Le Bien et le mal

I always prefer bad news first.

  • I got locked out of my apartment (when my host father came back from Belgium, there was a misunderstanding with keys between him and his ex-wife).
  • An ATM ate my only debit card…. waiting for the next one to come and being super frugal in the mean time
  • Had to read 80 pages of philosophy in French last night (that’s the most I’ve read in one sitting in French! I’m not a big reader unfortunately)
  • I finally tried crème caramel…. I realize now why it was a good idea to never try it
  • I had to drop the philosophy class (after I’d read all night) because it was an unrealistic course
  • I got made fun of by my host family for eating cheese the inappropriate way and not having proper cheese knowledge (by french standards)
Good news
  • I finally did my goal of giving a French person directions in French today
  • I got offered a volunteer position at Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades on Monday!
  • After extensive searching, I found a dance coach (first one on the list)!!  She agreed to let me take my first class on for free and then I can decide if I want to continue (and if I can understand) She also placed me (based on my experience) in the highest level standard class she offers!
  • I went for my first day at the hospital on Tuesday: I finally get to smile and play with children (because smiling at a child on the streets could be seen as a bad/creepy thing)
  • I bought peanut butter!!! After craving it for multiple days I caved and splurged on it.
  • I loved my sociology of french culture class!! It focuses on comparing culture from the French Revolution to modern day through means such as art, history, traditions, etc.
  • I bought green jeans! Colored denim is super popular in Paris and I wanted dark green jeans like my dance dress and I found them!
  • I got quizzed today on my cheese skills and the host family was impressed that I had remembered!
  • I witnessed live music on a métro!

Here are some photos from the espace plein ciel where I work in the Hospital.  There are lots of different rooms with different themes: Cooking room, game room, music room, makeup room, etc.  I photographed a few:

It is an area of culture for the children to relax, have fun, and forget about being sick.  I spent my first day doing some sanitization of toys, then I made crêpes with a 10 year old girl and we talked about how much she loved her mom and wanted to make cute little tiny crêpes to take back to her mom.  I felt pain in my heart when she asked if I was sick, and if I got to go back to my place that night (as opposed to staying in the hospital).  Later I spent time chatting with some teenage girls.  It turns out one of them is auditioning for a singing troupe (if she gets out of the hospital in time) and the three of us sang American songs together! I also escort the children to and from the culture center and their rooms. I sincerely enjoyed my time at the hospital and I look forward to continuing!!

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