Acclimation is Slow

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The french camp I'm at right now is actually kind of quaint. They went out of their way to plant trees along the walkways. Measly trees but definetly oxygen prouting sticks. There's also fun vases with painted smiley faces. Whatever was planted there before is now dead, but I appreciate the effort. It's a very stark contrast to the camp I was at for three days while waiting for a helicopter to take me to this current one. This first one was massive and had coffee shops and pxs. But, it was just concrete everywhere. Occasionally, there would be some painted unit symbols to break up the grey but overall, it was just dusty and bleak. My body starts sweating when it recalls the overall Army feel of that camp.

It did have separate female bathrooms though.

At this small french camp, i share a bathroom with the males. It's kind of nice because just close the door behind you like a female restroom and it's not problem. No urinals out in the open so I don't have to see any of that. The only struggle for me is I don't want to be an inconvenance so I try to wake up early to workout and shower before everyone else. They built a sign i can put up in front of the shower area so I can have some privacy but I don't want to make people wait on me. I think coed bathrooms could be the way of the future for the army but separate shower time is needed. Maybe I am being too girly?

I must rely on friends to send me restocks of shampoo and soap in the mail or I can simply slip a 10 dollar bill to someone who gets to visit the big camps for business and if they have time I ask: "can you please pick me up some hot cheetos and as much laundry detergent as possible". Apparently Sephora can ship to me though. I haven't tried yet but every soldier orders pre-workout and vitamins from GNC so I feel like Sephora is the same thing, just a different set of priorities. Sometimes, you just don't want to smell like the only scent at the Army PX: Old Spice Body Wash.

Needing to speak French isn't incredibly vital. Would it make things a lot more efficient? Of course! But a lot of the officers seem to be pretty fluent in English. Fun fact, I no longer believe that Frenchmen are picky about accents. It took me 30 minutes of hand gestures and discussion to realize that what they were trying to tell me was "Sean Penn is a great actor" and not "champagne is great" because apparently I am the one who needs the right accent!

I'm doing my best to learn. I bought a subscription to "news in slow french" and Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone is mind numbingly boring but I bought a 90 day subscription so I. Must. Persevere.

I didn't realize how prevalent American television and movies are though. I tried asking a lot of people what french shows I could watch assuming this would help me learn French culture and French language. Alas, everyone just named off shows I have seen in English. Watching something more that once (besides Mulan and Amelie Poulain) is very painful for me. My goal is to become more social and also to speak more French and luckily for me, every week they play a movie for everyone to view together so I want to try to go to those more. Two weeks ago was Deadpool (with french voiceover). This week I think it was The Revenant? I'm sure all three words spoken in that movie were in french.

At the end of the day though, i just need to try to speak french even if it's ugly! Also, studying is just as painful as it was in school so I need to get motivated and try to study a lot more than I've been doing here.

Wood Bridesmaid Gifts

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I am getting married! What does that mean... cute wedding planning blog posts. 

I was inspired by Pinterest of course and decided to find some quotes from my board and pick relevant ones for each girl. One of my goals for these initial boxes was to make it really personal. 

Michaels is where I got most of my supplies but luckily I already own paints. I did cheat a little and used sharpie for the words and then just painted the edge of the words to have the illusion of being completely painted by hand. 

Wood block per each bridesmaid, multiple sharpies because the wood and the paint texture eats up the ink fast, some fine tip brushes, tissue paper to wrap the gifts in later.

Wood block per each bridesmaid, multiple sharpies because the wood and the paint texture eats up the ink fast, some fine tip brushes, tissue paper to wrap the gifts in later.

The cost of all the supplies did add up to a little more than I expected but there were a lot of corners I could've taken such as smaller sized wood blocks. I thought bigger was better but in retrospect I could've gone down two sizes which would've saved me about 10 bucks per lady. That being said I am really proud of my work with the gifts.

The lettering was the hardest part and I'm glad I wrote the phrases in pencil first even though it was difficult to erase. I had to go back with a lot of white paint to paint over whatever stray marks I could.

For my final box I also included nail polish in my wedding color, cute one dollar erasers I found at walmart, and whatever random thing I thought each girl might enjoy.

Photo taken by Liz 

Photo taken by Liz