Surprisingly, I was ready to return home. After staying in France for so long, I began to feel like a nomad because every day was a long adventure. I was constantly moving, and as a result, I was always exhausted. I enjoyed every minute of the program, but my body was just tired of staying out all day on my feet. We woke up around seven to get ready and eat breakfast; walked to the subway; got off of the subway to take the bus; and walked to the school. We stayed at the school for lecture until about 1pm and went on a field trip for the rest of the day. After the field trip, we had time to eat dinner and get back to our room to get ready for the next day. Each exciting day required all of my energy because I wanted to get the best experience.

My primary goal was to learn a quality amount about different sectors of agriculture, culture, food in France, and compare it to what I know back home. I had the privilege of learning a brief amount of information on poultry, product distribution, history of France, health regulations, government involvement, wine tasting, food labeling, swine industry, cattle farms, organic farming, waste management, and independent farming. When I go to the store, I actually pay attention to the labels on food, if there are sinks behind counters in markets, the condition of the cows when I pass by, and amount of time I spend in a restaurant. We are able to sit and enjoy our food for hours in France at restaurants, whereas in the United States, they sit you down and are rushing you so that you can get up and they can make more money. It makes me wonder how so many restaurants are still open in France due to the relaxed and non-rushed atmosphere. There were also many farmers such as the olive farmer who grew olives and created products out of the olives and did what he did because he loved what he did and cared about the well-being of the consumers. Unfortunately, the farmers did not make a fair profit from their hard work. They inspired me to not give on my science based career if it is hard because as long as I love what I am doing and helping others, it will be beneficial and will make my heart content. I could take everything I learned in France, and share it with Americans; it may help our country prosper efficiently. I could even adopt agriculture practices for my personal garden or safety practices for the health of my family and friends.

When I arrived at the airport, my friend picked me up, squeezed me tight, and was smiling from ear to ear. I was happy to see my friend too, but the only thing that I was thinking in my head was that another person was actually speaking to me fluently in English. It took time for me to realize that I was back in the United States because I was still using French phrases when I inside of stores or restaurants. I shared my journey and war stories with my friends and family, and my friend were encouraged to go on a study abroad next semester. When people began to talk to me, I had already put my thinking face on so that I could be ready to translate and respond back in French, and I realized the people around me were speaking English now. It made me laugh at myself in my head. After returning home, my taste buds had become accustomed to French cuisines, and I rarely had a craving for an American dish. My American tongue is slowly growing back, but I will never forget the great French flavors. Although I am home, I am craving for a new adventure in another country on a new study abroad program.

In conclusion, I will miss the beautiful walks on the streets. The sidewalks were the streets, and the streets were the sidewalks. There was no specific area to walk and there was not one direction to walk or look. We had the opportunity of walking through the streets and learning the history of Toulouse. I will miss be able to look up at a building and being able to know it history, feelings, meaning, and inhabitants. It was a beautiful feeling to look at a building and not just say it`s pretty, but I understand why this building is standing so elegantly strong. I will return!

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