Sunday, April 21, 2013

Reflections on leaving Montlucon

Yesterday I said goodbye to the Cazeauds, the family who has so warmly welcomed me in Montluçon and been a huge reason of why my time here has been so great. As they got in the car and I gave my last hugs, I let it loose and the gentle tears turned into bawling as I headed back up the hill and into Lycée Madame de Stael.

Maria had us there to help us load her up into the bus earlier in the day, an her departure went similarly.

As the train pulled away from the Montluçon station, with me and my over weight luggage, I couldn't stop the tears once again.

These past months in Montluçon have been absolutely phenomenal and I am so thankful that I've had the opportunity to come back to France and have these experiences.

I've gotten the question a lot of whether or not I'd like to move back to France. My response? Yes and no.

I miss my family and friends and not being there for important events like weddings, new additions to families, retirements and birthdays.

On the other hand, there's a lot if people in France that I really care about and love.

Nothing can change the fact that I'm American. I love the Stars and Stripes, hamburgers, Fourth of July parades, big gulp drinks with tons of ice, snacking, and eagles.

I also love french pastries, government funded health care and university, constant coffee breaks, nice shoes and 8 weeks of paid vacation.

There are things about both countries that bother me. France doesn't address the huge racism that exists and the constant self criticism gets old (imagine that friend we all have that's always saying "OMG I'm so fat and my grades are soooooo bad and my boyfriend hates me" and you just want to say "Shut up, you're actually really pretty, you have universal health care,, a fantastic university system and the beaches are gorgeous.")

America certainly has problems as well, but as an American I don't have to worry about upsetting my host country and my opinion is valued more since I'm a citizen.

I'm not sure in what country I'll end up after Peace Corps- whether it's France the USA or another entirely.

I've cherished the opportunity to meet meet so many wonderful people an include them in my life. On the other hand, I'm really tired of saying goodbye.

No comments:

Post a Comment