Friday, April 30, 2010
“Oh today, I finally overcame
Tryin’ to fit the world inside a picture frame
Maybe I will tell you all about it
When I’m in the mood to lose my why with words
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
It brought my back to life
You’ll be with me next time I go outside
No more 3x5’s, just no more 3x5’s”
I’m in the mood to tell you about it! An I promise no more 3x5’s!!
First, I want to take a moment to thank some important people to me that have really help me in some manner or another. Thank you Oli, you’ve supported me from the indecisiveness of coming, to celebrating actually having a conversation with me in French. Je t’aime fort. Thank you mom and dad- You may not have always understood my passion for French but have always supported my studies and life goals. My friends in the states- Heather, Kyle, Janice, Geraldine, Henry … no matter where you were in the world we found a way to stay in touch!
If you remember, I had some goals before I left the states! Let’s see how I did?
From September 4, 2009 :
There are a few things I hope to accomplish or experience before the end of April:
1.) Finally be fluent in French.
2.) Make at least one lasting friendship with a French person
3.) Read 5 classic french novels
4.) See Normandy finally!
5.) Learn at least five new classic french dishes from my area!
1. Be fluent in French? Check.
2. Friends? Let’s just say that I’ve found a corner of the world I’ll always be welcome back and people that I will miss from the deepest parts of my heart.
3. Five Novels? Hmmm….
-Le Petit Nicolas à la rentrée
-Vol de Nuit
-La prochaine Fois
4. See Normandy? Well….I never did make it unfortunately however I saw a part of France that not even many French people get to visit! La Lozère!!!
5. Five dishes…
-L’aligot (mashed potatoes and la tomme)
- La truffade (see post from march)
- gratin de courgettes
- carrots a la balsamique
- frog legs!
My goals either met or not, have helped me survive the hardest days and enjoy the best this year. I don’t know what the future will bring, all I know is that this year was an incredible experience that I will never forget, ever.
Vive la France!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Here is Mme H and me on the beach. Not the best photo of us but I more took it as an "I was there" photo.
These are Mme H's boys and husband playing the water. The water was so cold, I preferred staying right where I was on the beach. :)
This is M and I before he got all cold and wet in the ocean. He's sooo a la mode with his red marine shirt! Adorable!
On the boat cruise we took, we circled this old prison off the coast of Agde. I find it interesting there are lots of prisons like this dating back off the coasts of France. I guess it was their method of dealing with criminals.
This is me below deck checking out the sea life. We saw a few schools of tiny fish but nothing too spectacular. It was more cool to see below the ocean around the prison. The sea floor is made up of nothing but rocks. Cool!
This is the port in Agde. It's one of the bigger ports along the Mediterranean.
This is me eating my first oyster. It's probably not something I'd order, but I wouldn't turn one down if it was offered. It had more of the consistency of salty, liquid jelly. Adding vinegar was delic though and I'd def do that again!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
At maisons du monde I found this napkins that were perfect for our soiree so we nabbed those up! We had our fajitas, salade, mojitos and no need for more!
Here is S and E before we dug in for some yummy food.
This is D, B and E after we had devoured the fajitas! What's next? Dessert of course!
E eying the Baba au rhum we lifted from S's parent's house at lunch. Mmmm! More rhum please!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
This is S and I sitting down to eat this wonderfully delicious meal! Merci S!!!
Then when the potatoes are almost done you add the sliced cheese on top like this and let it melt down.
When the cheese is gooey, melted you flip it over as much as you can and it should be brown like this. Wait until is gooey and brownish.
On sunday I had lunch chez M. and Mme G. M. G has lots of old cars so I had him take a picture of my on his very very old vespa. I so wanted to ride it but this was the first time it had been out this year so he couldn't verify that everything was in working order after the winter in order to drive it. I also am experimenting with my new camera and the color accent mode. Pretty cool eh?
After lunch we all went for a walk around La Garde (where they live). This little chalet was cute. It's not inhabitable but with the grey sky and trees, this was so typical lozere I couldn't resist capturing it.
Next post: Truffade!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Last night I sort of signed up on the 'market place' for exchanging magnets for le gaulois boxes. I realized that I have eaten about 480 nuggets so far. Grossss. Suddenly after signing up and marking my doubles on my map people started emailing me to exchange. It was quite wierd and then I really started to get into it. I've traded with 6 people and I expect 9 new ones to come in the mail monday or tuesday. Cool eh? I should have 38 more to go after I receive them. Mme S and Mme H have more to give me too!!! I am so close yet ...so far away! After forgetting to eat dinner and freakishly obssessing over people emailing me, I realzed this reminded me of my 'pog' days. For those of you who never had them, they were a fad in the mid nineties of little flat discs with designs on them that you played with. I never knew how to play so I just traded all the time....oh memories.
I have about 5.5 weeks left till I get home which is making me sader by the day. I remember back in the beginning how excited and nervous I was, then lonely and sad but now that things have gotten wonderful with friends, activities and work I really am going to miss everything about St. Chély d'Apcher. I relish this experience for giving me the confidence to speak in French no matter how bad I was to begin with!!! I have learn a lot from being in the hospital, to playing the french paper work game to questionable and questioning kids that I will never, ever forgot how much I've grown and succeeded on my own in France. Thank you Oli for giving me the push I needed to do this and always supporting me in every way imaginable!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
March 20th, 2010 ....
I’ve found the theme song for this year finally. I find that every year of my life there is a song that represents it or reminds me of that period of my life because it was on the radio so often. This year, it’s more the lyrics that attracted me to it as it is quite old but all the same how I felt about this year : 3x5 by John Mayer. I encourage all of you to go out and listen to it, and maybe, think of me. J
Today I’m able to sit in the courtyard where it’s not that windy and the sun is coming and going. I wish I had brought my book out to read too ! I could definitely spend forever outside on days like this.
This past week I went to Montpellier with Mme H since she had a formation on “the voice” within the classroom. I thought it would mostly be language teachers and that we would learn how to effectly teach pronunciation but alas I was wrong. It was how to get the students to effectively listen to us teachers while we are teaching. I don’t really need help on that front as my voice can carry pretty well but I could definitely see why some of the teachers were there. I spent all of Wednesday in seminar and the Thursday I told Mme H that I preferred sleeping in a little and going into town all day. On Wednesday night we decided to do a little shopping and see a movie. The movie was so funny and cute! I definitely recommend L’Arnacoeur to everyone! It was just like a normal American chick flick but in French! (this is jackpot gold for me.) Since it was St. Patrick’s Day everyone was out about in the streets and Mme H really wanted to find this pub and have a beer. I wasn’t really in the mood but I went along anyways since it was only 10 p.m. We found this brasserie and she seemed so disappointed and wanted a pub but this place was packed and I said if anything this is the place to be! We each had a pint and after that decided to head back to the hotel since she had to get up early the next day.
Thursday morning at breakfast we decided to meet up for lunch at the seminar building cause the lunch there is cheap. We took our teas in town though since it wasn’t that far to walk. I bought two more books at fnac during the morning. Vol de nuit and la prochaine fois. I am almost done with the first and I’m sure I get to the second this week. After tea I stayed and read a little while Mme H went back to her seminar. I had been looking for this used bookstore all morning and after I left I finally found it. Needless to say I spent about an hour in there (I bought la Chartreuse de Parme) after which I went on my search for the carafe d’eau that Mme M has. I had no luck on this front but I figure that I’ll find it somewhere soon. She said she got it long ago at some random cheap store so it’s got to be sold somewhere!
It was wonderful to spend some time in a city but I was glad when four thirty rolled around and Mme H and I headed back to St. Chely. I haven’t done much since because all my classes on Friday were cancelled due to an internship with the 3emes. I had a pretty relaxing weekend because no one was really around to go out which is fine with me cause I spent way too much in Montpellier!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
This a group photo. I'm in the back and Mme G is off to the right.
For the next couple of weeks I have class on friday with the 3emes at the middle school. They are working on a theatre production of love songs transformed into poems I think and Mme N asked me to help them out working on theatre techniques, pronociation and the like. I really have fun with them despite having to be there at 8 in the morning! I technically don't have to go since my hours are full but I want to and the kids I hope benefit since Mme N is the weakest english speaker of all my teachers. It's not a rag on her cause she's fluent for sure but she's also THE youngest teacher in St. Chély therefore it's logical that the others would be more fluent than her if there are degrees of fluency. I really love working with Mme N too cause she always does fun activities and I never have to prepare for them. I guess that makes me lazy but when I see a kid every other week for an hour and I have no idea what theme they are working on, it just makes it easier if the teacher gives me ideas or lessons and I can adapt them to my personality.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Here I'm blowing out my "happy birthday" candles and the 24 candles. The cake was sooo good even though M. L and I were the only ones who ate it. The others wanted my apple pie which was fine with me! Less to take home!
All in all my birthday was great! I got a manicure gift cert from Mme H, a lozère recipe book from S and E, 3 bottles of wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon, the region where I'm living (lesser known for its wines but all the same they are amazing!) among other things I'm sure i'm forgetting.
I sort of look like I'm conquering the lake but I'm not. I'm try to balance on the rocks so I don't fall in the mud. There is a spring behind me mucking all the dirty up and I really didn't want to get stuck in the mud so early on our adventure!
This is on the way up from the lake. See how it looks like a river? We had to weave and climb on this small road to make it back up the mountain and on our way to the next destination.
At the top! There were three crosses side by side at the top of this mountain. It was fairly windy but it felt nice after the little hike. Look at how blue the sky was!!!
Here is S and I on the ledge. We could have easily fallen into the gorge below but it was so much fun to feel on top of the world.
These crosses are typical of the lozère. I saw at least a dozen during the day.
Here is the opposite view from the top of the volcano. This is S's village. It's about 15 km from St. Chély.
This is about 45 degrees to the left of the other photo. Still from the top of the volcano. In the distance the snow covered mountains is the Super Lioran Resort where everyone goes skiing around here. It takes about 1.5 hours to get there because their isn't a highway there.
This was the last thing we did. I got to visit S's uncle's cow farm. Unfortunately these cows are grown to eat, not make milk so soon they will be on some french person's plate. All the same, this experience was interesting for me and also a little gross. (I won't go into details)