French Exchange: Bee Richardson

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French Exchange: Bee Richardson

Bee Richardson, contributor

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by Bee Richardson

Will we ever see them again? Will we ever be in France again? Who knows where life will take us. Everything is a mystery until it happens. The 2019 French exchange was amazing: experiencing new foods, a different culture, a different landscape and many different personalities. Some of my favorite things from the exchange were the food, the landscape and the connection that I made with my Frenchie.

The food was unbelievably fantastic. Everything was grown either at their house or at a nearby farm. No GMO’s, everything was naturally grown. The first full day of being in France I got French Fries and omg they were amazing. One thing I didn’t know was that in France they use spicy mustard on everything, not regular mustard. I ended up putting the mustard all over my fries; man did I regret it but the fries themselves were amazing. That night Léo made quiche. Oh my goodness, it tasted like heaven: eggs, ham, cheese, cream and pie crust. This was one of my favorite foods there. In Paris the food was also amazing. Lunch was one of my favorite times because you could get whatever you would find interesting. 

The landscape in France was breathtaking: the beauty, the moisture, the greenery of it all. There were so many trees. Léo took me on a hike because when he was in New Mexico I had said that I love hiking. Léo made a plan and had it set for a specific day and where it was going to be. I got to see the amazing trees, plants and a small river near the hiking trail. Other parts of Rennes are amazing: the old buildings, the small shops within the busy streets. My goodness the architecture was just outstanding in how old the buildings were. 

At first in February when the French students were here, the relationship Léo and I had was really awkward. I didn’t really speak French and Léo was super shy. For the most part of Léo being here in New Mexico, our relationship was moving but it also was super super slow. When I went  to France, he made me a sign and gave a huge hug. The first day we were almost late to the bus because I didn’t wake up on time. After I got the hang of things and what he would do with his friends, we would end up talking for hours each night about what we did that day and what the “Tea” was between the Americans and the Frenchies. One time we were walking around old Rennes and we passed by this paper shop. I saw this blue elephant and at the time I was broke because I had lost my debit card. The next day Léo takes me back to the shop as a surprise so I could get the blue elephant. By the end of the trip Léo knew how to make my coffee, he knew that I like tomatoes on my sandwiches, and he knew that I hated bananas. I can call him and his family a part of my own family. Léo took so much good care of me. I thank them so much for everything and miss them greatly. 

Overall this trip was life changing and eye opening. I would love to go back and see Léo again. This trip changed so many things for me. I miss Rennes so much. It was amazing.