September 6, 2013
After disembarking from what was definitely most-likely one of the most important flights of my life, the motley SYA crew wheeled our way to baggage claim (an adventure for me involving three roller bags and only two arms) and then into what was our holding pattern of sorts. While waiting (for what we eventually found out were classmates meeting up after different flights), small pockets of strangers slowly started evolving into friends. Jokingly comparing trolley heights and speculating about classes, discovering things to smile about and ways to see the sunshine helped clear away the creeping anxiety that had wormed its way into my brain during the flight.
Post-flight-bonding continued as we tried to simultaneously avoid a freak rainstorm and load our luggage onto the bus for Rennes.
3 slightly delirious and car sick hours later, we got our first glimpse of the city. The architecture looks old but in a cute, quaint and polished sort of way. I could totally sense that this was a college town (the giant sign for University of Rennes Sciences Po’ may have helped too).
The school is a transformed petite maison with quirky little signs and a wrought iron gate that soon shielded our bags from the outside world. After a leisurely stroll and improptu ice-breaker circles in the beautiful and spacious nearby rose garden + park, it was that fateful time. HOST FAMILIES!
I am beyond thrilled with mine. Warm, conversational, understanding and inclusive, I feel welcome and comfortable in their family even after a mere couple of hours. Meeting my host family and getting a taste of their life cleared away any remaining cobwebs of anxiety in my brain.
I could get used to my loft room, the family’s adorable new puppy (pics to come later I promise), the family board games and the French food. I’m starting to see why people thought I might never leave ;).
Moral of this sort of story: Good people who care, make an effort and make you laugh can ameliorate pretty much any situation.
(originally posted on Sep. 6 at Explore, Dream, Discover)