Makayla is spending this year in France. Below please find the latest excerpt from her blog.
You can follow her blog here.

A Fifth of the Way There

While writing this in my sleep deprived and ill state I am surprised I was able to come to the realization that in fact I am soon to be a fifth of the way finished my exchange. That's crazy! It seems like only last week I was staring out the window as the plane touched down on the run way of Charles de Gaulle. I guess that's what everyone meant when they said it went by fast. I didn't realize that what they were saying held context until now.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to visit two sites of historic culturelle importance and meet a bunch of other exchange students from across France with Rotary. We spent time on the plages of débarquement at Normandie. Unfortunately not on Juno Beach but in the American cemetery and beaches. Aside from this we went to Mont St Michel where on one day we did a tour around the island on foot which is something that nearly resembles a tour of the Baie of Fundy in New Brunswick because technically the mont is an island. Therefore before the tide comes back in there is quicksand everywhere! And it's not like your kept away from it. The guides encourage you to play with it. Definitely a cool feeling. The second day we went into the village, in the rain. Because the island is basically a mound of rock shaped like a mole hill when building a village on it you have to build up hill all the way, and at the top, the monastery/church. Being a religious mound the idea is that tourists see why it is religious, so you climb, in the rain, and then you come down, in the rain, to search for a rain cover that you forgot before you went up. It was a unique experience though, the lower part of the mont is a village, while designed for tourists it in some ways resembles Old Quebec City, only smaller.

This past weekend back in North America was Thanksgiving, the first official holiday I've missed. But yesterday I had a moment where I decided this weekend was an all right alternative. Sitting around a table eating chicken and rice with people from around the world, music playing in the background, and happy chatter, everything seemed normal and like home. who else can say they were with the world for the holidays but exchange students.

I move in a week, restart routines again, and change families. But really the key is not to think about what life, and routine, and normal is. Consider the here and now, the day as it passes, and whatever the new normal of the moment is. It's time to "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy" (Ms Frizzle) in the words of my childhood. Those words have never seemed so true.