It’s  now  been  about  five  and  a  half  months since I arrived here. I’m now the only exchange student  in  this  city  that  I  know  of  but  I’ve managed to make a couple french friends and I also  am  going  to  go  travelling  with  my  host families   and   my   host   councilor   during  the holidays which are not too far away.
I’ve  now spent two months in this host family and  it’s  been  really  great.  My  host mum is a teacher so recently she’s been quite busy but we  still  manage  to  go  out  a  bit  during  the weekends  or if she doesn’t have much work to do. I’ve been managing to occupy myself pretty well when she is busy. I’ve started trying to cover the year 12 curriculum for maths and biology since I don't want to struggle too much when I get back. I also told my host mum about how I miss playing guitar and she   asked   her   nephew   if   I   can borrow  his  guitar  which  has  been pretty great but I’ve been studying a bit less.
This  month  I’ve  been  able  to  do some  different  things  since  things are  becoming  a  bit  more  normal everyday  here.  At  the  beginning of the month I went to Ancenis to see another   New   Zealand   exchange student  from  Rotary.  I  stayed  with her  and  her  host  family  for  three nights    and    it    was    really   nice.
Ancenis was a really pretty city and it was also quite quiet. We walked to the city centre and there weren't a lot of people around which was quite a contrast to Angers. I was invited to a Rotary meeting with her host club and it
was a really nice couple of days
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. I also went  to  the  Chateau  de  Serrant  which was  really  big  and  really  beautiful.  We got to go on a guided tour as well which normally we can’t do because of corona. It meant that we could see things which we normally wouldn't have been able to. For example, there was this cabinet type furniture  which  was  given  to  the  family who owned the castle as a wedding gift. The  guide  was  able  to  open  it  up  and show us what was inside. It was a really ntricate  design  that had many hidden draws  and  was  just  really  beautiful. 
I also was able to go to this theme park that  was  based  around  plants  called Terra Botanica. It was something that I haven't  seen  before  and  it  was  really cool.  A  lot  of  it  was different types of gardens  but  there  were  also  a  few small  rides  and  things  like  small  4D movies.  
My  host  mum  has  also been taking  me  to  things  that  I  normally wouldn't  think  of  going  to  but  have been really fun. For example, there has been this festival, Les Bouffees D'arts and we’ve been to two different events. One was a dance performance which was amazing and we got to see two dancers perform. The other was a circus type  performance  which  was  also really cool. We also  went  to  see  an  improv  performance.  I didn't really understand a lot of it but it was still amusing. The  cinemas  here  are  also  opening  up  and  we went to see De Gaulle which was a movie about a french  general  in  World  War  2.  The  movie  was quite difficult for me to understand but it’s still fun to be able to go out and do things like that.
This  month  I’ve  also  been  to  a  few  dinners  and lunches  with  my  host family’s family and my host mum's friends. They can be a bit long sometimes, it’s quite different having long sit down meals, here in  France  whenever  we  invite  people  over  for  a meal  we  have  the  aperitif,  the  main  meal,  the cheese, the desert, and then the coffee, so it lasts quite a while but it’s always really good food  and  it's  nice  meeting  people.  I’ve been able to meet a few people my age because  of  this  as  well.   I’ve been able to meet a few people my age because  of  this  as  well.  One  girl that I met,  Juliette,  came  to  the  Chateau  de Serrant  with  us  and  also  the  improv performance. Me and another exchange student  also  had  a  picnic  with  her and she introduced us to another one of her friends.  My  host  mum  also  invited  her friend  and  her  friend’s step-daughter to the dance performance who I’m going to meet  later  this  week. 
  It’s  been  really good being able to meet french people since the last exchange student in my city that I know left this month. I got to say goodbye to her though which was nice  since  almost  everyone  else  left during quarantine.
I got to see my first host family again this month. My first host family and my host councilor came over for lunch and it  was  a  really  nice  afternoon.  It was really  nice  to  be able to see them all again.  I  also  found  out  who  my  host family  in  September  will  be  and  it  is going to be the current president of the Rotary club’s family. I had dinner with them recently and they’re a really nice family. They have three children but two of them are in university in Paris. The other child is a girl who isone year younger than me. We also had  the  first  Rotary  meeting  since the quarantine and we had a dinner party to celebrate the new president of  the  Rotary  club. It was really fun and  the  new  president’s  daughters were   there,  one  was  22  and  the other  was  16.  It  was  nice  to  have someone  my  age at a Rotary event because  normally  it’s  just  me.  It's quite     exciting     since     the     next president  is  going  to  be  a  woman and there are only about two women in the Rotary club.
My  school  did  not  continue  classes  after  the  quarantine  ending  which was the same for many  other  private  schools  here.  I went  back  for  one  morning  and  we came  in to give back our textbooks. We did that and also filled out a small worksheet  that  was  for  us to reflect back   on   the   year   and  also  think about  our  goals  for  next  year.  We were  barely  there  for  an  hour  and then we won’t come back to school in September.
I’m   really   looking   forward   to   the holidays  as well. Firstly I’m going to La Baule with one of the Rotary members for five days. I’m then going to Dinard with my first host family for two weeks, it's a family home so I’ll see their family as well, and also their son is coming back from Australia this month so I’ll meet him as well. After that I’m going to a place  which  is  in  the  middle  of  France  with  my  current  host  family  for  two  weeks and I believe that after that I’m going to spend two weeks with my host councilors family but I’m not too sure where. It’s very exciting because I’ll be able to discover a lot of new places in France, and since the eurotour was cancelled, I haven't had a lot of opportunities to travel around to different cities.
It’s been really great with things returning to normal, even just a little bit. With every new thing  that  I  discover  here,  I  love  France  more  and  I  want  to thank you all again for this experience. It really has become a second home for me and I’ve been able to experience so many wonderful things and meet so many wonderful people.