26 November 2009


Today is Thanksgiving, a holiday not celebrated or even widely known in France.  While I won't be celebrating with loved ones back home, I still recognize and give thanks for all I've been given during my first two months abroad.

I'm thankful to be living and working in France, realizing a dream I've had since 7th grade French class with Madame Boehmer.  I never expected to be granted an opportunity like this, and I won't for a moment take it for granted.  

I'm thankful to see sights like this every day in the beautiful city of Metz.  The honey colored stone buildings, the picturesque rivers, the gardens, the cathedral... Almost daily I resist the urge to shout out loud "I can't believe I LIVE here!" 

I'm thankful for Hélène and the miraculous circumstances in which we met which led to me being welcomed into her beautiful home like part of the family.  I feel very much as though I've been adopted by her parents, Bernard and Christianne, and I adore Nicolas, her son.  I can't wait to introduce them to Jim and my family, because I sense that I have made a lifelong friendship with these delightful people.

I'm thankful for the American, Australian, and Jamaican fellow English assistants in Metz who have become a support system of amazing friends, reminding me that I'm not alone in this experience.  As important as it is to have friends to laugh with, it's equally necessary to have people to commiserate with.  (see below)

I'm thankful for the difficulties and TEARS I've endured in France.  Establishing myself here, finding a place to live, learning the city layout, mastering the mass transit system, starting a new job, opening a bank account, starting a cell phone contract, battling the most miserable flu of my life and expressing my needs to pharmacists, tolerating the nasty teacher at one of my schools, the impossible days where my lessons failed and the students acted up, the endless array of paperwork, the loss of self confidence, the daily awkward situations... all of this has culminated into the most difficult endeavor of my life, and completely in FRENCH, no less! I literally had to carve out my existence here, and for that I'm very proud.  I've become stronger, smarter, and independent. 

I'm even thankful for the snotty-nosed little French kids I teach.  Despite the fact that they consistently drive me to the brink of insanity, they genuinely care about me and make me laugh like no one else.  It is a privilege to introduce them to the English language, and to know that I am their first exposure to a skill that will bring them success in their future endeavors.  I hope to be remembered as fondly as I recall Madame Boehmer.

Most of all...

I'm thankful to be COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS to visit my boyfriend, parents, sister, extended family, and friends, all of whom I've been missing terribly.  Even from thousands of miles away, they are my greatest support system.  As much as I love La Bise, it just doesn't compare to a huge, warm, American HUG.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. France can really be a pain with useless paperwork. I hope you'll still enjoy your stay in our beautiful city ^_^

  2. Merci beaucoup pour votre réponse. Je vous assure que j'adore la ville de Metz!

  3. Salut Jamie,

    Je suis americain aussi, bon, sudamericain :)
    plus precisement, peruvian et j'habite a Metz aussi il y a presque 3 mois et cette ville est plus belle de ce que j'imaginais avant d'arriver.

    Je vous sohuaite un bon week-end

  4. Je suis d'accord avec vous, Metz est plus belle de ce que j'imaginais chez moi au Michigan. C'est deux mois pour moi! Vous êtes de quelle ville peruvienne? Moi, je n'ai jamais visité votre pays, mais j'aimerais voir Machu Picchu et Lima. Etes-vous étudiant à Metz?

  5. I can't wait for a big hug from you, too Jamie!! I am very proud of you, but having a laptop at the dinner table with your Skype image ain't nothing like the real thing.

    Love and Thanks,


  6. Oui, je suis étudiant.
    J'étude AES dans l'univ Paul Verlaine et
    je suis né a Lima-Peru.

    Peru is incroyable aussi, il y a du tout partout :D


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