Today is January 28 exactly five months after my arrival here, and five months from the end of my program. I feel sort of like the survival and discovery part of my year is over and now I can sit back and live the experience. Like I've hacked my way through the jungle of vines to find the perfect one-in-a-hundred orchid sitting at the base of the impossible cliff, and have transported it safely back to camp, and now I can just watch it all day long, and revel in my success. Not that I don't still have much to learn; I do! However, I think now that I can understand and make myself understood in everyday conversation (I can even have real discussions in French without the dictionary in my lap) I can focus on polishing my French. I still have five months and I want to get as much out of this linguistically as well as culturally, so I'm going to start hammering out the little common errors I know I make in almost everything I say. I also feel like I've amply explored the quotidian of french life, and now I have the time, a plush five months, to live it. Now I don't feel so on guard all the time; I'm not still just surviving. The survival part of this whole thing was adrenalin packed and fun, but I'm ready to be a bit more calm and pensive now.