So, yet another week has passed at the beautiful Côte d'Azur and I am left with just seven more days of my adventure here in France. At the moment, I can't decide if I want to stay or I want to leave - I love the madness here, but you can only live madness for so long without actually going insane! At the moment, I have so many thoughts going round in my head I have difficulty separating them - hence the non-specific title to this post. Let me explain:
My two perspectives regarding my time here are thus:
I love the excitement that comes from working with children - the imagination, the noise, the giddiness. I love the friends that I've made here, the social life, which is non-stop, and the fact that when I walk down the road here I can say hi to the waiters/receptionists/life guards/trapezists/cyclists etc., etc., and I know them as friends. I love the weather (except this ridiculous heatwave), and the fact that when we go out in the evening, we can casually just stroll down to the beach - just amazing. Also, I love the challenge that comes from pushing myself to be stronger, better, more imaginative every day... and finally, I love that all of this happens in French, and I happen to be part of it!
However, there are also things that I don't enjoy quite as much. When I get tired (which is often), I lack the motivation to challenge myself in the way that I want to. Also, that way it becomes harder to socialise - either I can't concentrate on the conversation, or I just can't understand what's being said! Another thing - I miss church. I miss being with a group of people that believe deeply in their hearts that Jesus is love and that God's way is the best way to live your life, no matter what the cost. The culture here is pretty secular - in terms of drink, sex, etc. - which is difficult for me - I struggle without someone to call me to account in what I believe, and sometimes I find myself accepting things that I don't necessarily like, or even agree with at all. And, lastly, I miss my friends and family. This summer has made me appreciate those close friends with whom there is a deep level of mutual understanding - I have had the luck to have made these kinds of friends in the UK (you know who you are), and I hope to make more in the future - but for the moment I have to be content with what I have, which is a large group of lovely people who I like spending time with, and who like spending time with me (I hope!).
So, to sum up, I have loved my time here, and I appreciate every minute that God has given me, but I think I am ready to leave. I will never forget my summer in La Belle France - and perhaps I'll come back next year! Who knows? I'll just have to wait and see!