Salut, mes amis!
I can't believe that I've been in Paris for a week today. It's been a whirlwind: meetings upon meetings, tours of the city, and the rapid assimilation into French culture. It seems that the only moments of rest are with my host family around the dinner table - which, I think, is the idea of eating together every night. I've been trying to soak it all up as much as I can by taking my camera everywhere, and taking the time to write down things that strike my fancy or inspire me. Unfortunately, it's impossible to break out my little cahier on every street corner!
I do, however, have a first few impressions of Paris and my time here. My host dad, Thierry, is a fantastic cook; he can throw together meals quickly that are better than anything I've ever made at GW. For example, we had a fried rice with leftover rice, ham, egg, and vegetables last Friday. My host family in general is incredible. They always know when I don't understand something, and try to speak slowly; they're constantly teaching me new things about France, and I try my best to each them things about American culture. (I taught my host brother, Benoît, what a "beard" was last night, and I explained in full what a "redneck" was. Very funny.)
I have quickly fallen in love with French culture and their mode de vie, especially in regards to food. I think I've lost weight since being here because all of the food is natural without being pompously so, and the portion sizes are a lot smaller. Frankly, you don't even notice because there's always a baguette!
My one complaint is that the sun doesn't come up here in January until around 8:45 in the morning. I'm finding it really, really difficult to get out of bed every day. (Oh, and another - there's a very brief window in the day in which Dan and I are both awake at the same time to talk!)