Friday, October 21, 2011

Our First Acquaintance

I reminisce on my first time walking through the school campus with my host mom to register for class. We entered a room with all the others on a beautiful September day. As I sat there listening to all the school staff relaying all the information for the year I felt a little lost. My french capacity was not ample enough to comprehend their french toughs. So, I trusted my host mom to absorb the information and instead examined my surroundings. Suddenly, my ears picked up the sound of my mother language being spoken by someone in the crowd. I think it's interesting how I am drawn to english. I guess the same could be said when a person calls your name. I cant help but to be unconsciously drawn to familiarity in a place of diversity. Before I could find the english speaker the orientation ended. The administrated came over to my host mom and I and ushered us toward some other people while everyone else was leaving. We gathered in a circle and started introductions. I did not know what language to speak so I resorted to french like everyone else. It slowly came to my realization that the other three girls in our circle were not Belgian. Ana said she came from Equator, Odette from Australia, and Manuela from Switzerland. I felt I had to keep speaking in french because I wanted to impress them with what little I could speak in french and it was possible they could not speak english. To my surprise, the administrated switched to english and the other 3 girls followed suit. I tried to do the same but my american accent changed. I definitely could not speak a lot of french but at that moment my english also sounded broken because my brain was frozen in french mode. The other girls thought I was Belgian until I told them I came from America. They are amazing because english is not their first language, besides Odette. Ana speaks spanish, english, and french while Manuela speaks german, switz, french, and english. This is very common in Europe but this is extraordinary to me. It is so convenient for me that english is the universal language. After much conversing we parted and I went home. I left without knowing what I was going to do at school but I had confidence because I had some new foreign friends.

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