Today, my “real” family dropped me off at the Nice airport after a wonderful week of vacationing throughout Paris and the south of France. It was sunny and absolutely beautiful outside, no doubt a preface for the wonderful weather and experiences to come. After waiting in the airport for a short while, eating a Kit Kat or 3 in the meantime, we found the Abbey Road group seated near the terminal exit. First, we met Arthur, who was very kind and very welcoming. Meeting him, as well as the other staff, made me feel more relaxed about the program as I have never known someone who has done it before and didn’t really know what to expect. I know my parents were very excited to meet the staff as well, and by the end of some lovely conversations, they felt much more at ease about leaving their daughter in a foreign country for the month!
We waited anxiously for the St Laurent group to arrive for about 45 minutes, and when they did I was flooded with feelings of nervousness and excitement! I have never done any program like this before, so as I said I really didn’t know what to expect, but as it turns out all of the people in our group are very friendly and welcoming, and I am so excited for the friendships that are sure to soon develop. My roommate, Jackie, is very nice and I am so excited to get to know her as well! Being introduced to my family was a little intimidating at first since my French is a little rusty, but they are so kind and do the best they can to help me understand everything they tell me.
Later in the afternoon, after arriving at our new home, we had lunch with our new family- McDonald’s! I thought this was pretty funny and it made an experience so new feel more comfortable and familiar, which was nice. It was my first Big Mac ever though, so I suppose it was a new experience as well! After lunch, we made our way down to the beaches of St. Laurent, which are all very beautiful (and very hot). We tanned, swam, and bonded some more, and it was very fun getting to know my family and Jackie better. After relaxing on the rocks for a couple of hours we returned home, only to leave about an hour later for the Fisherman’s Festival in St. Laurent! There was a grand parade with floats, dancers, and lots of people dressed up as fish. It was different from any parade I’ve ever seen- but it was very cool and super unique to the town, which I love.
My favorite part, though, was the fireworks show that followed- it was beautiful, colorful, and extremely loud, but so worth it. I definitely didn’t feel like I was missing out on the Fourth of July shows at home!
So far- it’s been a wonderful stay in St. Laurent- and I can’t wait to see what is to come!