Really, right now I am so thankful and grateful for all the wonderful people around me. I really feel at peace with where I am.
First of all, my awesome Swiss family. I could not ask for a better family to spend all of my time with while I'm here. Ivana & Bertrand and incredibly accommodating, and are always checking to make sure I have what I need, the info I need, and offering to buy things for me. They make sure to invite me to every event, every family outing, but never are offended if I am tired, need some Dan time, or just need to be alone for a bit. They even check before making dinner to see if I like what's on the menu. The children are so sweet, and pretty obedient (for children...).
Second, the people in the neighborhood. The neighbors are always offering help with translating, checking in to make sure things are ok, and taking care of the kids if things get busy. I actually think I will be using a neighbor's car for the year... Which is incredibly kind and generous! (Things haven't been fully decided, it could change.)
And third and final, but not least, all the wonderful people I met yesterday. I have to send many, many thanks to Catherine, my new friend, because yesterday she took me under her wing and made me feel so welcome and comfortable. She is one of the kindest women I have ever met, and I immediately felt at ease with her. She introduced me to loads of people at a local production of Guys and Dolls (produced and acted entirely by teenagers! I only saw the first act but it was wonderful). There is such a huge English-speaking community here - I think I will have to practice my French very intentionally! Anyway, I was completely blown away by Catherine's kindness yesterday, and I don't think I can adequately express how truly grateful I was. I mean, she brought me some English books and magazines, because she saw that I nearly exhausted my supply. How sweet is that? Many, many thanks to all of you who welcomed me into your community without reservation. I look forward to many more meetings in the future!
And in the same category, Westlake Church. What a blessing (how Christian and cliché, but very, very true)! I arrived just in time from Guys & Dolls, and I immediately felt at home. I sat next to a lovely man named Lee, and he was so friendly and immediately informed me of the au pair club, and introduced me to two au pairs. I was especially excited when I found out Cornelia (from Sweden) and I are going to be in the same French class! Julie (from Germany) already speaks French. I also am really motivated to practice my French, because these two girls speak perfect English on top of their native languages, and are on to mastering a third language (also, Bertrand speaks to me in French frequently. He really encourages me to learn.). They both have been here for about 2 months, so they have become friends, but were so happy to include me, which was so sweet. There is also another girl from Rhode Island, but she wasn't able to be there. So I made two friends close to my age (I feel old - they are 20 & 19).
All in all, things are starting to come together, and I am so thankful for all the people in my life; past, present, and future.