“Nothing worth doing is ever easy”

This certainly isn’t an easy journey. But every time I start to think about giving up, right away I know I can’t and that I don’t want to. All of this work will pay off ten times over. Okay maybe not all  of it, but hopefully at least 90%. And because I find it easier to motivate others than myself, here is the whole quotation for your consideration: “Nothing worth doing is ever easy. The tastiest ice cream is the hardest to scoop.”

Ice cream always is a good motivator.

In other news, yesterday was very exciting. September 25th 2012. The new Mumford and Sons album Babel was released. It is amazing. I listened to it walking to school. At school while I did my homework. After I went swimming and waited for the bus (and then walked home because the bus didn’t show up, more on that later). And today was pretty much the same. It is an incredible album. If you haven’t heard of Mumford and Sons, you should consider climbing out from under the rock you live in and take a listen. I can almost guarantee your life will be altered. I recommend you listen to the whole album, and their first album Sigh No More, but if you have time for only a few songs, these are my favorites. From Sigh No More: After the Storm, The Cave, and Roll Away Your Stone. From Babel, Lover of the Light, The Boxer, and I Will Wait.

 

Anyways, here in Aix, today I had my second day of community service! Our program requires us to do 2 hours a week, and my volunteering is at a nursing home with some volunteers from the Red Cross. Today there was a little party for all the september birthdays, there was one man that I met who is 93! There was cake and some music and the birthday boys and girls each got a little present. I sat with a group of four ladies, plus the 93 year old birthday boy and played “Questions pour un Champion” which is basically like Trivial Pursuit, and apparently used to be a french tv show. I tried to read some of the questions, but first, I’m not very good at reading out loud in english, second, I’m not very good at reading out loud in french, third, they couldn’t understand my American accent/ poor pronunciation. Regardless they were all super nice and encouraging, and smart! A lot of the questions led to some large discussions so that was fun. And the old ladies are just funny. I sat next to Suzanne, who I also met last week, and she told me about three times about how she likes dancing and how there is a “grand salon” in Aix to go dance at Sundays. And then a fiesty woman called “Mamie” because she doesn’t like here given name Rène (I’m not sure on the spelling but its pronounced like the french word for queen, reine- like red but with an “n”). Anyways, we all told her that that was a beautiful name, but she just scoffed at us. She’s a little sassy, I like it. I think I will enjoy getting to know them over the next two months, and hopefully I will be able to speak better with them each week.

So about the buses. My first few weeks in Aix I was really impressed by the buses. They seemed easy enough to use, timely, etc. Nawt. More than once (such as yesterday), I have waited for 2o or 30 minutes (enough time for at least 3 buses to have come and gone) for a bus that never arrives. And then when it does it’s full. I wish I had a picture of my bus, because it’s actually a short bus. Ironic? Maybe a little. The streets are too small for a full sized bus, so I take one that holds about 15 people, 25 if you want to be uncomfortable. I have gotten pretty good at using the buses and finding new routes to go different places. (Yes I carry the schedule around with me like a nerd, but it has come in handy many a time for many a person). I also need to get a picture of what the buses say when they aren’t in service, literally: “I’m sorry, but I’m not in service”- much more pleasant than TO TERMINAL the Seattle Metro buses drive around with.

Now, for some pictures!

The back of the main building of the American Center + some garden

The second building with the rest of the classrooms. The first floor has the cafe and kitchen, second floor classrooms, and the third floor is the residence for the program director Lili

Coy pond!

Part of the courtyard where we eat lunch and get attacked by bees, mosquitos, and lizards

The cafe with hopefully a functioning wood fireplace!

 

 

Bed time for me! Ciao!

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