Summing up language wise – I am pretty stoked. In this last week I have been meeting with lots of people and having a really great time – all using this language. I make many many mistakes, but the conversation flows and I feel confident I can present my true self in this garbled form. I can even understand native speakes enough without them needing to constantly repeat themselves and I’m at the point where I’m thinking in French – I forget that I’m using another language and just fall into thinking about the topic at hand. Success! Yet I also know that I have some fundemental flaws with my understanding of grammar and pronunciation and that it will take years to be able to join in seemlessly with the overlapping hundred-mile-an-hour conversations. Using it is very gratifying.
At a friends birthday party I was surrounded with people from four different countries and we were all speaking together in French. I had such an enjoyable time and wanted nothing more than to continue life travelling and meeting people from different places – especially Khazakstan and China. I’m sure that as time passes in the next few weeks and months I will be able to reflect more on my time here, but for now I feel pretty content as I sit her on the train en route to Belgium. This year, just like a mountain range has had many valleys, but even more peaks.