Firstly, I am Geena. Secondly, I'm happy to be refreshing my life, out here. Mais, je ne parle pas francais encore.

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Bruxelles

Dinner, first and last at this famous Belgian "fast-food" stand.

Here we are, the sun, simone, and me (miss you, dear sun.)

In the middle of the Grand Place, snapping shots of the Town Hall and the rest of the central square.

Me and Belgium’s hero.

Mannekin Pis

First day out with them! It wasn’t a bad memory, and I miss Simone and Tita very much.

Me and Simone, Godiva

Pierre Marcolini Chocolates

Toussaint Holiday 2010 : Brussels, Belgium

Met the "Cousins!" Tita Loubelle and Simone

Firstly, I left from Gare du Nord, Paris. Beautiful morning, independent self-loving day. Just the best thing ever-- taking a luxurious train with WiFi and music. I could have done it for days. Unfortunately, my transport lasted an hour and forty-two minutes.

Living in Belgium for several days! My room at Tita Loubelle's home.

Bedroom where I slept my October away.

Can't count the number of times I slipped on these stairs. Holy crap, not a fun thing after like five times.

Butte du Lion

Belgian Waffle mmmm gotta be cliche!

Butte du Lion

Je Profite Bien

Hi,

Let me briefly explain the situation. Since maybe October (?) I have not continued my updates.

It is my last week in France, I am devastated; too many emotions are going through my body and soul, and all I can do is keep simple and brief, in order to not explode. I will commence filling you all in, of events since October.

Happy,finally. Through this experience I learned how to walk up to my reflection, and go, "hey, I love you." Life just needs self-confidence. Simply.

Grey days don't get me down anymore. -Seine River-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These items represent my attempt of the ideal life. Going to miss it here. -Objects here from a spent in Paris, with Elizabete Cassiopia; a dear friend who's attitude has always served me right, one of my best friendships, and her maturity and experience never ceased to teach me something. Although there's no doubt, you'll always be in my life.-

Accomplished the constant smile, and constant happiness to remain behind it. I wouldn't call it optimism, yet better: the heart confides in oneself, and proves to me that the outcome of each day will be a good one.

 

 

What did I gain? What I consider, "wisdom." What's next is to gain knowledge. I'm starting my quest; here come's the hard part. I'm now ready and prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Je profite bien. I’m enjoying this experience more now. But I’ve always been an advocate of time-travel. Always, throughout my entire life.

And for now I must be honest and explain, I would do anything to relive the last five months, with the same opportunities, however with the current wisdom. This isn’t irrational thinking…I find it proves how much I love the new me.

 

Who Are You and What Have You Done With Geena’s Stomach

Maserati Morning

Whoa—I just arrived at school. Thirty minutes before the first class commences and I’m still overjoyed at the fact that I rode a Maserati to school. Holy crap.

To begin with, Gaelle, my wonderful host-mother and champion driver, broke her right side mirror. It actually was not her fault. Some old bag wouldn’t let Gaelle pass through one of those typical skinny French roads. The mirror was the only thing damaged, but it was “spider-webbed” cracked and shattered. This was to my deep disappointment because I never go without checking myself out in the right wing mirror on the passenger side. And it was then my duty to wrench my head around and check if there was a free lane for Gaelle to turn into. A week and a half persisted with a broken mirror with such consequences.

However, today was the day that Gaelle left the house early to drive the Jeep to the auto shop. Today was also the day that I needed a ride to school. In order for me to have my ride to school, Denis would have to drive me. The mini coop was too small for Denis, the kids, and me, so… I took a Maserati Quattroporte to school. I def called shotgun (even though I was positive I’d get it) and couldn’t help smiling the whole ten minute ride to school. Great, great morning.

Eating

I take back everything I’ve ever said about French food being small. Here’s the deal: everyday family meals are in the form of 1. main course 2. cheese 3. desert. Which is totally fine. The “main course” is the only course, it’s small and I found the portion a bit minuscule when I first arrived. Myfamily and I will eat a dinner like this at around 8:07 pm every evening. It’s fine, and good.

Then weekends come, and French food piles up like no one’s business. There is way too much food than acceptable. It’s honestly course after course and two deserts and cheese and bread. Wow, I can’t even tell you how much bread I’m eating and how hard it is to contain it. And I tell you no lie, I am gaining  kilos and kilos. A kilo is about 2.2 pounds. Well, I honestly don’t know how much I weigh. I can’t function the scale in the h-parent’s bathroom. Next time on here I’ll deliver the news.

The reason I believe I’m gaining weight is that I’m eating and not exercising all the time. Maybe this week I went for a thirty minute run thrice, and did floor exercises for twenty minutes five times a week. I ran for fifty minutes yesterday, and I plan on doing the same tonight. It isn’t even close to my previous routine, and also it’s getting really cold around here. This makes it harder to run outside after school.

But, who cares. You don’t. I do. End of story.

Giverny

A week and a day ago, the two French art teachers took our class to Giverny and we toured impressionist painter Claude Monet’s house and jardin. I really enjoyed it. We then continued our day through an neo-impressionist photo gallery and a peinture museum. Astonishingly, I happened to be listening to 97% of all the tour guide’s words. How was I doing? Incredible.

Just a small bit of Monet's garden.

The famous bridge Monet painted from the water. I'm standing on it!

Two of my favorite people ever.

My friend, Erica

As for being incredible all the time, my father sent me two colossal and obese textbooks for me to read while I’m here. I’ve got four classes a week in the French School, so that’s draining my brain. With whatever power I have left, I be readin’ a chapter of each textbook a night. It’ll be fun, though. I’m a nerd; I can handle.

Last Weekend

The previous Saturday and Sunday were like this: Paris with two girls, Church with no one but the existence of myself and sure, God.

♥ Erica and Tereza ♥ - Paris

11th century eglise in Villennes - The family recommended that I go on Sundays on my own. It wasn't too bad. It's the same format as any Roman Catholic church. I learned words in French by going. It was an educational experience nonetheless.

Bruxelles

So on Saturday morning I’m heading off to Brussels, Belgium to visit Tita Loubelle. Louise. Whatever her name is, I’ll be going to Belgium. Wish me luck! It better be a good time!

It’s 9AM and a Saturday 9AM

No pictures, just talk. Let’s go.

This week in retrospect is this: better.

Things that happened:
  • French school now! Yay, and very hard. I made friends with several French girls to help me translate my homework. Also, I am American and they are cool with me.
  • At this point, I have tons of homework. I am doing French school, online studies, and whatever the International school gives me. It’s a pain in the behind so I expect someone to throw me a party soon.
  • Yeah, we need some crazy good-times partyness up in herrr.
  • All French girls do this: “coucou!” as a form of “hi!” I learned how to respond the hard way; awkwardly.
  • Today is Saturday and I have shit on my plate: possibly… France Miniature, family party (as usual every weekend, look out stomach, you about to be force-fed to prevent rudeness), a film with a friend au cinema, and then homework, that is no longer Fiji sized.
  • I’m getting fat.
  • NO! I won’t let it happen. I exercise for an hour on my floor every night, and go for a jog five times a week. That’s what I’m doing now. I’ll do more once they stop feeding me 24/7.
  • Here are my misses:
  • I miss Kamiak Football games.
  • I miss friends going to Homecoming.
  • I miss my sister.
  • I miss Sarah Silverman
  • I miss Jimmy Fallon, but he’s on my computer screen a lot, so he’s still with me.
  • On Jimmy’s monologue the other day, he mentioned a joke about the bomb threats in Europe. It was cool. It was like he was talking to me
  • I love being here more than I miss these things.
  • I hate online school.
  • Ah! Badminton! Every Friday is badminton for three hours after school. I have no idea why, but it’s the hippest thing here in the French high school. Every one (well not everyone, there’s definitely defined groups as all schools would have) has a badminton racquet and Fridays are the badminton days and it is a popular sport choice for P.E.
  • Outside the gym are faucets of water and the French kids drink out of them like dogs.
  • French people don’t really shower, or it isn’t evident.
  • Aaah! Drama. That class is taught by a British teacher and it get’s physical. I like that class. The teacher is such a professional, it makes me happy inside knowing there is organization embedded somewhere in my education.
  • October Holidays, “Toussaint” holidays, are from October 22 – Nov 2. Possible destinations for me: France and Latvia, Bruxelles, Belgium then Latvia, and Italy is somewhat of a choice, too. Dad and I will discuss this further and I will attempt to finish my paperwork with him this weekend.
  • I really need more pictures on this thing. Reading is boring.
  • I bought series “Friends” season 10 in Villennes. To improve my French, of course, I am watching it in French with sous-titres en Anglais. It gets hilarious.
  • Within the next few weeks I’ll need to get Dexter, Heroes, and Mad Men. My French will be superb.
  • Sad news Monday: our friend Alexandre the fourteen year old French-American is leaving the International school to move back to the US. And he chose the best place to be! Utah! Well have fun in crazy Mormon Utah, Alex. We’ll miss you.
  • Tita Loubelle is visiting tomorrow!!! Best news ever. I hope it is fun.

Ah, and lastly, my brain has been occupied with a set of thoughts lately, that I felt should be exclaimed in a speech. I probably won’t have enough attention to make a speech in class with the International school, however, my opinion on this specific matter hasn’t changed since the second day here. The specific matter is this: you can’t be in this world and live in two. Basically, the students of the International school feel they have to be in complete and thorough touch with their companions and comrades in their home country, all the time. My opinion rests in the statement that Mrs. Zicari made, “You can’t live in both.” The other day, there was a private meeting with the host-families and their exchange students, and here, Mrs. Zicari made this statement. To be honest, I dislike Mrs. Zicari’s attitude towards most things. Yet these words reassured me that I wasn’t going insane. I don’t want to be in touch with America 24/7. Sure, at night, before I go to bed, I’ll call my father, or Skype my friends. The extreme lengths that the other internationals go is bringing their laptops into their classes, hammering the keyboards at such odd hours in the morning, staying up until 2 AM to learn about the last party or your friend’s homecoming dress… it’s pointless. It stirs up a stronger homesickness in a person than anyone can imagine. My first day was a homesickness hell. But from that point on, I’ve made the best of where I am and what I choose to do. To conclude this rant, my words are simple. As a group of students from all around the world who received this opportunity to be with other students just as different as they are, we must utilize our very limited time. Let us not forget that a majority of us have less than four months together, and upon returning home, you’re friends in your country will still be there. Simply put, our international family, who was born six weeks ago,

must spend time with each other, and not next to each other.

Bonne Nuit Tout le Monde

Did you know that if you write “bon nuit” instead of “bonne nuit” you’re saying, “good naked” instead of “good night?” Not everybody* knows that.

I feel a tad bit sick. Tout le monde** feels sick though.

It’s time for bed, I’m pooped from today’s two hours of badminton, and Celia’s crazy demands. Spent pretty much my entire afternoon with Celia doing her homework, reading, drawing, pretending to be listening, etc. Gaelle literally just popped into my room to let me know that I have the right to say ‘NO!’ when Celia demands too much attention from me. Wahoo!

School isn’t tiring me academically—it’s ridiculous. I don’t mind the vacation; it’s like I’m making up for lost time in the social realm of Geena’s life. I’m savoring every moment of it. Let me tell you, Brazilians rule.

Academics for me are incredibly easy and even more unorganized that I can’t bear it at some times. I’m in the process of registering my online courses in order to be caught up for February at Kamiak. I’m not going to doubt this matter, only going to work my hardest. I know it’ll be alright.

French class isn’t getting much better, but with the help of my host family, my French is.
However, evidently my English is depleting  for I ended the previous sentence with a preposition. People who don’t speak English are my life now. I’m always having to read slowly and explain what words mean. Google Translate is my survival kit for Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Of course, the classes are just bull. In addition to my own academic suffering, it’s frustrating when students from all around the globe expect an “American” education, and I have to waste my words and energy explaining to them that American high schools do not function this way at all. Tout le monde** knows this school is unorganized. Tout le monde** likes me too so fortunately it isn’t hard to persuade them about the reputation of schools in the U.S.

Je suis fatigué. Oh, je vais prendre le bus demain matin, mais don’t worry about me. I got this.

Thanks for readin’ mon Franglish.

Presently, my room.

Good night everybody*.

*Everybody = tout le monde

**Tout le monde = everybody

Siblings d’Accueil

My host brothers and sister!

Sweet Alexandre. Love this boy with all my heart. Glad he's home.

You wish you were him. That's right Gregoire's in the house, don't mess around.

...and Celia.

Love you, Celia! We be talkin’ all the time, in English, French, and gibberish. BFFL

Not All of ‘em!

This was from the “Soiree Bresil.” Again, it had nothing to do with the Brazilians staying at our school. I don’t have time to upload a hundred pictures. Here is one good one and I have many more to steal from friends. This ain’t the whole gang, folks!

Left to right: Elizabete, Agathe, Tereza, Sofia, Nina (Marina), Luke, Josh (in the back)

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