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Tongue-Tied & Tremulous


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I’m sitting on the couch in my living room, the only calm spot in a sea of frenetic energy, as my mother tries to pack for our return home to Ghana. I’m struggling to come up with something to write… The source of my writer’s block isn’t an inability to generate feelings about my upcoming trip to France, but rather the opposite — I’m struggling to articulate the mix of nervousness, excitement, and trepidation that is churning in my stomach at the moment. I cannot wait to land in France and be engulfed in all things French. The culture, the people, the food (oh the food!), it’s so very different from the two cultures I’ve grown familiar with over the course of my life. I don’t really anticipate having any problems adjusting (switching between societies my whole life has given me an innate ability to tolerate almost anything), but I’m a bit worried, however, about how people will respond to me. Living with a host family has me so neurotic that I’m afraid when I meet them I’ll say bonsoir instead of bonjour or commit some faux pas that will make them want to abandon me on the nearest street corner. I’m giddy with excitement when I think of where I’m going to be — in St-Laurent-du-Var, right on the French coast. Coming from Accra and growing up with the ocean only twenty minutes away, it was a bit of slap in the face to find myself plopped on the Deerfield campus, surrounded by miles of trees in cow country. My bathing suit collection has grown immensely in the last couple of months in preparation for my proximity to the ocean (my mom wants to kill me for it, but hey). I literally cannot think of a better way or place to spend my summer — on the French Riviera, surrounded by people speaking French who actually pronounce their French words accurately. -Nhyira

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