Leaving Leo

I can’t believe how quickly I got attached to my host family. I lived with them for all of 3 months and leaving felt akin to leaving my family in the States. But I’m skipping ahead, so I’ll talk about the build up first.

Language Proficiancy and Safety & Security tests passed, the end of Model School, and the end of Training all happened in the past 2 weeks.

The end of model school meant giving a final exam the students, calculating grades, and having the “end of school year” gathering where parents, students, and teachers all get together. The highest ranking students are celebrated and each class puts on some type of performance for the crowd. This year it was mostly dancing and lip syncing. It was fantastic.

I spent about 3 days repacking all my stuff into my suitcases, with the “help” of my host sisters sitting on my floor playing and touching everything.

Saturday the Host Family Appreciation took place. One parent and one trainee made a speach, we ate good food, took tons of pictures, and I looked fabulous in the outfit my family had made for me.

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Host aunt, sisters, and mother

That night I gave everyone their ‘thank you’ gifts, and the ‘thank you card.’ (Btw I wrote the card in French and they were very impressed.)

Sunday, aka the day of sadness. After my host brother and uncle moto-ed my massive amount of suitcases to the training center, my host mom managed to rally everyone together to take a family photo.

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Host family photo (plus a family friend to the far left)

My host mother and sisters came with me to the bus to say goodbye. It was a suprisingly sad occasion. I didn’t realize how quickly I got attached to my family in 3 months. My host mother hugged me, told me she would miss me, and that the family would cry all day. Both my host sisters hugged me as well and my youngest sister cried.

Honestly I shed a tear myself. I’m going to miss my host family, but I will have to make sure to visit them whenever I can.

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