Election Day: The Experiment of Democracy

I remember the day I learned that Spain had lived a Civil War in the 20th century, and I remember learning that the country had been ruled by a dictator, Francisco Franco. I was 10 years-old sitting on my Spanish grandparent’s floor the summer of 2005 watching T.V. as my Abuelo repaired something that had broken. A preview of the documentary that was going to be aired that evening was playing, and I was confused. “Spain had a Civil War, Abuelo?” I asked. “Yes, mi niña. It was an awful war…” I was stunned. My beautiful country had lived those horrors? My grandparent’s parents lived through poverty and famine? Even family members were shot and killed for fighting for the Second Republic. I recently learned that my Spanish great-grandmother, for the rest of her life, lived in fear of running out of food in the house and kept a cupboard filled just in case.

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Au Revoir La Sorbonne… For Now

Parfois, exister dans la liberté est plus douloureux que rester dans le confortable.

Sometimes, existing in freedom hurts more than staying in what is comfortable.  

I have officially finished my first year of my master’s degree at the Sorbonne. These past few years of school have been such a ride that I have decided to take a year off. I wanted to share what having spent the past four years at university meant for me, because they taught me so much more than just history. Continue reading “Au Revoir La Sorbonne… For Now”

Saturday in the Countryside: Chantilly

One of the things that I absolutely love about living in France is how much there is to see and I feel like I will never be able to see all of it! This weekend I visited Chantilly, a small little town north of Paris (about a 25-minute train ride from Gare du Nord). It is known for its beautiful château but also for the delicious topping known as whipped cream. In French, whipped cream is called chantilly, just like the town. Continue reading “Saturday in the Countryside: Chantilly”

Stepping back to Medieval Times : Provins, France

Living in Paris is such a thrilling experience. There is the bustle of the city, the people out on the streets, cafés on every corner… but sometimes it can get quite exhausting and we “Parisians” need a break (am I even considered to be a Parisienne yet?).  Continue reading “Stepping back to Medieval Times : Provins, France”

You Don’t Know How Smart I Am

I grew up with a mother who had an accent. I remember a time when we were in the pool and she was speaking to me in Spanish (because our relationship is in Spanish) and someone told her to speak in English because she was in America. I remember at times having to translate her English so people could understand what she was trying to say. I never understood her frustration at times, because understood my mother. I loved her accent. I wanted it at times because I thought it was the best sound in the world, coming home with friends who had never met her and surprised at my Spanish background (because I obviously don’t “look” like someone who speaks Spanish). It was something that made my mother unique (out of obviously the other countless things that do).

Then I moved abroad, and one day I got the accent. I can’t deny that these past two years I have been lucky to meet people that absolutely love the accent and are welcoming to their country. I got a reality check when I started school. I have met my fair share of people, who I am very lucky and fond of (they make sure I am following the classes and understand well, telling me if I ever need help they are a phone call away). I have also met people that roll their eyes and probably wonder how I ever got into the university.
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