My travels in Paris have come to an end. As I write this, I'm already in England. All the others will soon board a flight that will take them back to Boston. I can take my Passe Navigo and the few remaining euros out of my purse (but I haven't yet). I'm not practicing pronunciation with the names of metro stops anymore. But I'm still accidentally speaking French to the conductor on the train.
The two weeks we spent in Paris were incredible. I learned so much about the city and its history. I looked at ancient maps and got lost in the Louvre and tried beef tartare for the first time. We explored Paris, through metro tunnels and churches and catacombs and towers. We had the unusual experience of seeing Paris's response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks first hand, which was beautiful and uplifting and horrendously sad. We toasted to freedom of speech.
Before I came to Paris, I thought I had just completed my last French class. I finished my concentration. Now, however, I'm considering a minor and looking at course offerings for next semester. My comprehension has improved incredibly, and my vocabulary has useful new phrases like "les tablettes de chocolat" and "vachement chouette" as well as slightly less useful ones such as "les égouts" and "l'échafaudage."
I speak for all of us when I say we're incredibly grateful for all the hard work of our guides Sophie, Vincent, and Emilie and the planning efforts of Cathy Culot and Lisa Hickler. I cannot thank Sabine Levet enough: she has been fantastic every step of the way. Lastly, many thanks to our generous sponsors who made all of this possible. This has been an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Paris me manque. J'espère y retourner bientôt.