem to have passed more quickly than the two and a half months I spent in Niger. When talking to my Dad about it on the phone the other day, he ventured that it is likely I am less aware of my differences every day here than there. I think he might be right. Also, being there was a change of life pace and occupation so to speak, where as here I am still very much a student, still move relatively fast and the culture is more similar to that int he States. I like the fact that I am starting to accumulate a history of experiences that I can look back on and compare and contrast with each other, to see what and how I learned from each experience.
Today is very cloudy and rainy in Rennes, but last week was fantastically beautiful. The view out my bedroom window as I write this is very green, and since I'm four stories up, I'm nearly surrounded by the leaves of blooming trees that may be hundreds of years old. My friends and I have been spending a lot of time at the park and the beach with the onset of this good weather, and studying has become more difficult, so a gray day once and a while is welcomed because...
Exams are coming up! In France, you finish your classes and then have a week of revision that follows, then followed by about a week and a half of exams. I can't decide if I love or hate this system. Since my entire grade rests on the end of the year exam, I'll admit I like the fact that I am given ample time to study for it, however, lacking the end term pressure I usually have at North Park, I'm less motivated to work, seeing that I have an entire two weeks ahead of me. On the other hand, now that I think about it, I've been doing a lot of work lately, just not in relation to Rennes. Registering for classes and finding housing at North Park for next semester is proving more difficult than foreseen, and with the emailing and time difference that separates me from that continent, it's a little frustrating. But, the good news is that I have people that care about me at North Park who are doing their best to make sure I'm not forgotten :)
It's about time that I get back to studying for my Oral Exam tomorrow, and start work on my Dossier about the slave trade in Nantes, France.
I'm safe, and very happy. I hope you are the same.