Monday, July 09, 2007


but then can you blame me? I just got back home. I spent two weeks in France, one on a mission trip and one visiting my brother in Minnesota. I wanted to see him before Russia. Russia, it's looming closer, but first, France.

If you ever have a chance to travel, do it. If you ever have a chance to live with a family in a foreign country, even for a short time, do it. I spent one week traveling all over France, and one week living with a family in St. Cyr which is near Versaiiles. I had a love/hate relationship with the exchange part of the trip. One thing it did do, was it taught me a lot about what Russia's going to be like. I know that doesn't seem like it makes sense, but it does. In France A lot of the time I had no idea what was going on. I understood more than they thought I did sometimes, but they treated me like I was stupid. Not all the time, but sometimes. I learned about homesickness, I learned about the way people view each other, and it was really interesting to see the cultural differences. I learned a lot about language. Not just French, but my own native language. I came to the conclusion that all my life, I've been ethonocentric and never realized it until I spent that week with a family in France.

Six weeks.
That's all that's left.
I can't believe the thing that I've been waiting months for is almost upon me. I'm not going to lie. I'm scared. I'm leaving everyone and everything behind to go live in a strange country for a year. I was sitting down with my mom, cousin, and grandparents for a lunch in a restaurant today and I thought "Soon I'll be doing this in Russia. I'm comfortable knowing how to order and the customs heres, but soon it'll be different, so much different..." It was a sobering thought.

Six weeks.
I'm starting to feel time pressure. Yeah, I started saying my goodbyes months ago, but now it's different. Now it seems real. My friends from Rotary, the other outbounds are getting ready to leave. Some of them leave in less than a month. I pray their years go well.

Six weeks.
When I was in France and going to and from St. Paul I practiced reading the flight information boards. But I don't know what to do because when I get off the plane in Moscow or St. Petersburg, everything will be in Russian. What if I can't read it?

That reminds me. The travel agent said they're sending me through Europe, not Asia which means it's going to probably take forever to get to Yakutsk. I hate airplanes. It's not that I'm afraid of flying, it's just so uncomfortable. Airports are my favorite though. I love watching all the people coming and going, heading home and on vacation, listening to languages and jet-lagged kids and I'm not being sarcastic either.

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