Today I had every intention to write about my weekend in Paris, which will probably still happen after I finish this post..but it somehow felt weird not to acknowledge what happened in my home state last night, so close to my own home. I woke up this morning to check my Facebook newsfeed (as I usually do when I’m avoiding getting out of bed) and found that tornados had touched down in Mayflower and Vilonia. For those of you who aren’t as up-to-date on your Arkansas geography, my hometown of Conway is incredibly close to these two cities.
While I’m so thankful my town was not hit, that doesn’t mean I don’t know those that were affected. The amount of prayer requests and support was overwhelming to see on my newsfeed this morning. Last night I was seeing reports of bad storms across Arkansas, and after checking the radars, I determined that it would be fine and went to sleep– obviously I don’t see weather forecasting in my future anytime soon. It was an eerie feeling waking up and seeing that something so devastating came so close to home. I was relieved to know that my parents and my dog (who was probably enjoying being allowed inside) were all safe. But– it was also frustrating knowing that I am so far away and can only send my thoughts and prayers.
In our first few days at IES Abroad, we had a few discussions about adjusting to life abroad. Among the many conversations about culture shock, we also discussed life at home. We talked about the fact that just because we’re abroad, life back home doesn’t stop. It keeps on moving. And I totally grasped that concept to an extent. I was prepared for those that I know to get new jobs, graduate, move, etc. Normal life changes. But it’s the things that we don’t plan for that I didn’t know how to handle abroad (and I know that it’s always the things we don’t plan for that are the hardest to handle). The distance always seems to add another difficult element to any upsetting situation. So while I may physically be in Siena for a few more weeks, my heart is back home.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hi there! My name is Natalie Clark and I go to college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I'm an English major with Creative Writing and Gender Studies concentrations. While I love my hometown in Arkansas, I've also gotten really into traveling since starting college (as one would assume, considering the fact that I'm studying abroad) and I can't wait to explore while I'm in Italy...okay, okay...and eat a lot of pasta.</span></p>