I haven't been fair. Lately I've been griping about things and people I find annoying. But the fact of the matter is, I wouldn't still be here if there weren't good things and people here, too.
I've been tutoring two little girls all year, and this past Wednesday was our last session. The moms threw a going-away dinner party, complete with some other English speaking friends and another family I babysit for. The girls and I surprised everyone with our production of "Three Billy Goats Gruff" (there was a bit of trouble with my flimpsy cardboard-and-tape bridge. It kind of fell down several times). And then all the moms surprised me with a gift of their own.
They gave me three lithographs of Paris monuments, sketched by an artist named Bernard Buffet. Here's the one of Sacre Coeur:
I wish I could find a better way to describe the sketches other than that they are absolutely perfect. But that is all I can think to say. They are a perfect combination of contemporary art and ancient Paris architecture. And they are perfect because they are gifts from people who I care about, and people who care about me.
These aren't the only families who kept their eyes on me these past several months to make sure I was getting along okay. I still stay in touch with the family I lived with when I first arrived, and occasionally stop over for lunch or dinner. Another family I used to babysit for also showered me with gifts when I "retired," one which was a cookbook of traditional French dishes.
So yeah, I don't have too much to complain about. When I leave Paris, I will definitely thave some great souvenirs to remember these people by.