"No one said it would be easy, they said it would be worth it !"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

why do all good things come to an end ??

And here I am, back to where it all began, rediscovering all that I left behind, rediscovering the kiwi life, chez moi, in New Zealand.

I never imagined that I would have cried so much in leaving France. So many tears. Tears to leave the people i had become to love, tears to leave ma belle vie francaise, tears because I was unsure of how i would readjust to life back in NZ, tears of happiness, tears of success, tears of not knowing how long it will be until I can come back. There were tears for many reasons, but there were no tears of regret, and personally, I think that's the most important thing.

I made the most of my exchange, everyone had told me right from the start to profit until the very last minute, and I did exactly just that.

I wouldn't change my year at all, not in any single way. France was my goal and dream, I never imagined to have fulfilled this dream as much as I have done.

Even though its great to see everyone here in New Zealand and to catch up on the past year, I miss France more than anything,and have a slight feeling of emptiness. However, I am staying positive, and looking into the future. I am young and now I have new hopes and new dreams, I will be back in France, I am so sure of it.

Thanks to all that have made it possible for me to live my dream, and making it so incredible, you know who you all are. bb.

Sadly this will be my last blog post as I no longer need to update it, so i want to say thankyou to everyone who has been following over the last year. My year has been more than amazing, undescribable, hands down the best experience of my whole entire life.

"oh and I had the time of my life and I've never felt this way before.."
<3 <3

Friday, January 7, 2011

pour mes amis français (l)

Une belle année inoubliable, incroyable grâce à vous, mes amis et familles en France.
Je n'arrive pas à croire que dans moins que 24heure je serai dans l'avion en route pour la Nouvelle-Zélande, le pays des moutons, au bout du monde.
J'ai l'impression que je suis arrivée il n'y a pas très longtemps. Je me souviens comment c'était dur d'arriver en plein milieu de l'année, mais en même temps je me souviens comment vous, les français, m'avez aidé avec mon français, et aussi pour m'avoir accueillé dans vos vies. Sans vous je n'aurais pas être capable d'écrire ce mot. ^^
Maintenant je n'ai pas du tout envie de vous quitter, je me sens vraiment à partir de la vie française maintenant, et c'est pour ça que je suis si triste et c'est si dur de partir.
Après un an j'ai fait plein des beaux souvenirs et j'ai rencontré plein du monde dont je n'oublierai jamais.

Pour mes amis du Rotary et 1510 (le meilleur district), je ne peux pas oublier nos plusieurs soirées avec chupa, l'amitié si forte et la connexion qu'on a tout de suite, car on se comprend.
Aussi les bustrips en Espagne et Europe, ça c'était la belle vie !

Pour mes familles d'accueils, après un peu de temps il n'y avait même pas besoin de mettre le mot 'accueil' parce que mes 3 familles ont devenue aussi mes vraies familles. Maintenant j'ai plusieurs de parents, sœurs, frères, et grand parents. C'est incroyable qu'après si peu temps chez quelqu'un on peut venir si proche.

TES1 et la reste de mes amis à David, j'espère que vous passé une bonne fin de l'année et bonne chance pour le bac !

et pour les autres, je mettrai pas des noms puis vous savez qui vous êtes. On a bien rigolé on a bien vécu. "Du bonheur, Du bonheur, rien que du bonheur." ilysfmb

Je vous aime tous, encore merci pour cette année, c'était énorme.
Je reviendrai en France un jour, mais si jamais un de vous voudrait venir en NZ, vous avez un lit chez moi !

Garde contact par mail, skype et facebook :)

Gros Bisous mes amis,
Laura xxxxx

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Au revoir D1510

"And the world is your home now - anywhere you go, you have a friend waiting for you." ~ Viivi Väisänen

Being an exchange student from the Southern Hemisphere means that we get to be a part of two groups.  We arrived half way through of the exchange of those who got to France in September 2009, and we were here for the arrival of those who got here in September 2010.

This weekend I had my final rotary weekend in France in Rennes.  In D1510 we are 6 students from the Southern Hemisphere, 4 from Australia, and 2 from NZ.   For me it was hard to leave knowing that there are still all my friends living the exchange dream.  It’s sad to know that I may not ever see many of these people, but the memories I have with them will always be in my heart. 

We are a family in D1510, I will never forget those who I have encountered during 2010.  All of our adventures and upsets brings us together and makes us so much stronger and closer.  With the exchange students we have an immediate friend.  I have not once seen an exchange student alone during a Rotary trip.  We understand one another as we are walking the same path and sharing the same experiences.  I am pretty sure that we will never find this anywhere else in the world.

D1510 je vous aime.  Vous êtes les meilleurs.  L’échange est court  alors continuez de passer du bonheur, et profitez au maximum.  A la prochaine mes amis. <3


D150 (Jan2010-June 2010)



D1510 (Sep2010-Dec2010)


Andrew and I doing the final haka together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

november rain

"I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself." ~James Baldwin

Today I realised that I have only 7 weeks left in France, or more precisely, 7 Saturdays. These 7 saturdays will be over and done with so fast and before I know it, I will be back in my NZ life looking back on this year like it was all a dream. Even now I look at all I have seen and done and it seems unreal. I have experienced (and am still experiencing !!) and had the privelege to be a part of something which has allowed me to see so much of a culture so far from my own and so much of the world. I look at my life at the age of 18 and think I am so lucky to be here doing what I am doing, there are so many people out there who would not have been able to see and do as much as I have in their whole life.
I have met so many people from all over the world who I will never, ever forget. People who have been such a huge influence on me this year and who have helped me get to where I am today.
In discovering new things and places, I discovered a lot about myself that I didn't know.
For example:
- I love fromage du chevre (Goats cheese- not feta)
- I love red wine (a good wine makes a good meal)
- I can eat (and have eaten) pretty much anything
- I love shopping
- I am very patriotic
- I can have friends who are 2 years younger than me and it doesn't change anything
- I can sleep talk in french
- I have learnt how to be patient
- I have learnt how to let the little things go by
- I want to do something with the French language for a career
- I have learnt that if I get out of bed exactly 50 minutes before school starts I can get there on time
- I am going to start playing tennis again when back in NZ
- I am not good in maths when it's in French
- I want to become trilingual
- I have learnt to really appreciate those who I left behind in NZ

I know there is so much more that I have not put down, and there is so much that I will not even realise until I get back to New Zealand.

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." ~Alan Alda

Here's some picture's from my last few weeks from the holidays..

the beach in winter:

I have apparently become rather french:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

blocus au lycée

Ok I think it's fair to say France is going insane. I'm sure it is all over the media in NZ and throughout the world as it is here in France.
Pretty much an enormous portion of the country are against Sarko's reform to increase the age of retirement. As a result everyone is trying to do as much as they can to proove that the country is NOT happy and that we want change.
Teachers go on strike, the train and bus companies go on strike. Recently the rubbish collectors have gone on strike which has meant there is rubbish all over the city which is sad to see such a beautiful city polluted. The petrol companies have stopped supplying gas to gas stations so it's getting really hard to find petrol. It's a pretty worrying state of affairs. Manifestations are everywhere throughout the city with angry citizens shouting and blowing horns whilst marching around.
On the 13th of October my school had a vote to see if we would have a 'blocus' which is a student strike. Students block up the school so that no one can enter, it gives the students who can not vote for the governement or strike normally (as we are not employed) a chance to raise their voice. the vote for the blocus was not necessarily whether one is fo or against the reform, it was simply to see if we could do a blocus.
The blocus was voted yes, and so Thursday morning I woke up to be at school at 7.30am. I live near the streey my school is on, about 5min walk away. The first thing I saw when I stepped out of my front door was a group of boys walking past with a huge construction fence. When I got to the street my school was on I saw that it was already blocked up. With dumpsters and rubbish bins blocking off every entry to the school. Even though the temperature was about 3 degrees that didn't get in the way of the motivated students.
The blocus has now continued over a week, today is the last day and afterwards we have 2 weeks of holidays.
The reason why people may vote against a blocus is because they are worried about having to catch up on their classes as it risks failing the bac at the end of the school year. This is the case for many terminale students. Even if you want to work, it is impossible to get into the school. However, the teachers must go every day if they want to get paid and there is always a minority of students who somehow mange to enter the school. I have heard a story about a group of kids who tried to get into the school by jumping the fence, something went wrong and one of the boys had the fence stake go through his hand and as a result he is now in hospital. Just goes to show how desperate some people are, it's pretty ridiculous though.
Also there are people that come to cause riots and at times it can get quite scary.
The school is covered in banners and if you walk past the school there will be music, bonfires, and students dancing. I had a friend say she felt like she was a hippie back in the 1960's. To be honest, I think it's the closest I will ever get to being a hippie !

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Home IS France

Recently, as life here carries on as usual, people have been asking me, "Are you excited to go back home ?" To most people's surprise my response is no. Reason being ? Home for me is no longer JUST New Zealand. 'Home' for me is also Angers, France, here with my 3 mums, 3 dads and 7 siblings. I couldn't imagine a life for myself any different. It's funny to think that 8 months ago I was thrown into this new world feeling a stranger, now I wake up every morning knowing that I belong, that this IS my world.
Reading through my journal and reflecting to when it all began I have come to realise that there are things that originally shocked, or seemed 'different' to me which have now become apart of my everyday life.

- starting at 8h and finishing at 18h
- on that same note, 24hour time
- being able to come home for lunch
- a hot lunch everday
- finishing before miday on a wenesday
- dinner, at the earliest at 20h
- walking to school, and everywhere else for that matter
- riding a bike really, really far and not having to worry about a bike helmet
- people telling me they are going to Paris for the weekend
- being able to take the train anywhere and everywhere
- strikes every second week meaning no school
- teachers not turning up to class, and as a result, we can all go home
- the accent French people have when they speak English (infact, I am so used to this accent, I have even taken it on for some words)
- teachers dictating and not writing on th whiteboard
- 2,3 and even 4 hour end of topic tests
- square pillows and rectangular ones not even existing
- girls wearing heels to school
- a castle every half an hour or so
- an enormous cathedral in every city
- wine to go with both lunch and dinner
- golf being the high school 'sport' for the trimester
- fountain pens + french calligraphy
- looking down every road and seeing doors in a line, behind every door is a different house with a garden separted by a brick wall
- all the rooves being the same colour (le quernon d'ardoise)
- boys who care a lot about their image
- the school year starting in september with yearly planners that also start in september
- PDA at school
- smoking infront of the school gate
- stripey clothing
- french rap
- people saying words in the reverse for example the word "chaud" (hot) becomes "auch" and "fête" (party) becomes "teuf"
- blackboards
- water in a wine glass and also, wine in a water glass

I could actually go on all night with this list. With things that to me, now, are apart of my normal everyday life. But it was not so long ago that this was all seen by me as being completely foreign. I am now scared to come home to find that I will once again have to adapt to a strange way of life and to leave this comfortable life I have here. To me, New Zealanders are the foreigners, so what does that make me you may be asking... Well, me ?? I'm an Angevine !! ( An Angevin(e) is someone who comes from Angers. Someone who comes from Paris will be known as a Parisien(ne).)
Here in France, I am at home, and I know for a fact that I will be back here in the near future to continue with this life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time, it's our greatest enemy.

"Time flies. Time waits for no man. Time heals all wounds. All any of us wants is more time. Time to stand up. Time to grow up. Time to let go. Time."

I never realised how true the saying "time flies when we are having fun" really is until now.
When I look back to this date 9 months ago, I see myself so naive. I did not know what was waiting for me, I did not know what to expect. One year seemed long, at times I would think that it's maybe even too long, now, I've realised that one year just simply isn't enough.
I am now living in my final host family, Les Buffenoirs. I never thought it would be possible to become so attatched to a family that is not my own the way I did with The Merceron family. It was difficult to say goodbye even when I knew that I will be able to visit whenever I want. My new family is again very different to the last two french families I have lived with, and I am really enjoying it. Here I have a host mum- Carole, a host dad- Marc, a host sister- Cecilia (14), and a step host sister- Mary-Kate (20). Mary-Kate comes from Chicago, USA and she arrived in France at the start of the month. The Buffenoir's have been welcoming students like her for 10 years now, she attends a university in Angers. I am still living a 5 minute walk away from school which is awesome.
Getting back to school and a routine took a lot of effort. Someone said to me that when I had summer holidays here it was like being on holiday whilst on holiday which was kind of true before summer but now I wouldn't really agree. Over the summer I improved so much with my french and I no longer have the excuse of "I don't understand I am not French." So it's back to the books for me even if it's not really that serious. A few people in class have noted my improvement in sayin that I speak much faster now, and my personal favourite being that I am fluent in french. My favourite lesson is philosophy I find it so interesting and the teacher is really cool. I am finding the days pass much faster when I actually can understand everything that is going on and take notes !

Everything is going great, I'm still having the time of my life, I still learn new things every day. My only problem is, time itself, which goes by so incredibly fast.
Time allows me 3 months and 3 weeks to profit to the maximum, to embrace the culture, to live my dream. And I will be doing exactly that !

Family Photo- Marc, Carole, Cecilia, Mary et moi

Monday, August 23, 2010

L'été 2010. Summer 2010

After a month of holidaying I'm finally 'home' in Angers. This has been the most amazing summer of my life, although I always had the impression that Christmas and New Years was just around the corner with the weather being so warm!
Heres a bit of a recount of what I have done this summer-
- My host Dad had a party with over 100 people, lots of which were rotarians and family to celebrate his birthday. It was a great weekend with lots of people and lots of things happening.
- I joined the gym this summer to keep myself fit and it was going really well until I had to leave for a month (I am starting back again tomorrow!)
- Saying goodbye to the exchange students from the northern hemisphere. This is hard for us who come from down under because we meet all these great students who leave halfway through our year. It is also exciting as soon there will be lots of new students who arrive and it is finally our turn to be the wise ones who supposedly know everything !
- Spending time with my friends from school. AND not to forget my host sister, Lou-An, who has become a very close friend to me in the time of living with her and her family. Being with her maked me feel closer to home because it's like having a real sister around. Needless to say it will be difficult to leave when I change family in a weeks time.
- I spent a week in the country with Lou-An at another friends house, about an hour from Angers. We went to this attraction park called Puy Du Fou where there are lots of different shows to watch.
- I had 5 days back at the Mercier's house. It was strange to be back where it all began but really good to be 'home' once again. Valentin, my host brother had returned to France after his exchange year in Australia so I finally got to meet him and get to know him.
- A rotary family invited me and Lou-An to stay with them at their bach West of Bordeaux in a town called Maubuisson which is between the ocean and the lake. We spent the days swimming, riding bikes and lying on the beach. This is definitely the highlight of my summer especially coz I was there with my sister.
- Yesterday i got home from a week with my counsellor and his family at a beach called St Gilles. Here I spent 2 days with my Australian friend Elodie who lives not far from there, it was awesome to catch up with her.

I still have a week and a half left in Angers before school goes back, and, like I wrote earlier, a week until I change host families. It's going to be a shock to get back into the school routine again. And more so to be changing families after 4 months here. My next host family are really nice and I am sure it will be great living there for my last 4 months in France, but at the same time it can be a bit daunting. It is one of the best and worst things about the rotary exchange I have found, changing families. Getting to experience all the different cultures and lifestyles found in different families is undescribable, but its not always easy, espcially when you end up in great families.

I'll leave you with a couple pictures

me on the river Loire

with my host parents- Luc et Phaly

at the beach with Lou-An

Thursday, July 1, 2010

BusTrip- Les meilleurs 2 semaines de ma vie

Hi All,
This month has been really busy and really great. I got back from my Eurotrip on 11 june where I had the best time of my life. There was a total of 51 exchange students, 2 rotarians, and 2 chaperones. The exchange students were mostly those who arrived in January and overall we consisted of; 5 kiwis, 10 Argentinians, 3 South Africans, 2 Japanese, 2 Taiwanese, 1 Brazilian, 1 Bolivian, 1 Ecuadorian, 2 Mexicans, 1 American, 1 Canadian, and 22 Australians. The ambiance was fantastic and everyone got along really well. We visited Germany (Linderhoff, Munich), France (Paris, Reim, Dijon, Lyon, Annecy, Strasbourg), Austria (Innsbruck), Italy (Verona, Venice, Florence, Pisa), Monaco, and Switzerland (Geneva). This was all in 12 days so as you could imagine a very busy time and when I returned I was extremely tired. We didn't get much sleep at night but managed to catch up on a bit whilst travelling in the bus. The things I saw and did whilst on this trip are things I had only dreamed of before. It was truely the best experience of my life and it was spent with the best group of people. It was difficult to say goodbye and part our separate ways at the end.
I have now finished school until september as it is summer holidays. During these holidays I am going away with some different rotarians to their baches and also I am hoping to do a bit of travel of my own to visit some of my exchange friends. The weather is awesome making it to 30degrees most days. I have spent my days in the pool at my house and with friends. I spent my 18th birthday here last week and it will definitely be a birthday i will remember for the rest of my life. Not just because I turned the big 18 but because it was 32degrees, I was away from my family, but i was surrounded by some great people and I had the coolest day.
I will leave you with a few pictures, I hope its not too cold in little old nz!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Move and New Adventures

The past month has been very busy with school, packing, and moving houses. The second of May I changed families to my second host family. Packing took about a week as I had a lot of stuff everywhere and a lot of cleaning up to do. My suitcases seemed to have shrunk and it was hard to fit everything in. Theres no wonder it was so hard really because when I weighed my suitcases they weighed 15kg's heavier than when I left NZ so that's a bit of a worry seeing as I still have 9 months left of shopping!! At the time I was a bit nervous but also excted to head into the unknown once again when I felt so settled Chez le Mercier. It was also the moent i reaised how quick this exchange is actually going to pass by. The time I spent in my first host family was great and it seemed to have been and gone before my eyes. I was sad to leave Alain et Veronique and my life with them because I had become so used to my life there andI was really happy. Once I got to my new host family, the Merceron's, I realised that the tranistion would not be so hard. They were very welcoming and I felt at home straight away.
My new house is a 5 minute walk from school and the town centre which is really cool. I can wake up less than an hour before school starts for the first time in 7 years =)
My new family consists of my host parents Luc and Phaly, my host brother I-Yan (12), and 2 host sisters; Lou-An (15), and Meily (20). It's really cool to have other kids in the house and I really love it here.
The weather is getting warmer, yesterday we had a high of 25degrees, today was about 23. I heard its raining in NZ, so finally its my turn to laugh at everyone over there in the wet and cold !!
I am slowly losing my english and my kiwi accent as the only time I practise english is when I send an email or chat on facebook. Otherwise French has pretty much taken over my mind; I think, speak and dream in french now. It comes so naturally and I am so happy with the progress I have made. It wasn't that long ago when I could hardly handle a 2 minte conversation! Now I follow group conversations and can join in as if it werein English. I have had a lot of comments on my improvement also which is always really nice.
Its one week til I leave for my "EuroTrip" and I can't wait. It is with all the NZers, Australians, Argentinians, and South Africans. So thats all the exchange students in France who arrived in January. We are visiting France, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Going to be AMAZING.
After the bustrip I have just 2 days left of school until September which is quite sad and I will miss everyone in my class so much. I really love schol and enjoy the company there even though I still don't follow all the classes!!
Well I better go now my next post willbe with all the news from the bustrip. I will put up a couple of pics from my move. Take care everyone !
Much Love x

almost finished packing

ready to go!

my new room =)

my wall display <3

Monday, April 19, 2010

Norway and other stuff

Well I guess its time to write my blog. The last month and a bit have been great. Ofcourse I was busy with school but in the weekends I have been seeing France on day trips with my host family, I also had the district meeting a couple of weeks back. And I have just finished one week of my 2 week easter break. The first 4 days of my holiday were spent in Oslo, Norway, with my host family. The reason we visited is because their oldest daughter (my host sister) is doing a university exchange over in a city called Honefoss. So she came to Oslo which is the Capital and spent that time with us. It was really great. I feel so priveledged to have visited Norway, a country that not many have seen or know much about. We did a lot of sight seeing and walking which I really enjoyed. It was awesome that my host parents invited me to come and I felt just like "one of the family." Norway is an extremely expensive country and not many Europeans visit for that reason. When we were there the weather was great, not cold at all. So the winter coats that we thought we would need were a waste of space in our suitcases- not that I'm complaining! In fact it was actually warmer in Oslo than it was in Angers at that time! Oh another thing is when we were coming home from Oslo and arrived in Paris we found out our train had been cancelled to go back to Angers. So I can now call myself a true French because I have been effected by the famous strikes that last weeks on end. This strike has been going on for about 3 weeks now.
My friend Andrew who is also from NZ on rotary exchange lives just 20minutes away from me by train, so he came to visit for 3 nights. It was so much fun and he loved being in my city, Angers, because there is so much more to do (he lives in the farmlands). My host parents were happy to have him come and stay which I really appreciated. Andrew and I made a Pavlova for them to taste but it didn't turn out the best, we ate it anyway it wasn't too bad but I want to try make another before I leave here.
I'm changing families at the beginning of next month which is going to be very different. I know my 2nd host family and they are really nice people but I am going to be very sad to leave here. I feel like this is my home now, and I've become very adjusted to the lifestyle here although it's true I'm looking forward to a change and new experiences.
Well I will leave you with a couple of photos.
Bisous. Laura

Alain, Chloe and I with a troll holding the flag of norway

in Oslo at this huge statue park. spot the difference?

there is a line of supermarkets called "Kiwi" in Norway =D

My friend Andrew and I at the Cathedral in Angers. NZ loud and proud!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spain Trip

After my two weeks of school holidays I had the rotary bus trip to Spain. Wow, this was probably the coolest week of my life. It is amazing how well you get to know people after spending a week in a bus together! There was only one other girl who had also just arrived in January from Argentina, the rest of the people were from America, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, Ecuador, Venezuela, Japan, Chile.. and yeah I think that was all! By the time it came to say goodbye we were all really sad as we had made some really good, most probably life long friends.

Day One
Paris. It was kinda dissapointing as it was raining and we hardly got off the bus to take photos. I am so pleased that I went with my host family the week before otherwise I think my impressions of Paris would not be very good. We just drove around on the bus and it was raining so all the photos through the windows aren't very good as there is water drops everywhere. We drove from Paris to the Futuroscope Hotel.

Day Two
We went to the futuroscope theme Park and it wasn't that great but it was something to do. The first ride we went on was the best as it is the newest. The other rides weren't that fun. We did this one ride and it was so dangerous I am surprised it is legal "it was like watching TV and getting beaten up at the same time" and "the only thing that would have made it more like a mugging would be if my handbag got stolen!" Haha those quotes pretty much sum the ride up I think!! It was also raining at the futuroscope which didn't help the situation. But lets put it this way- it was a day that I will never forget!

Day 3
We drove for ages (over 8hours) to Carcasonne which is this castle. We were also delayed for a couple of hours because we weren't allowed to drive anywhere due to that huge storm that killed 50 people, I don't know if you heard about it. Carcasonne was so pretty, we stayed in a youth hostel there which was really nice.

Day 4
Crossed the boarder to Spain! It was so nice and sunny! We were all so excited to be able to say the weather is hot! Nothing like the weather in France. We stopped for lunch in this amazing city called Géronne, lucky there were some spanish speakers in the group who could help us order our lunch!! We stayed in this hotel in Lloret de Mar which was not far from Barcelona and it was real nice with good breakfasts and dinners!

Day 5
Tour of Barcelona. It is truely an amazing city with awesome architecture. Theres this place from this movie ccalled Auberge d'Espagnol which I saw with my host families which we went to its where there are hundreds of mozaics everywhere and its called the "Serpentine Bench" We also did a bit of shopping in Bracelona which was nice.

Day 6
we visited the picasso museum which i really enjoyed it was raining a lot in Barcelona but we still had an awesome day. There was also this museum of this football stadium apparantly its the biggest in europe we went there it was pretty interesting. We did some more shopping and returned back to the hotel. That night we had a "soirée animée" and we all just went to the discotheque in the hotel it was a lot of fun and very tiring.

Day 7/8
Day 7 and 8 were pretty much just one huge day because no one really slept as we were travelling from Spain all the way back to paris. It was a long, uncomfortable ride! Our last stop in Spain was the Dali museum it was pretty cool but I was so tired from the night before that I didn't understand much. Me Lucy and Cassie (2 girls who I stayed with the whole time from America who are in my district) had the best lunch and it was nice to finish off in Spain with such great food! When we were back in Paris I took the TGV and arrived in Angers at around midday. I was so super tired that I ended up sleeping for almost 18hours once I had arrived home!

It was truely the week of a lifetime and I can't wait for the Eurotrip which is similar, if not better than the spain trip. It was definitely worth the money and I now have some of the most amazing memories and photos which will be with me forever. =)

everyone in the group =)

Carcasonne Castle

some of the group chilling at carcasonne

Lucy Cassie and I at the beach in Lloret de Mar

amazing cathedral

luisa and I at the serpetine bench place

i love Brazil =D

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I know its been ages since my last post but I have been super busy!
On the 19th of Feb I finally got to see the city of my dreams. Paris. It was better than everything I had imagined. I went with my host parents and I also met up with Emily the other NZ girl who lives close to Paris and she came around with us for the day. Emily coming was only a last minute plan and I'm so pleased she came =) Its crazy to think that two girls from New Zealand can just spend the casual day in paris together. We went to Montmarte which is where the Sacré Coeur is and that was just amazing. It was a beautiful day in Paris with not a cloud in the sky, we couldn't have asked for a better day! Montmarte is where "Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" has some scenes filmed. It was cool to be able to recognise that- Merci Monsieur Lynch! After Montmarte we had lunch at this restaurant by the notre dame and then we went to the Louvre museum which is where the painting of the mona lisa is, that was awesome to see. It was much smaller than I expected! The Louvre is huge and you need about 4 days to get around the whole thing, we were there for maybe 2 hours so didn't get to see much but it was still really cool. Next stop- le tour eiffel! We didnt climb up it but seeing it was enough, it is such a mindblowing monument and i took heaps of photos. It's something that you have to see in real life to understand the beauty of- the same with all of Paris really. After we had finished there Emily left and so Alain Veronique and I went to do some shopping at the Galerie Lafayette which might aswell be a museum itself because it is so huge with beautiful architecture. By the end of the day I was shattered we arrived back in Angers at 23h45 (that morning we left at 06h45!!). It was truely a day I will never forget and it was spent with a very good friend and my awesome host parents =)

me and emily at the eiffel tower

about to take the metro for the first time!

at the Sacrée Coeur

me at the Louvre =)

As you can see it was an awesome day in paris and we saw a lot of things =) I can't wait to return one day soon hopefully!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

my new life

Everyone (yes you Arameh) has been telling me to write another blog, so here it is =)
I have been really busy these last few weeks, and have been getting real tired. The tiredness is a lot to do with the long days at school, but also concentrating on listening to people when they talk to me. It's hard to explain, but I can't just sit there and understand people talking, I actually have to listen really, really carefully and concentrate on what they are saying. At times it can be a bit frustrating with the language barrier at school and that, because I want to say something but don't know how to say it in French. That is quite hard for me because like most of you know I love to talk and talk and talk, but here it's a bit hard to do that haha. The amount I speak in NZ in one day is probably the equivalent to what I speak here in one week. Maybe not even that lol, you get the picture anyway.

Ahh fashion y'all want to know about the fashion ay? Well all I can say is wow. I'll put it this way, no one comes to school wearing trackies and a hoody. I'm pretty sure that most the girls who go to my school could be models if they wanted to. I was talking to my host mum and she said that the girls at David d'Angers are known to be "très chic." I will put some photos up on facebook or something soon enough and you can see for yourselves. I really love the clothes they wear though. It's strange for me to wear mufti everyday and I suddenly have realised I don't have much clothes! When you wear mufti everyday it gets hard to find stuff to wear! I would definitely prefer to wear uniform, such less preparation!

All the people in my class are really nice and I enjoy school and have finally figured out my timetable (it has only taken 3 weeks), although I still understand nothing in my lessons! On Thursday night I went to the theatre with my French class, and well that was an experience and a half!! I probably understood two sentences in the whole piece. I think it would have been boring in English to be honest, there were two characters and all they did was talk, fight, talk, fight. Then they started throwing rubbish everywhere, now that was just random. The whole time I thought that they were father and daughter and then in the end they started kissing lol, so I got that a bit wrong. It was definitely an experience.

I am now on holidays for 3 weeks =D well officially it's 2 weeks, but when everyone goes back to school I have a bus trip with other exchange students in France and we are going to Spain for the week. I can't wait it's going to be so much fun and I will meet heaps of new people. These holidays I am going to Paris for the day with Alain and Véronique (my host parents) and Lea who is a family friend, shes 16. I am also going to stay at her house for 2 nights, and I am looking forward to that. Her family lives in the country about half an hour away so she goes to a different school. When I was told we were going to Paris I was sooo excited, if you have ever been into my bedroom in NZ you will have seen my obsession with Paris, so this is actually a dream come true.

I was told before I arrived that it will start getting warmer, well that was lies! I swear everyday it gets colder, like this morning I woke up to find snow everywhere. It's like being out on the Kepler all over again... everyday! It's crazy, and I am so jealous to hear about people at the beach in NZ!

Last weekend I went with my friend Lucas to Nantes. Nantes is the closest city to Angers and it's where a lot of the other exchange students in my district live. So I met up with them and we had a really good afternoon. Lucas is the guy from Brazil. We took the TGV which is soo fast compared to the Auckland trains. It takes an hour to drive to Nantes by car, in the tgv it took us 35 minutes. From Pukekohe to Auckland is about 40 minutes when there is no traffic, and in the train it's over an hour... So you can see why I was so amazed!

Tonight we had crêpes for tea! And I made them! It was really fun because we flip it in the air and catch it with the frying pan again. I made a couple of bad ones but I didn't drop any on the floor so that was good! I was a bit worried that I would throw them too high and they would land on the roof aswell! Haha- Only in France.

To be completely honest I don't really miss home that much, only the sunshine. It's because I have been so busy here adjusting to a new life I haven't had time to think about it. I am sure the homesickness will come at some point.

Well I will put a couple of photos up for you. To the St Mary's class of 2009; good luck to all you heading off to University, I'm thinking of you! =)
Laura xoxo

me and lucas at the patinoir (ice skating)

the snow outside my house this morning

me and véronique at this super old village just out of Angers, the roads are all made out of rocks, and the houses are of stone. The town is right by the river and it floods often, we are standing beside a sign which shows how much this town floods. It is so bad everyone leaves by boat!

Crêpe making!