Dear Delphine, my Host Mom in Aix-en-Provence,
I remember having a dream about you days before knowing who you were. It’s hard because in my dream you had no form or shape, you were just an idea but you had a name, Daphne. Days later, I found out who you were, your name? Delphine. In my head, I thought it was quite odd how similar the name was to my dream, but I thought it was just a coincidence since I’ve been following this french blogger, whose name happens to be Daphne so I ignored it.
I remember writing you an email to introduce myself so you could know a little bit about me before we met. I remember your response. I remember thinking to myself how sweet you sounded on your email and I couldn’t help but feel anxious! Days later I found myself in Paris and one of the first people to text me was you, trying to make sure I made it to your country safe and sound.
Three short days went by and I found myself waiting for you at the TGV station in Aix-en-Provence. You gave me a hug and drove me to your house. “Your French is gonna get so much better,” you told me. I can’t help but remember arriving at your house and meeting Quentin, my host brother as I’d call him. We were about to enter a new journey together!
As the months went by in Aix-en-Provence, I felt more and more part of the family. Everything you did, you took me with you: Disney concerts, Saturdays at Grandma’s house, museum days, mini-golf, work dinners, and so much more.
I love how we created our own traditions. Mondays, we would watch Good Doctor, Tuesdays were for Take-Two, Wednesdays we could go wild, Thursdays were devoted for Quantico and Once Upon a Time and Friday, it was time for a family movie. Every day, I could not wait to get home so I could tell you about my day and what I did in school, or a new French word I’d learned.
Planning my trips were fun with your help. Every day, I knew I was going to be greeted with your beautiful smile and you’d ask me how my day went. As the months started to feel shorter, I started wondering how I was going to leave France without you. Everyone prepares you for the moment you meet your host mom, yet no one tells you how hard it is going to be to say goodbye to her.
Four months later, we drove back to the TGV station, but this time everything was different. As you helped me roll my bags across the station, I couldn’t help but think that this was the last time I would see you for a while. Finally, we broke into tears as I handed my ticket to the man by the gate.
I could picture clearly in my head you following me through the glass window until I reached my boarding platform. What you didn’t know is that I cried my whole trip to Paris, I didn’t want to leave you! As a matter of fact, I wasn’t ready to leave you, or France, or Quentin, or Oceane. I was not ready to leave Marcelline and Treize (our cats), who refused to leave my room on the day I left. They knew I was leaving. I wasn’t ready to leave who I’d become in France.
On the train, an old sweet monsieur (man), approached me and told me « ah, l’amour est dur mademoiselle » (Ah, love is hard, Miss.). He probably thought that I was crying over a boyfriend. He was right, love is hard. It is hard to leave someone so special behind. There is so much I can tell you but so little words that could express all I felt. Just know that a piece of my heart, I’ve left in France.
Delphine, merci pour tout!!! Merci pour m’a ensignè cette langue qu’est dure mais elle est belle et charmeuse. Merci pour tout les moments que nous avons partagèes. Merci pour me fait une peu française comme toi!! Tu me manqué deja. Tu me manqué toujours. Mais comme tu as dit, “la vie est longue et c’est nous qui viendrons te voir”
(“Delphine, thank you so much! Thank you for teaching me this language that is so difficult, but is beautiful and charismatic. Thank you for those moments we share together. Thank you for making me a little more like French, just as you are. I have started to miss you. I will always miss you. But like what you have said, “Life is long and we will come to see you”)
Interested in the program? Read more about Emilia’s favorite class abroad!
Read Emilia’s other blog post about her class in France!
Interested in the homestay? Read more about Emilia’s other blog post, “5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Homestay.”
Read Emilia’s other blog post about homestay