Sunday, July 26, 2009


It's strange how some people come in and out of your life so quickly and then there are others that you're lucky enough to stay in contact with your whole life. I'm happy to say that my friend Gaelle falls in the second category. She and I met 10 years ago during a high school foreign exchange program. It was my first trip outside the United States and my first trip on my own. I stayed with her family in St.Etienne and you can probably credit their kindness with creating this lifelong obsession that I have with both France and traveling in general. Afterwards, she came to stay with me and my family in Kansas City for a little while and amazingly we've managed to meet up every few years since. I vacationed with them at their beach house on the Mediterranean, visited St.Etienne again during my time studying abroad in college, and now she's made it back to visit me in the US.

We couldn't communicate very easily that first trip and rarely went anywhere without a dictionary in hand, but that frustration certainly motivated me to work harder at learning French. Fortunately, we can communicate fairly easily now. That's not to say that I don't make plenty of mistakes, but it makes me happy to be speaking anyways.

I'm already looking forward to many more visits to come.

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