Hello everybody! I apologize for being a day late (yesterday was my birthday and I was too excited to be 15 to write a blog).
Me with my bday cake:) P.s. Sorry all of my pics are sideways, I don’t know how to flip them
Vacation is officially over and it’s back to school (sadly). The transition back was very smooth and it was nice to see all of my friends, French and American. Recently there have been lots of quizzes and test throughout my classes which have definitely been difficult for me. I usually just answer the questions I can but the science classes are insanely difficult because I’m bad at science anyway.
Other than the amount of tests school is going quite smoothly. Although my schedule is confusing and I accidentally skipped a class on accident (oops). A typical school day consists of about 4-6 hours of classes, walks around Chateau Gontier, and of course lots and lots of pastries.
Here is a view of “La Mayenne” with Chateau Gontier in the background
I have loved getting to know all of the students in my class and seeing how they live their everyday lives and how it differs from my life in America. There are tons of similarities but also a lot of differences, one thing that I have been noticing a lot lately is the style. The style here is a bit more colorful, also everyone wears scarves. I don’t think I’ve worn a scarf to school in years. Another thing I’ve noticed is that everyone wears bets with their jeans. I think at Bush people still wear them but definitely less. 2)
Wednesday the 24th was also my birthday! I received tons of letters from my family and a box from one of my friends containing the American foods I miss the most, most importantly Takis. I also got a few gifts from my families such as a surprise strawberry cake, some french snacks, a few French lotions and skincare items, and a gift card to a sports store (they know me too well). I am so grateful for everything I was given and to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. I thought the day was going to be a lot harder considering its the first time I’ve spent my birthday without my family, but I was truly happy with how the day went.
Hello again, its Caroline.
Since my last blog, a lot has happened. I’m mostly going to talk about the recent trip to Paris and Brittany.
Lycée Victor Hugo has been on vacation, going back to school next week, which gave me opportunities to travel to cities nearby.
For a few days, I stayed with Maud’s relative and Maud. We visited different monuments in Brittany like “Fort la Latte” and “Le Cap Fréhel.” My favorite place we visited was “Mont Saint Michel.”
It was huge and so cool. We got to see bows and canons.
A few days later, with my whole host family, we went to Paris, a 3-hour drive. We primarily went because the mother, Carole Calvé, runs marathons and the ParisMarathon2019 was being hosted.
The marathon was huge. First, we went to check in and I took these pictures. There were so many sporty stores and cool things to try. Like the 4D virtual reality on a roller coaster.
This was the route the runners took.
We visited during the time in Paris places like the Arch of Triumph and Notre-Dame Cathedral. It is crazy how much more significant places Paris has compared to Seattle. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see everything but we took an hour boat ride on the Seine river and saw many monuments and got a lot of history. I learned that the Eiffel Tower is painted brown every 7 years.
We actually saw the Cathedral one day before it started to burn. When we arrived back in Chateau-Gontier, we saw the tragedy on the news.
Thank you for reading this and I hope you take something away from this.
Well, my first blog accidentally was saved as a draft and did not post (oops!). Fortunately, I found it again so here it is!
The first couple of weeks in France have taught me so much about French culture, language and the everyday lives of those living in Chateau-Gontier. I am loving the scenery here as well as the people and experiences that I am having. The very first night, Camille’s parents welcomed me with a lovely dinner and the first full day Camille’s best friend came over and we went for a walk along the river. Right off the bat, the amount of inclusion and warmth I felt from everyone around me was so amazing, and it just goes to show the welcoming environment that I am lucky enough to be in.
Some of my favorite experiences so far have been biking along the river, visiting the farm (where Dylan is staying), exploring a few towns close to Chateau-Gontier and finding new shops and landmarks around the town. Two days ago, I found out that there is a Thursday street market in the upper section of town which was also an interesting part of my trip so far. The market has many different types of booths including one in which you can hold a rabbit and another that sells jewelry made from not just metals and gemstones but also donkey hair (very strange but also very cool!).
There are a few things that are different from Seattle that I have noticed. Dinner here is very different from the dinners I usually eat. We eat it later (at around 8:30 or 9:00) and it usually consists of either pasta or different types of salad and soup. After dinner, Camille’s Mom usually brings out a cheese plate and then after yogurts and chocolate pudding. Another thing that is really different is the school. School goes to 5:30pm all days except Wednesday in which we have a half day. There is also very little homework (about 20 minutes a week) which is super cool because it means that I am able to explore, eat pastries and hang out with Camille and her friends after school most days.
Getting to know the town and people more while beginning to improve my French skills has been amazing and I am loving everything this opportunity is bringing me so far. The beautiful buildings and river are insanely pretty and I am just so excited to see what else this experience brings me!
Four weeks in and going strong! Caroline, grace, and I are now on a two-week long spring break. On the first day of break, (Saturday the sixth) my family and I drove to the coast to see Mont Saint Michel. What a sight! We walked around a bit, ate lunch, and then headed to a family friend’s house.
Besides that excursion, it has been pretty chill. I’ve been doing my math homework, walking around the farm, and hanging out with some of Gabrielle’s friends. In general, the break has been very relaxing and nice to get a break from the new school environment.
So far everything has been very enjoyable. My French is definitely progressing which I am very glad about. It has taken a bit to get used to the meal times (about nine every night), and the school hours (8:00-5:30), but other than everything has been fairly easy to adjust to. I thought my French skills were going to be more of a problem but its a lot easier to communicate with the locals than I expected. As for my French, it’s definitely progressing although I would like to learn a bit more before I leave. My Spanish, however, is definitely getting worse. I find myself forgetting simple words and replacing them with French ones.
So far living on the farm has been very peaceful. I love being able to be around animals every day. The family owns two cats and a dog, as well as lots of pigs, cows, ducks, bunnies, chickens, a billy goat, and probably more that I’m forgetting. The landscape is also another upside, everywhere you look is another beautiful sight.
Just a normal countryside road
Me outside of Camille’s house