Friday, June 14, 2013

Explore Day 35

Day 35. Explore is over.

The past week has been ridiculously busy, which is why I haven’t managed to blog. There’s so much I wanted to talk about, but what with four final exams in the past three days, I had to do a ton of studying. Fortunately, though, it paid off, as I think most of my exams went well.

Once more, the end of exams is bitter sweet. It’s lovely to feel the stress evaporating, and to know that it really doesn’t matter anymore how to conjugate pouvoir in the imparfait, but it also means that Explore is done, and now comes the time for goodbyes. One of my best friends left this afternoon already, and I leave tomorrow at 6am, with almost 1000km of driving ahead of me. Luckily one of my friends is driving with me for most of the way, so I’ll have someone to talk to and keep me awake. :)

The past week—other than the stress of exams—has been fantastic. I’ll write another post sometime about everything I did last weekend, because I have some pretty gorgeous photos to share, but the week itself involved a lot of drinking tea with friends and rambling around Old Quebec. On Monday we went for crepes, which were delicious, then wandered around the city taking pictures. Tuesday I finally saw Star Trek (in IMAX. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Jealous yet?), Wednesday I studied, and yesterday was the big ending spectacle, a sort of wrap-up talent show and awards presentation.

In the end, Explore was a fantastic experience. I’ll admit that there were times near the beginning when I wanted to go home, when I hated Laval, and Quebec City, and learning French. But as I made new friends and explored the city and worked hard at my classes, everything began to fall into place. The past few weeks have been incredible.

At the same time, though, I think I’m ready to go home. As much as I’m sad that Explore’s over, I wouldn’t want to stay much longer. I want PEI, and my family and friends there, and my church, and my house, and Charlottetown, where everyone speaks English.

Still, I will miss it here. I won’t just miss my friends and the beautiful Old City; I’ll also miss my little res room, and the ugly Laval campus, and French grammar at 8:30 am. I’ll miss makeshift cooking in the decrepit old kitchens, or hanging my clean laundry all around my tiny room because I didn’t want to pay for the dryer. All the funny, annoying little things… those are the memories I’ll take with me.

Maybe when I get home I’ll write a wrap-up post about the benefits of Explore…etc… but right now my brain is just worn out. Too much French, too much fun… and too much left to do.

[Note: I’m posting this immediately after writing it, which means it hasn’t been edited. Errors are therefore to be expected.]

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