This semester, I was able to experience three days full of culture and fun as Latino Student Life hosted “Latino Flavor” at The University of Oklahoma. I absolutely loved this celebration of Latino culture, especially because it was celebrated in such a fun and engaging way. The week started with a llama petting zoo, which I loved because llamas are my favorite animals. I sadly couldn’t make it to the fajita bar on Tuesday, however, I did get to enjoy the Latino music and food served in the Union on Wednesday. A lot of my friends are involved in Latino Student Life here at OU, so it was fun to see what they had been working on and the different ways in which they celebrate their culture.
This semester I attended a lunch talk given by Carston Schapkow on the recent political climate in Germany, especially related to the rise of the right-wing populist party, Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD), which is currently the third-largest party in Germany and is the topic of much concerned discussion both in Germany and around the world. While the AfD began as a Eurosceptic party against the economic Eurozone, it has been more recently described as being German nationalist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and stands against the large number of immigrants that have come, and are still coming to Germany. After Angela Merkel opened Germany’s borders to welcome the wave of refugees, many native Germans became disgruntled as refugee camps sprouted throughout Germany. After the terrorist attack occurred during the Christmas market in Berlin, Germans felt vulnerable and began to look to AfD as a way to vanguard Germany’s security and stand for the voice of the “Volk” or the German people. Schapkow also pointed out that many similar populist parties are sprouting all over Europe.
Even though I was not surprised by the fact that Germany’s refugee crisis has led to anti-immigration sentiment, I was taken aback by the extent to which this has transferred into a political movement that is gaining power, not only in Germany but also all over Europe. The rise of populist parties in Europe is a testament to the fact that more Europeans are becoming dissatisfied with the incompetence of the EU and are looking to more hard-line parties and strong leaders who challenge the notion of unity and tolerance and stand for the voice of their own citizens. While I was in Germany last summer, I remember talking to many Germans (who like to talk about politics) that were dissatisfied with Merkel’s tolerant policies and found the refugees to be a nuisance to their life and their own German society. It seems as if the political climate in Europe is gradually brewing into a perfect storm, and I am eager to see how the political climate changes.
For Global Engagement Day, I attended the session entitled “Stories from Abroad.” During this session, I got to hear about personal experiences several upperclassmen in the GEF program had. These students — Jacob, Ben, and Linda are the names of the people I’ll be discussing — represented a diverse group of people who studied in very different places, and they all had amazing advice and tips to share with us.
Jacob started us off, explaining that he had spent a month in Madrid with a host family over the summer. He loved being abroad and connected a lot to his host father, who spent time with him, introduced him to the local people and his friends, and taught him how to cook a few dishes that Jacob still enjoys cooking now. His main tips were to practice the local language in the months leading up to your experience abroad if you’re planning on trying to speak the local language. Jacob advised utilizing podcasts and especially local newspapers, since that will also give us an idea of the current situation of the place we’re going to study abroad.
Jacob also reminded us how important having your passport is, citing the his story of leaving his passport in his bag in the trunk of the taxi while on the way to the airport to fly home as something specifically not to do. While Jacob managed to get everything figured out and fly home at the end of his stay in Madrid, I’m definitely taking his warning seriously and making sure to know where my passport is at all times!
The last piece of advice that Jacob gave us was that while it may be scary studying abroad, you have to trust in yourself, and that you will do a lot better than you think you will.
Next up was Ben, who had studied abroad in Germany last semester. He spent a lot of time traveling around, venturing out to see France, the Czech Republic, England, Barcelona, among other places. Ben said that student discounts on tickets, especially bus tickets, are the way to go when you are a college student abroad with limited financial means. Some of his favorite experiences though weren’t even traveling to frequently tourist-y places. He had a great time going to soccer and cricket matches, and he said that festivals, any kind of festivals, are an absolute delight!
Linda was next, and she mentioned that she spent a summer in Ireland, but the focus of her presentation was a semester she spent in Estonia. This was of particular interest to me since I am looking to spend a semester abroad in Eastern Europe. Her time in Estonia was well spent budget-wise, but she said that it was a little isolating, being so far away from her support system of family and friends. As long as we have a line of communication to someone back home though, studying abroad is definitely worth it! She also really wanted to emphasize making sure that we have our class equivalencies done before we go abroad because trying to figure everything out after the fact is just more trouble than it’s worth.
Because the language barrier was so wide for Linda in Estonia, she had find many creative ways to spend her time. She said that exploring is great, but to make sure you see your own country too. You don’t need to go across the continent to see wonderful places and meet great people.
While Linda meant for this to be a piece of advice for whatever country each of us end up visiting when we go abroad, I also felt that it could apply very well for me for Norman Oklahoma. I have not done very much exploring of the town, and it could be that, while I’m waiting to see the world, there is adventure waiting right here for me right now.
Wow, I can’t pretend it hasn’t been a while since I posted. What with classes, extracurriculars, and involvement at St. Thomas More, my life has been filled to the brim, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Since it is second semester, I have a lot to catch up on, first and foremost being Culture Night!
Before leaving for Spring Break, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Culture Night hosed by the UWC students. My friend Natalia’s roommate was performing, so myself and a few friends all went out together to watch it.
It was amazing! Walking in, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but each of the acts were unique and powerful in different ways.
My friend Natalia’s roommate Lauren performed a song from Costa Rica performed a song called Ojos Color Sol. She played her ukulele and sang, and Lauren just poured her heart out into the music. Natalia later told us that their dorm room had over and over again been filled with music over the past few weeks because Lauren had wanted to get the song just right. I don’t know Lauren very well, but I feel like I know her better after watching her perform a piece of her culture for us.
Another performance I really enjoyed was Bollywood Dancing performed by the K-Boomers. I hadn’t realized until the dance began that one of the RAs on my floor, Suchi, was a member. Seeing her dance and demonstrate her passion through the music and movement was wonderful! It was a modern take on what I had always pictured as a traditional dance style, and they covered such a diverse range of music.
Speaking of dancing and music, another student did a Japanese fisherman’s dance, and many of the international students in the audience ended up singing along to his music. Presumably most ofthem didn’t know the language, but it occurred to me that the international students have such an integrated community that they are familiar with each other’s culture. I recognized a lot of the audience members and the performers from Headington College, where I currently live as well, and I got to see a whole new side of them as they interacted with their cultures and the cultures of other nations represented.
It was powerful to witness such unity among a diverse group of people, a unity that embraced and celebrated differences. Walking out of Meachum Auditorium after Culture Night had ended, I felt like I experienced what it means to be globally engaged in a whole new way.
Winter Break was the perfect opportunity for an adventure! I set off for Marseille by myself before meeting up with a friend in Barcelona. Marseille is an absolutely gorgeous city, and I had an amazing time.
Because I took a night bus, I got into Marseille at 5:30 in the morning. It turns out very little is open, even in a train station, at 5:30 (Travel tip – the bathrooms open at 6). I had brought my breakfast with me, so I ate it there before heading out to a church that opened at 7. The sun had not risen yet, so I climbed up to the church in the dark. I was not previously aware that Marseille is a hilly city, but it certainly is. (The church being named “Notre Dame de la Montée” might should have given me a clue) I could just barely make out the sea from the entrance. The church itself was lovely and quite colorful, in a very different style than the Bordelaise churches I’ve been in. When I came out, the sun has risen, and in the early morning light I could see the sea, the city, and the mountains surrounding it, all spread out before me. It was surreal to go from the dark to the light, and oh so worth the climb.
Although it was sprinkling when I left the church, I decided I would not melt if I went to the beach. However, by the time I arrived it was nice and sunny (a welcome change from Bordeaux’s rainy winter) and I had a delightful walk around the coast. The water was bright blue and contrasted magnificently with the white and sometimes pale pink rocky coast. I couldn’t stop myself from briefly wading in the still chilly water. In addition to the beach, I visited a woodsy national park on the other side of the road and walked through a small fishing village. At the end I could have kept going, but the route got very steep and I had no water left nor any one to contact if I fell and hurt myself, so I decided that sometimes it’s okay not to be stubborn and to just enjoy what I’d already seen – which was plenty gorgeous.
After a refreshing night of sleep that was not on a bus, I was able to fit even more into one day. I visited the art museum and the history museum, both free for students. Marseille has a really long history, and I would highly recommend the history museum to learn about it. (If all malls had museums in them I might go more often). While walking around the harbor, I realized I could catch the last boat out to the Château d’If and the Frioul Islands! I had only been on a boat a couple of times before, and I had forgotten how exhilarating it is. The islands were beautiful, despite the ferocious wind that nearly blew me over. I have got to read the Count of Monte Cristo now!
Other than the coast, one of my favorite parts of Marseille was the churches I got to visit: Notre Dame de la Montée, Cathédrale la Major, and Abbaye St-Victor. They were quite distinct, both aesthetically and in their personal significance. Climbing the hill to Notre Dame de la Montée, reflecting on my life and God’s will for me, and coming out to such a marvelous view was just really joyful. Cathédrale la Major is the resting place of St. Eugène de Mazenod, a missionary Provençal-speaking bishop in the poor and rural surrounding areas. I have to admit, my very Protestant self was becoming rather uncomfortable with all the saints, and this was an encouraging reminder of why it’s good to have people filled with faith from the past to look up to. Abbaye St-Victor is the oldest church in Marseille, and it’s far simpler yet still grand. I got to sit in the chapel and pray while listening to beautiful organ music and admiring the stained glass. I am so glad I had this break to reflect on my future, what with culture shock making me question what I was doing, next year being my senior year, and my unexpected trip to the hospital (yay peanut butter) making me think about life in general. I love planning, which is very handy when traveling, but it’s even better when I get a glimpse of how God has been planning things all along.
I really love traveling by myself. The adventure, the independence, the time for reflection – it’s refreshing to my soul. Setting off down that sunny coastal highway, treating myself to the Moroccan restaurant next to my hotel (tajine and mint tea!), and daring myself to ride a ferris wheel despite my terror of heights were all moments that reminded me who I am and the boldness I want to have, even when it’s limited by culture shock or other, unrelated anxieties.
I always forget that culture shock exists and is going to impact me when I travel. I think it’s the name – I don’t go around thinking how bizarre other cultures are, so how can I be shocked by what I don’t find shocking? But name aside, culture shock is real, and it’s been somewhat different with each study abroad.
Classical culture shock starts with a honeymoon period. My general enthusiasm combined with an 18-hour overnight busride made this part less of a honeymoon, and more just my normal gladness at being in a new place, with beautiful places to explore – and a bed that was neither an airplane seat nor a bus seat.
Soon enough, the shock part set in. France didn’t seem strange – it just didn’t seem real. I could not believe that this place I was in actually existed. This led me to be somewhat less adventurous than I usually am, to prevent confrontation with what didn’t seem real. Thankfully it still didn’t stop me from doing all the things in the previous blog posts.
Just as things were starting to feel real again, I started questioning what I was doing here. Why was I subjecting myself to culture shock? Is it just a luxury without an actual work to be done? This was my decision, right? Well, maybe not.
In the process of looking to answers for these questions, I realized that one of the things that makes this trip different than my others is the lack of intensity, at least with regards to the courses. Since my identity is very much in being a good student and a diligent worker, having this significant part being less well defined and being in some ways simply not able to measure up to my French classmates is definitely an adjustment. But it’s an excellent exercise in remembering that my worth and identity is not in my work or studies.
And my adventuresome spirit came back! I have an excellent trip planned for winter break, which will appear in a later post. Also, I found an very nice library where I can read Terry Pratchett in French! I’m not allowed to check anything out, but it’s nice to just sit and read. I also joined an Arabic calligraphy group! In addition to getting to learn Diwani, a style I’ve never tried before, it’s a really fun bilingual environment. The theme is International Women’s Day.
Then, just recently, I accidently ate some peanut butter and had to go to the hospital. Don’t worry, I am completely out of danger and starting to feel better. Thankfully I was at church, and the pastor and his wife were extremely kind and made sure I got to the hospital, that my friend was with me, and that I got by a pharmacy afterwards. While it’s certainly not an enjoyable reminder of how fragile my life is, it’s true. Every day is a gift, just like adventures and languages.
So why am I here in France? I’m here because over ten years ago, God gave a little girl the desire to learn French, and he has led me all the way here. He’s the one who keeps put the adventure in my spirit and guides my steps. I can’t know how each experience will help my future, but he does, and that’s where my true identity lies. Culture shock is a process, but it’s worth it to be here.
My explorations so far have been a mix of planned and spontaneous. I haven’t yet explored past Bordeaux, but I hope to in the coming weeks. Here are some of the highlights:
Two weeks ago, Sheila and I set off to explore the river. We started off in the center of town, by the Place de la Bourse. We found a blue lion and ate delicious ice cream while waiting for the boat. The mango was super flavorful, and the fig tasted exactly like a fig newton.
The boat is part of the public transportation system, so we swiped our card just like on a bus or tram and off we went down the Garonne.
We went all the way to the end of the line, where we discovered a park with wonderful views, a lake with ducks, and a rope pyramid to climb. Sheila went all the way to the top, but I managed to get higher than expected without my usual height-induced terror.
The next day I went back myself to inspect the Monument des Girondins, which is a tribute to the the representatives from Bordeaux in the Legislative assembly during the French revolution – who were victims of the reign of terror. The statues were disassembled during World War II but later found and put back together.
What better combination is there than a park with a library? Sheila and I had a picnic in the park and then scoped out the books in the library. Definitely a place to come back to.
On the first Sunday of every month, the museums in Bordeaux are free! Yay, I love museums! I went to the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Musée d’Aquitaine (an art museum and a history museum). One of my favorite parts of the history museum was how they gave the addresses of the places where different Roman artifacts had been found, and I recognized some of the street names.
While attempting to visit a bookstore, which was closed for lunch, I missed my bus home and ended up at the Château Pape Clément, a vineyard with a park and fancy home. The park had several olive trees that are over a thousand years old and represented different eras of French history, such as Roman rule or the reign of Charlemagne. So not only did I get to see these incredibly old trees, by the time I had visited the park the bookstore had reopened. A very felicitous missed bus.
Even though the semester just started, I’m already looking at plane tickets to go to Beijing this summer or to visit Germany again. Don’t get me wrong – my semester has been going pretty well so far, and I like (almost) all of my classes. My favorite classes this semester are Immunology and German. My German teacher is an amiable British bloke whose jokes in German seem way funnier than in English, just because I can actually understand them, and so I laugh more heartily as a reward to myself and as a sign that I actually got the joke. Today in class he played a song by the famous actress Marlene Dietrich, who, along with many other artists, lived outside Germany during the Third Reich in voluntary exile in defiance and insistence that there was another Germany that existed during that time. She always had a love for the Germany of her youth, and eventually was buried in Berlin after living in Paris for most of her life.
In her deep, velvety voice, Dietrich sings metaphorically about a suitcase that she still has in Berlin (link to song here). Even though she enjoys life in Paris, Rome, and Vienna, she still has a suitcase full of the blissful times of the past waiting for her in Berlin. The song expresses a perfect nostalgia that does not necessarily neglect the happiness of the present, yet dreamily yearns to return to the past. The song was absolutely mesmerizing, and a wave of nostalgia with a tinge of sadness hit me. The first wave was for Beijing, my second home, and then the second wave was for Stuttgart, which also occupies a special place in my heart after studying abroad there last summer. I began to think about my transitory dreams to travel back and pick up the suitcases that I’ve left around the world. Some people can’t understand why I have to retrieve them, especially if I’m enjoying my life here in the USA. But Marlene understands my nostalgia, or, rather, I can understand hers. Once you’ve traveled or lived abroad, you know the places where you’ve left suitcases, and the places that will always beckon you. The more I travel, the more I leave my “luggage” around the world. Who knows which suitcase I’ll find, re-open and add more memories to this year.
I have now been in Bordeaux for two weeks, and in order to stop telling myself that I should be spending every single moment making friends or exploring this lovely city, I’m going to take a minute to look at what I have done.
Made friends: This was actually the first thing I did! Some friends of a friend of a friend were kind enough to pick me and my friend up from the station, host us for the night, and take us to the university. There, we met the third OU student at Bordeaux-Montaigne, who has been lots of fun to hang out with.
Got my apartment set up: This, along with various paperwork, was the main reason that I arrived early. Luckily for my budget, I arrived during les soldes, the yearly sales at the beginning of January. I also went to a large open-air market that gathers on Saturdays in downtown Bordeaux, which sold lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as clothes and household items. In between supermarkets and markets, I visited the gorgeous old churches nearby.
Found places I might hang out: While I have not explored far and wide, I have found some places I intend to (or already have) return to.
- The tram – while it might not be my end destination, it is an excellent way of getting around Bordeaux and I’m delighted to have gotten a pass so I can use it as much as I want.
- Bookstores – so far I’ve been to two: Mollat, which is a wonderful maze of books, and Le Fouillis du Livre, which has some cheaper used books to bulk up my collection
- The university library – is actually divided into several smaller libraries, one of which is dedicated to foreign languages
- Cafe Istanbul – the first restaurant I’ve been to in France. The owner already seems to recognize my odd, bread-less order
Enrolled in classes: This took a lot longer than I was hoping. Because of when I was able to get my account activated, I couldn’t enroll until Thursday… after classes had already started. So I went to classes on Thursday and Friday, but for the rest I had to wait till this week. Since I usually enroll for spring semester in October, this was probably the largest adjustment I’ve had to make.
Because the classes are not worth as many credit hours as at OU, I got to enroll in 8! All of my courses meet for two hours, once a week, and so far have not given me much homework. I am taking sociolinguistics, history of the Muslim west, Moroccan Arabic, contemporary Arab civilisation, French -> Arabic translation (thème), Andalusian literature, experimental phonetics, and computational linguistics. It’s a nice mix of things I could have studied at OU but get to learn in French, and things that I would not otherwise have gotten the chance to study (such as computational linguistics). It does rather mess with my brain when the teacher switches between French and Arabic in class, but I look forward to getting used to it.
Visited churches: I’ve visited two different churches and some of their activities: Pessac Baptist and Bordeaux Church (the church of the people who welcomed us to Bordeaux). Both churches, while small, have been very welcoming. It’s always so lovely to see God’s church in a new place and experience fellowship there.
Kung fu: Yep, you did read that right. I’m in a new place, I might as well try something new, right? I’ve only been once, but it was a ton of fun and I hope to return. Everyone was very patient with my complete ignorance of martial arts.
Used French: The most important thing! I have practiced French constantly (though obviously not right now), in all the places that I’ve mentioned so far. I even went to a French concert! Since I’m pretty introverted, French TV and books are excellent ways to keep practicing French while I take a refreshing pause from all the new places and people. I thoroughly appreciate Netflix’s recognizing that I am in France and giving me more French TV shows and dubs.
Even though I’ve spent plenting of time resting, I think it’s helped make my introduction to Bordeaux both productive and relaxed, and I look forward to further exploring!
So what was I doing in Switzerland yesterday? To find the cheapest flight options and to facilitate my post-Bordeaux travel plans, I flew into Zurich and then took a nice long bus ride to Bordeaux. Since I arrived in what was morning in Zurich (and technically in the USA too, if you want to call 2 AM morning), and my bus didn’t leave until 8:30 PM, I spent the day sightseeing, at least until my lack of sleep caught up with me.
My first stop was at the Kunsthaus, one of the main art museums in Zurich. The collection covered European art from quite old to modern with a special focus on Swiss artists. They also had an exhibit of 19th century French art and one on the Reformation. An excellent place to spend a few hours! It was also really fun to connect it to some of the artists whose work I’d seen in my other travels, such as Van Gogh in the Netherlands and Magritte in Belgium.
I walked through the middle of town, stopping at three different historical churches: Grossmünster, Fraumünster, and St. Peter’s. Grossmünster was largely built in the 12th and 13th centuries, and is where Ulrich ‘Huldrych’ Zwingli preached and inspired the Reformation in Zurich. There is an adjoining cloister than Zwingli converted into a school of theology. The next church, Fraumünster, was first built in the 9th century as a church and convent for primarily aristocratic women. The abbess of Fraumünster was the ceremonial ruler of Zurich, so when Katherina von Zimmern handed over the church to the leaders of the Reformation in Zurich it was highly significant for the success of the Reformation. The Bible was translated into German simultaneously at these two churches: the New Testament in one and the Old Testament in the other. A later pastor of Fraumünster retranslated it from the original Greek and Hebrew with footnotes for commentary. In the third church, St. Peter’s, there was an exhibit up about Erasmus, who apparently worked in Switzerland for a time. St. Peter’s was built on top of a Roman church and today has elements from the 9th, 10th, 13th, 15th, and 18th centuries.
I continued my walk through a park overlooking the river, where I saw a tombstone dating from when Zurich was a Celtic-Roman city called Turicum. I took a tram down to a park near Lake Zurich. It had been cloudy all day, but at this point the sun started breaking through and revealing the Alps on the far side of the lake.
While the train station may seem like a pretty basic part of the trip, it deserves special mention (and not just because I got tired and spent several hours there). The Hauptbahnhof is absolutely huge. I walked around for a while trying to figure how it worked, because it is basically a mall with trams and trains and buses scattered around. I am not generally a fan of malls, but it was very convenient to have multiple supermarkets available. I chose Migros, which seem to be everywhere in Zurich, especially in the train stations. The Hauptbahnhof even has a small chapel with prayer meetings once a day. I decided to check it out, even though it turned out to be just me and the woman in charge. It was also all in German, but I could pretty much figure out what was going on, even when I did not know exactly what she was saying. The Lord’s prayer is pretty generally recognizable, and I got enough of the poem by Bonhoeffer that she read to track it down. It was a refreshing end to a long day.
Vater unser im Himmel,
geheiligt werde dein Name;
dein Reich komme;
dein Wille geschehe,
wie im Himmel so auf Erden.
Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute.
Und vergib uns unsere Schuld,
wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern;
und führe uns nicht in Versuchung,
sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen.
Denn dein ist das Reich und die Kraft
und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit.
With every power for good to stay and guide me,
comforted and inspired beyond all fear,
I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me,
and pass, with you, into the coming year.
While all the powers of Good aid and attend us,
boldly we’ll face the future, be it what may.
At even, and at morn, God will befriend us,
and oh, most surely on each new year’s day
The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening:
the long days of our sorrow still endure.
Father, grant to the soul thou hast been chastening
that Thou hast promised—the healing and the cure.
Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving
even to the dregs of pain, at thy command,
we will not falter, thankfully receiving
all that is given by thy loving hand.
But, should it be thy will once more to release us
to life’s enjoyment and its good sunshine,
that we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us
and all our life be dedicate as thine.
To-day, let candles shed their radiant greeting:
lo, on our darkness are they not thy light,
leading us haply to our longed-for meeting?
Thou canst illumine e’en our darkest night.
When now the silence deepens for our harkening,
grant we may hear thy children’s voices raise
from all the unseen world around us darkening
their universal paean, in thy praise.
While all the powers of Good aid and attend us,
boldy we’ll face the future, be it what way.
At even, and at morn, God will befriend us,
And oh, most surely on each new year’s day!
While they do speak French in Switzerland, Zurich is in a German-speaking region. I had learned a few phrases in German before I went, and began working on creating a phrasebook for the different countries I plan to visit. In addition, I figured my Dutch would help me. While it was definitely useful in understanding things, most of the brief conversations I had went like this:
Emily: *says something basic that’s almost definitely German*
Emily: *finishes statement in Dutch*
Swiss person: *switches to English*
There were a few exceptions to this rule – once my interlocutor switched to French (because I asked for a French audio guide), once they continued in nice slow German (thank you lady of Fraumunster you were great), and once they actually were Dutch. That was a pleasant surprise, as was getting to translate the bus information for people who did not speak French.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with my time in Zurich. It’s a lovely city, and I really enjoyed the sites I got to see and learning about its art and history. The public transportation is phenomenal, and since I purchased a Zurich Card I had unlimited access to it for the time I was there. Buying food at a supermarket is so much cheaper than buying food at a restaurant, and is a lot easier given my food allergies.
I do wish I’d gotten more sleep the night before, but that’s hard to do when the “overnight” flight is just seven hours. I mean, I could have skipped dinner, but what fun would that be? I also misread the information about the Zurich Card, which only provides discounts to the museum, not free entry, so I ran out of francs pretty early. But hey, what’s travel without a few hiccups? I look forward to coming back to Zurich towards the end of my time in Europe. Stay tuned for more updates now that I have arrived in Bordeaux and met up with my roommate!