Friday, October 2, 2015

My Next Adventure

It's been quite a while since I wrote a blog post. So much of the past year has been filled with the ordinary. The ordinary has been filled with lots of happy moments and good times, but of the everyday sort (although these are often the best kind). So I wanted to write this to keep everyone filled in on what is going on in my life and to tell you about my next adventure!

But first, a recap of the past year. After returning from my semester abroad, I moved into an apartment near campus with one of my close friends and began the spring semester. It was a busy semester, as I had to work on a group presentation for my honors class as well as my own undergraduate thesis. For my thesis, I researched and wrote about P.G. Wodehouse and the classical tradition of comedy. Although it took time and effort (aspects of schoolwork I usually resist), the project was enjoyable to work on and I learned a lot about humor and comedy. And it gave me a great excuse to read more Wodehouse!

The spring semester ended, friends graduated, I returned to Huntsville, and the summer began. My older sister Esther was home for the summer as well, so it was nice to have the family all together again. I worked all summer for my third year at my local YMCA day camp. It was the best year there I had. Although there were challenges, I made some great friends and worked with some great kids. I have lots of memories of fun times and I am sad my years as a camp counselor have come to an end.

I stayed in Huntsville most of the summer hanging out with my family, old friends, writing letters, and reading. My goal was to read ten books during the summer. I nearly made my goal with Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Emma, Murder on the Orient Express, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Guards! Guards!, Perelandra, and another I can't remember. Since returning to Houston I've started Little Women and plan to read Oliver Twist next. With a little Wodehouse mixed it too, of course. I also spend a weekend out in west Texas visiting my grandparents.

Holy Cross Parish, D'Hanis
But although reading is its own sort of adventure, the biggest adventure of the summer was my friend Liz's wedding. I went up to the Dallas area for an extended weekend with friends and stayed with my friend Sarah's family. The whole trip was wonderful- the wedding was beautiful, I had a wonderful time playing board games at Sarah's house, and we were even able to go to Six Flags on our last day! It was a absolutely lovely weekend. 
Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church
But just as the wedding weekend couldn't last forever, neither could the summer, and so I am back in Houston again, writing this post from my favorite coffee shop. This is my final semester (I will graduate in December) and my course load is relatively light. In addition to babysitting and campus activities I have a new job in a church nursery and am volunteering twice a week at two pregnancy care centers to fulfill the service project component of the honors program. With school, work, and social activities, I am staying pretty busy! But the busyness is a blessing- it means I am receiving a good education, working good jobs, and have good friends.

(As a side note, I also have a bike now! It has been wonderful. It is a pretty robin's egg blue with a wicker basket. It's given me so much more freedom and mobility. I can't imagine having gone through three years of school without it!)

Wicker basket not pictured
But enough about the present- on to the future! Over the summer I decided to look seriously into the possibility of spending a year as an au pair in Europe."Au pair" is a French term meaning “equal to”. An au pair is a young person from a foreign country who lives with a family and helps to care for children along with fulfilling some basic household dutes in exchange for room, board, and the opportunity for a cultural immersion experience.
It was been an option I learned about a few years ago and had found appealing, but had not seriously considered. However, early in the summer the possibility returned to my mind and I decided to pursue the course and see where it might lead, excited with hope of a future adventure but content with the possibility that it might not work out. After beginning my search for a family, a few possibilities presented themselves almost immediately. One family in particularl seemed perfect. They live near Munich with two little boys. After talking with the family via email and Skype, they officially asked me to spend a year with them as an au pair, and I agreed! I was nervous to make the decision so early (I will not leave until June 2016), I felt that it was something I should do. Although it is still a ways away, I am very excited to finally visit Germany, learn more German, and see more of the world!

Thus the plans have been made for my next big adventure. But until then, life will we filled with lots of small adventures (froyo dates with friends, a trip to San Antonio, finding cool books at Half Price Books) and not so small adventures (being a bridesmaid for my friend Holly's wedding, graduation). As the clock ticks and seasons pass, I'll post updates about the status and preparation for the future. Until then!