A part of the world versus just being in it

I’ve been here for almost a week, and it seems as though it’s been forever as well as not been that long at all. I know that doesn’t really make much sense, but that’s how I feel. I just have to say that I feel blessed. I am so blessed because there are so many people helping me, welcoming me, and are in a similar situation as myself. Living here at the foyer (it’s like university housing but for young workers), I am able to meet people from all different cultures because people come here from all different places to work, and this is one of the cheapest options for most of them for living accommodations.

I ate again at the restaurant here at the residence, and I just have to step back and observe my life here for a moment. While eating dinner, I was eating with another American, a German, and an Austrian. French, English, and German were all being spoken interchangeably (German only between the German and the Austrian, of course). This one dinner made me step back and realize that we live in such a small world and how beautiful is this small world that people from different countries can come together and enjoy a meal together, despite our differences in language and culture. There we were eating together, happily. It makes me wonder. Why are some people so patriotic? I understand having pride in the GOOD things that your country may do, but why do we (meaning the world) have to be so prideful as to not want more of this with ourselves, more meals where we can all enjoy each other’s company and speak in each other’s languages (though I must admit that I feel a little lame for not knowing German. It’s definitely next on my list of languages to learn), more time spent out of the country getting to know other people and their culture.

I also played a game with some of the other residents, and being all together, laughing and having fun gave me some comfort, knowing that I’m accepted here, despite my weird Hoosier accent, despite the fact that I’m American, despite the fact that my French is not the greatest. This will be my home, and I gladly welcome that.

I’ve made so many new friends just within the last few days, and it absolutely astounds me how welcoming everyone is. It does not matter that we all come from different places. We open ourselves up to learning about each other and each other’s culture. One of the girls I’ve met is from England, and we love conversing about the different terminology we use. For example, a jumper in the UK is a sweater in the United States. It’s such a small thing, but it fills my heart with joy. This is what I want the world to look like. This is what my main goal is here, bringing people from diverse backgrounds together, to share in love and friendship. To me, it’s one of the most beautiful things, and it reminds me why I am here. I definitely believe that I am here for multiple reasons, but this is definitely one of the bigger reasons. I do hope that I meet some locals soon, but it’s helpful to know that I’m already establishing an expatriate family. We all come from different places for different reasons, but we are all trying to live in another culture that is not our own. That is beautiful to me, everyone trying to become a part of the world rather than just being in it. That is my goal: be a part of the world, not just in it.

Meanwhile, the struggles of moving to another country have been setting in. Not having my French bank card yet really complicates things, and I’m really trying to budget my money well but still get all of the things that I need. So, I’m trying to find a good balance. Also, my foot still hurts every now and then from when I sprained it in Paris. I’m praying that the pain goes away soon. I’ve also started feeling pain in my right calf muscle. I’ve been making sure to drink enough water, so I’m guessing that it’s from walking everywhere. My body isn’t use to walking this much every day. I pray also that that pain goes away soon. Lastly, I think I’m starting to get a cold, which is not something that I care to have, especially because I start working on Thursday. So, prayers for good health are greatly welcomed and appreciated.

In the meantime, the weather has been absolutely beautiful, and I’m soaking it all in as I adjust to my new home. I’m definitely starting to miss home and everyone there, but I’m also very excited for everything ahead of me. Feeling overwhelmed with joy and love. Until next time…

Bisous et à plus mes amis…

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