Stitched together, the colors of emotion I have felt here in Strasbourg create quite a technicolor quilt. Fear and fascination are mingling with anxiety and anticipation. Red roofs remind me I’m not in Worcester anymore. My humble pink house here hardly resembles my gray home back in Maryland. In the streets, streaming threads of brunettes and blondes, without a redhead in sight, poke at my Holy Cross heartstrings like a pin. No indeed: on Mount Saint James I am not. Yes: I miss my home and my Holy Cross.
But my homesick heartache blushes at the hope of the future. I have only just begun to weave my story abroad. Words lost in translation or stumbled over in French comprise but a patch of this experience. I am finding that I could not be with a warmer, cozier family who is here to help me create the most fantastic time in France. In simpler words (and in response to my last post), they don’t hate me, right-handed people, or kids who got sunburned once. They even have Wifi. If my family is any reflection on the kids I’m going to be meeting once class starts tomorrow, I might make it after all.
So what does this mean? I don’t think I ever could have anticipated the hurdles and challenges my fellow Crusaders and I have faced here. The culture, the language, and even the food are far more complex than at first glance. It is not possible to find your way perfectly from Gallia to Homme de Fer the first time without a little help and patience. You may have to ask what the difference between the tarte flambée and the galette is. But it’s like pulling a big blanket all the way above your head in bed at nighttime. At first it’s completely dark and lonely. But after a while, your eyes adjust, you get comfortable, and soon enough you have cozily settled into your own personal niche. Oh, and there’s your stuffed panda by your elbow. For right now though, let’s just say I’m only barely able to make out the stripe pattern a few inches in front of my face.