RU Abroad with Justin: Home for the Holidays

December was hectic. First of all, exam season. Secondly, most of the students on exchange are only here for a semester, which means it’s time to day goodbye. On top of all that, I’ve also been dealing with this broken foot, which has been a pain to say the least.

I’d now like to take a moment to thank the people that matter most to me. They know who they are, and without them I would have shrivelled up like a raisin a long time ago. If 2015 has taught me anything, it’s that nothing in this world matters more than the people you surround yourself with. I could fail all my courses, break all of my limbs, or any number of horrible things while on exchange, but it will all have been worth it to have met these fantastic people that have changed my entire outlook on life. I’m serious. It makes no difference where in the world I am, because the most influential part about this entire thing are the people I’m fortunate enough to call friends. Now I’ve probably known that this entire time, but since breaking my foot it has become abundantly clear. Long story short – I owe them all my thanks. They have my unconditional love.

IMG_7168But enough of that! Exams happened, I managed to hobble onto a plane, and now I’m home for the holidays! God, I love Canada. When first getting back there was no snow, which if I’m honest was a bit of a relief (crutches in the snow? no thanks…), but by the time Christmas rolled around I was aching for a little frostiness. My family lives in Northern Ontario, so the lack of snow carries with it an eerie realization of the physical consequences of climate change. It wasn’t until the new year that the lake finally froze over.

Seeing the family is always fun though. Both my sisters were home for christmas, and as usual my parents hosted dinner for some of the extended family. New year’s was quiet – seeing as I still can’t walk so partying was out of the question – and shortly after, the demands of the real world called my sisters back their various corners of the earth.

Tilburg doesn’t resume classes until the beginning of February, so I’ve still got a long time before I need to go back. So now that all the holiday madness has concluded what have I been doing?! Great question. School doesn’t start until February, which means that technically second semester hasn’t even finished. Thanks to mainly taking essay courses, my free time is occupied by trying to finish these essays and get them handed in on time. In addition to that, I have now started physiotherapy!

The good news is my leg’s atrophy isn’t actually that bad. My calf only decreased by 2 centimetres in diameter which is almost nothing. The bad news is, I’m still not allowed to put weight on it, and its range of motion is severely lacking. So now I sit around flexing and pointing my toes non stop while staring at computer screens trying to write essays about language and identity. Tis the season right?

IMG_7134I’m at a loss for what to say… Nothing exciting has happened since I fell out of a window. As soon as I can walk I promise I’ll have new adventures to tell you about. In the mean time… Enjoy this picture of my mother making Waffles.