It's over. I apologize for the delay in this last post. I've been carried away with all things American i.e. public bathrooms, a Braves game, Sonic, etc. So before I continue to be swept away with patriotism, I will tie up the loose ends... Last week was sure a strange one. I kept telling people it was my last week, but I didn't really believe it. It seemed too good to be true. But we'll get back to that in a minute.
Wrapping up... First the teacher I always worked with in class got sick. So, quite unfortunately, I didn't get to say goodbye to about 60 students. On Wednesday my tech students surprised me with a little going away party. They brought in all manner of food and drinks and we just sat around talking and preparing one last something for their American pen pals. I gave them one last letter, from Kendall, and instead of writing a letter back they decided they wanted to make a video saying hi to all three of their pen pals. You can watch their attempt to declare the French as the best at BBQ (*cough cough cough cough cough*) here:
My last day I gave a little gift to my students in English club and one of them started to cry. It was a really touching moment for me and made me think that if I made that much of an impact for this one girl, it was worth it. I could walk away happy.
I also walked away happy because I got to leave the Bomb Shelter behind:
The last blog posts pretty much sums up everything to be perfectly honest. I'm shell shocked that I made it back to the USA. There were so many sleepless nights where I really didn't think it would be possible. Once I escaped Trévoux, before taking my trans-Atlantic flight back home, I kept waiting to be kidnapped by the French government to be dragged back there against my will. It wasn't until I made it to the top of the escalators at the Atlanta airport and saw my parents that I truly believed I was in America. I began to cry and the first thing I said to them was, "Please tell me I never have to go back again!" And, of course, I don't. It's the most liberating feeling in the entire world, no joke. I've gone from a nightmare to one of the sweetest dreams I've ever had. I keep pinching myself because it all seems too good to be true. I'm not exaggerating:
The past 7 months were a crazy and unexpected ride. And since I began my documentation of this journey with "Once upon a time" and a reference to Beauty and the Beast, I think I will finish it with "And she lived happily ever after." No, I did not encounter an enchanted castle or Prince Charming. And no, I don't know what the next chapter holds for me in any way. But, as I've said, this chapter of my life is over and that's "happily ever after" enough for me!