Hello friends, has it already been two weeks since my last post? Yikes. Life just flies by when you’re in France! Or Germany! Or Luxembourg!

Last week I took the train (three trains, actually) to visit my aunt and uncle in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, a small town nestled between forests and rolling hills not too far from the French border. It was a wonderful visit seeing them both, and my uncle took me on a day trip to Luxembourg, which was beautiful.

I will definitely post pictures and write more about it soon. But today I don’t have much energy to crack jokes or write extensively about my travels. I just learned that an Earlham student passed away in a terrible accident, and two others are in the hospital. I didn’t know these students, but my heart aches for my alma mater, and considering this is the sixth Earlham student who has passed away in four years, it truly saddens me that our small community has endured so much tragedy. I also found out a childhood friend of mine passed away last week, and sadly I was unable to attend her funeral since it was in Colorado.

These events always remind me how important it is to fill my life with love, because that is the only thing that is truly important in the end. I try the best I can to remind people how much I care for them and love them, but I know that stress or frustration or the daily grind can sometimes get in the way of this.

So, in case some days I forget to say it, I love you all. I am so very grateful for my life and so happy to be living it, and can’t believe all the wonderful people I have met throughout. All the friends and families who bade me farewell before leaving Colorado and all the new friends and families who have welcomed me in Laval will always leave an impression on me.

For the rest of the weekend I am in the company of my old host family in Nantes, who have shown me the same generosity and kindness I was met with three years ago when I first stayed with them. Life is fragile and it moves so quickly. Despite the loss and sadness though, I still find beauty in the caring and comfort that others provide for each other during these moments of tragedy. It reminds me that there is still hope and love out there for all of us.