In order to understand this post, you first have to know something about me. I am an animal person. Not a dog, cat, bird or giraffe person, but an animal person. If a vampire bat were stuck in my attic, I would probably try to cuddle with it. I've been finding and bringing home stray turkeys, morning doves, humming birds, other birds and other forrest animals for years (I'm very lucky to live in the woods and by the lake). I've tried to domesticate a chipmunk, and fallen into a pond more than once pursuing a frog. (Of course that was when I was much younger, and not two months ago...)
My point is that I love animals. So you can imagine my attraction to horses. Giant beautiful gorgeous galloping horses. I've always wanted to ride them, BEGGING my parents as long as I can remember, but they never let me for a long time because of fear or whatever else. But my Mom's best friend Kim Beeson has a really impressive barn on Logger's trail (near the Conference grounds) with six/seven horses at a time. I've never been any less excited every time we got to go out there.
So Fine. If I couldn't ride them, I would just go hang out with them. Feeding them carrots and talking to them, kissing their noses and brushing their manes. But I've always wanted to ride.
I was lucky enough to be placed in a family that lives in a beautiful town outside of Lille (Cysoing). It has beautiful old houses, and lots and lots of woods and surrounding fields with horses cows and sheep (you can see my pictures on facebook with the album titles Cysoing).
Anyway when me and my host mother Laure were on a bike ride, she took me to the L'equatation club (Equestrian club) of Cysoing. It's far back in the fields with 80 horses. The grounds are beautiful. I signed up to ride on Saturdays, and I don't think I've been as impatient for anything in my whole life. When I got to the stables at 5:30 I was just in a class in an indoor ring with one other girl--I saw all the ponies in their stables and thought--Well, worst comes to worst, I'll get stuck with one of them and go really slow the whole time. That won't be so bad.
But Sonya (teacher) led me to the other stable building and pointed to one of the pense. "That's your horse!"
Lol that's not a horse that's a sky scraper.
This...beast...is the BIGGEST creature out of 80, a 15 year old stallion named New Deal (Roosevelt). He's blacker than any darkness, SO beautiful and very friendly. But lazy and kind of silly. I led him out of the barn, pretending like I was in charge, but he could have dragged me back inside without even thinking about it.
When you first begin to trot on a horse, you have to take it like everything else---you have to bounce around and look like an idiot for five minutes. But then when the horse begins to get to know you, and adjust to how tight you grip, where your ankles kick ect. it's really amazing how fast he gets it. Me and New Deal trotted around the ring behind the other girl and her horse....I quickly got impatient with her speed. So did N.D. I was too afraid to try galloping yet (THIS SATURDAY) but after our lesson we took a walk in the woods. I think he likes me ! So it doesn't matter that when I dismounted I rolled over and fell in the dirt, and it doesn't matter that when I tried to pet him too enthusiastically that I jabbed him in the eye. Or that his feet are the size of my head. This really is an amazing horse--I can't wait to see him again Saturday. IT WAS SO GREAT.
School is still cool. All my friends are sweet. Today me and Christine (Exchange student from Sweden) had a four hour break in between classes so we went into Lille to go shopping and have lunch. We found a great vintage hippy second hand store with ancient leather bags, jean jackets, boots and tshirts. It reminded me of San Francisco and Berkeley.
Also, on Sunday, all of my host families came over for dinner to meet me and they were all SO NICE and really cool so that made me happy. In both of the families I have an older brother and two younger siblings, I think that's pretty cool. I baked (myself) an oreo cheesecake. I think it turned out ok. I love to cook at home, especially indian/thai food and I haven't gotten to really stretch my wings here yet. I miss that.
I just biked to the Super Marchee with my host mom, and my host dad and I are making dinner tonight. I'm super tired because we didn't finish dinner last night until 23h00 (11pm) and I'm exhausted anyway from learning French. It's so difficult and it just makes you want to sleep every second.
What I miss the most is my best friend, and Norma. I don't miss school in Michigan. We don't get 4 hour breaks in Michigan. BUT I DO MISS Bucs' Blade. I think I'm sending in a few columns soon, so read it when it comes out ! I'm going to put photos up of Amiens--that was like, 2 weeks ago. Whoops.