This is what an immigrant looks like, grinning from ear to ear and full of wide-eyed wonder and hope, having just set foot in the country she has longed for from afar for so very long.
That was me back in 2009, at the start of my year abroad. The 19th of March 2009 will forever be a day engraved in my memory.
It was the day I was first woken by the bells of L’Eglise des Templiers, the day I took my first steps as an English Language Assistant in Esquièze School, the day I began my life here in the Pyrenees.
We visited the school, we went to Lourdes, I drove in the gorges for the first time. My Pa was with me every step of the way, getting me ready for the inevitable separation, which at the time was heartbreaking.
Apart from the smiling face, I can hardly recognise myself in that photo above, hardly believe I had the courage, aged only 21, to take the plunge and start up life abroad. As I think back to my first few weeks out here, it is wonderful to realise just how far I have come, how much I have grown and learnt during my time here. And how attached I have become to this place.
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