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Greetings!

 

I am so glad that you have visited my site.  Hopefully you are going to continue to watch my travels as I embark on this phenomenal experience. 

 

My name is Nicole.  I am a junior at Wichita State University.  I have been accepted into the Sister City exchange program which is allowing me to study in Orleans, France for a year.  As well as a tutorial for anyone who is thinking of becoming a "citizen of the world".  

 

Thank you for joining me on this venture.


August 9, 2012 14:50 USA

I am at the WSU computer lab  getting last things in order.  I will be heading to Chicago on Monday for my VISA since I will be in France for 11 months.  I am now at the nervous point in this trip.  So close yet so far away.  Every hour is like a roller coaster hill.  I want to scream and some times I do.   I have had some financial hardships but I am bless that I have a family that has banded together to help me.  I will be road tripping Monday with my little cousin, Aunt, and Grandma.  I'm kinda happy to get some alone time with them. 

I know I'm not dying but me leaving has really caused me to think about the people who me the most to me.  I'm making every attempt to at least speak with those that are in my heart.  I'm living like I'm dying when it comes to my connections with people.

 

August 17, 2012 13:10 USA

Well, I am now waiting for my VISA.  The trip to  Chicago was a disaster.  Long story short we spent the night in the car.  5 members of my family.  It wasn't the last minute bonding I was hoping for to say the least.  I however loved ChiTown.  I loved the downtown area at least. That is where we spent the bulk.  It was beautiful with so much to do.  I don't want to live there forever but definately could see spending the summer or a week or two (not in the winter I'm not a fan of cold...and yes I know it is not super warm in France.)  I'm just nervous at this point.  I feel like everything is falling apart as much as it is coming together.  I everything I accomplish is pushed back by a failure.  I know God promised me this.  That is why Icontinue you push forward.  He never said it would be easy but he said it was mine.  And I am standing on His word and believing in His promise,

23 Septembre 2012 21:30 France

I made here.  I'm happy.  The freedom is unbelievable.  I've actually been in Frane three weeks.  I've lived with a host mom.  Who was wonderful.  Her daughter is in Wichita taking my place.  I never thought about the impact of leaving home on others.  Yes, I know people would miss me.  But watching my host mom I thought on my own mother.   She like my mom is a single mother with one child.  I could tell how much she missed her baby.  It wa a mixture of worry and the the anxienty of seperation.  The time difference is so vast between here and Kansas we are seven hours ahead.  Contact is so expensive modern technology is wonderful.  Skype pretty much is the only option to stay connected.  Video chat to see the other person is great. 

I chatted with my mother the second day here.  We spoke almost an hour.  I could tell she was relieved.  I felt bad however, I didn't miss home.  Not yet I wa so thrilled to have made it.  All the last minute problems were in my mind.  Here I was 6000 plus miles away and I could not yet miss my mother.  I arrived on Friday my host mother took me for lunch which I appreicate so much!  I hadn't eaten since Thursday in Minneapols, MN at around lunch. 

Minneaolis when I realized I forgot the charger to my tablet and lucky me.  No one carries the right kind.  (I still can't use it).  I was so happy to be away from Wichita.  And yes away from my church.  I love Jesus I love God and I love the Bible.  I hate the rules of my church.  I believe in living holy.  But I also believe in living.  So what did I do in the airport?  Order a double Jack and Coke with fish tacos.  It felt great.  Why?  Because there was no fear that a missionary or church mother would walk in and look at me with disapproval.  I knew I would be judged and look back sliden to anyone.  I was just a young woman enjoying a drink with her lunch.  I boarded my second plane to Boston, MA.

Boston has the hugest airport EVER...not really but it felt that way.  I landed in terminal A and need to go to termial E.  It took almost an hour to wander through the ariport.  I am so blessed I had a three hour layover.  I went through international customs without a problem and waited in the terminal for my flight.  I looked once again for a charger for my tablet.  Nada.  I did however meet some very friendly sales men.  One was singing 90's R&B, Mariah Carrey, messed up the lyrics horribly.  And because I loved the song so much I told him he was all wrong.  The second salesman very helpful and a touch of a flirt.  He was early twenties.  He commented on that throwback jams his co-workers was singing stating "music from back in his day was better than ours now."  This young buck like most mistook me for a 90's baby.  Bless the Lord for preserving.  There was no way I was correcting him.  I met a Bostonian (?) I loved his accent.  He was traveling to Germany to hang with friends.  He had just completed his BA.  In the airport I waited...

My flight was called.  I posted a Facebook status, turned my phone off, and boarded the plane,   Now there are a couple schools of thought to avoid jet lag when making such a dramatic travel.  I chose the stay up 24 hours to help your body reset.  My flight included a meal (this is an important fact for later). I was able to trade my middle seat for window seat with my flight mate.  I watched as we ascended into Northeastern night skys.  The light lit the coast lines like a cententianl birthday cake causing me to wonder how many people each light represented.  There I was leaving everything.  My home. My people. My life.  I saw the coastline and all I thought was "wow I'm seeing a life size map." My memory replayed every history and geography class with a teacher pointing out oceans and state bounderies and suddenly it all made sense.  Up, up, and up we ascended although I have no wings I still was in flight...then I was sleep.

Yep, I slept through dinner.  Some flightmates I had!  They didn't think that perhaps food was better than sleep.  I woke as the flight crew cleared the plates.  So I went back to sleep.  I woke up just as the flight crew was clearing breakfast, no love.  So I went back to sleep.  Just me and Velvet snuggled together like best friends she was my pillow with out stretch arms to hold me.  I woke up a final time about 45 minutes prior to landing. The sun was shining.  I saw clouds.  And a land mass and island I don't know which however.  Perhaps Palma.  Once again I had visions of globes and documentary of the earths formation. 

The announcments now in French played.  I understood "Paris".  I watched out descent to the ground.  It is amazing seeing the land from the heavens.  The grounds looks as if it were a country quilt, skillfully patch worked with scraps of varing browns, yellow and green.  It's an intentional sewing of mismatch colors in calcualated disarray with the objective of keeping the ocean warm.  The closer I came to land more the sense the Monet scenery made, all blending together in the mind of dissociative identity disorder victim who finally gained control.