Yo estoy en Miami.

25 Jul

Observations so far: the humidity hit me as soon as I stepped off the plane. Literally. Even though it was into a cooled hallway walkway thing, the air was so thick I could taste it. Once getting inside the airport building I noticed the air too…way more air-conditioned than I’m used to. In France the wind is normally cool outside so while air conditioner is definitely used, it’s not used as much as we use it.

I also saw a truck and did a double take…like what is that long piece of metal that looks like its part of the car and goes on forever…oh, that’s a truck Melinda.

I also noticed lots of tennis shoes. Haha, and the environment looks different, like cleaner…but less historic…idk.

it’s so great to be back though, well almost back. I’m waiting for my flight home which should leave in a few hours. Laura’s picking me up (and some other ppl are coming I think). I am so tired I feel like a zombie though, but I for sure can’t wait to see them.

When the customs guy said “Welcome Back” and I responded with “Thank you” that was the most genuine thank you I’ve said in a while, I was so grateful, and it was nice to say it in my own language i guess..maybe it means more haha idk.

It’s really weird that this place that’s been so far away for so long, is now where I’m at. It’s gonna take some getting used to for sure…it’s such a cool experience though. I never really would have imagined it.

Welp, comin’ home!

23 Jul

I can’t believe it’s here. it doesn’t seem real. Maybe because before I even came to France I knew I was coming a year in advance so I lived in anticipation, then while I was here…it always seemed as if so much time was left. And of course, now that it’s a few days short of over, it seems like it’s gone by fast. Well..in some ways. God’s timing is so perfect though. So much has happened. And it’s time to come home.

Can’t wait to see you all. Thank you so so so so much for all your prayers and for keeping up with me while I’ve been gone. You have no idea how much you all mean to me. <3

I will be getting up at 4, 7:45, and 9…saying goodbye to people. I’m in the last group to leave because I’m going to Paris first then my flight home leaves on the 24th…and I get in at basically the 25th cuz it’ll be midnight. It’s gonna be a long few days, but I”ll finally have time to catch up on some journaling. :) And to prepare how I’ll word stuff to you guys, hah you’ll have to be patient with me though because over 7 months worth of stories is a lot and it might take some time for me to condense it. Haha man, it’s overwhelming a little actually to try to think of how to explain everything, but I will do my best. :) Words could never do this whole experience justice though..

I love you America! Here I come!

P.S. I will potentially update this once I get home too, to keep processing things, plus I never even wrote about a ton of major things that happened.

Seven months ago I was on a plane to France.

2 Jul

When I put it that way, it doesn’t seem like its been as long as it has. Because it feels kind of like an eternity has passed. Maybe that is because of the relationships I had no idea that would exist, but that I now hold so dear. With these incredible people who I feel as if I’ve known forever, or maybe it’s because of all i’ve learned and how my views have broadened yet, simplified in so many ways. I don’t know. Although lots has been hard, overall it has definitely been good.I just know I’m happy to come home. Though I love Europe and living in France, I really miss America. I miss the familiar, I miss all of you guys who I love so much. I’m excited to share with you my best summary of all God’s taught me while over here, and to figure out how to live it out back home. I’m excited to decorate my apartment, and to be in the same time zone again. I’m excited for a class schedule that won’t change every week, and for free refills (with LOTS of ice).

“Be fully where you are” is something God’s been teaching me for a while, as well as just loving people where they’re at. Can’t wait to do that in a new, but familiar context back at home.

So many times God’s perfect orchestration is soooo far from what I imagined it would look like, but it’s SO much better than anything I ever hoped. I can definitely say that about this whole experience too. And I’m not even finished yet. I have a month left here in Marseille and I’ve started to quit being selfish and let myself open up to the people here even though I miss my study abroad friends terribly. It’s good. I’m finding once again, that although it’s hard…it’s always better to let your heart be open to people.

Sorry I’ve been so bad at updating. But good news! Soon we’ll be able to sit down together in real life and I’ll be able to fill you in (hopefully). I know I will seem scatterbrained and have thoughts all over there place. i know there will be stories I won’t really be able to explain, so thanks for your patience with me and for already welcoming me back with open arms (by your excitement and stuff). Can’t wait to see you! I’m so thankful for this whole experience and everything that’s happened. I know the echoes of it will reverberate throughout the rest of my life. And the changes that have happened are definitely for the better. Don’t worry though, I”m still the same Melinda, cooler now. And a bit more stylish…but those are just side-effects of living in France.

See you soon! Thanks for reading :)

- Melinda

Lidl, memories, and things like that…

26 Jun

Lidl was my favorite grocery store to go to in Nancy. So when we found one here in Marseille the other day, I was estatic. Not only do they have the best prices, but I’m also familiar with all the brands and the layout of the store, etc. We walked in the door and it was so strange because it had its own distinct smell that made so many memories come flooding back (you know how they say smell triggers more than most other sensors). Yeah, it’s so true.

It feels like an eternity has passed since leaving Nancy. In reality, it’s been almost a month. I’m not really sure how I’m gonna live life without all of these incredible friendships I’ve been blessed with through study abroad near me. I know we’ll stay friends, it’s just incredibly hard to not know when I’ll get to see them again. And tickets to Europe or even Stateside (Boston or Dallas), are not cheap to say the least.

I have a million pictures and videos to go through to keep making into projects that I will hopefully have time to keep working on before coming home, but honestly I don’t have much free time. But I will try! Sorry again my blogging is not even at a turtle pace…I guess I’ll probably just keep blogging once I come home, but it’ll be more like memories then I guess, like an after-trip journal. It’s really nice being here in Marseilles and I”m trying to have a good attitude toward all the people here who aren’t my study abroad people (God’s helping me with that for sure, but it’s really hard, cuz honestly, I’m just sad). And no worries, I miss you guys back home a lot too, and can’t wait to see you soon.  <3

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