Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Another great week,,.or two? :)

Another amazing weekend!!! It's already wednesday but I need to tell you about it before I forget everthing that happened. 

To begin I will make the format simple:

I found out i could hike in high heels last friday. Apparently the week before in my Physics/chemistry class we were told to wear good hiking shoes and warm clothes but I was either half asleep or just didn't comprehend what was being said. So we had a field trip to the outskirts of Laval where there's a little forest and we did some hiking and looking at dirt and leaves.  It wasn't so bad because of the heels, only that it was morning and the dew on the grass was freezing cold! ;) But I made it alive without losing any toes to frostbite, and I even broadened my array of friends, because of the random people who kept asking if I was doing alright. It was easy to joke around then and make people laugh. Someone once told me that nobody can dislike somebody that can make them laugh.
After school I headed home, and after a couple hours my host mom brought me back into town to spend the night at Manon's house because we had an early day the next day and I live in Bonchamp, not Laval.  So we went out and the mini carnival is still there and so we rode the bumper cars and it was actually quite fun! A little painful, but quite worth it. After that we went to look at the movie theater, then, quite impulsively, we bought some indecently expensive tickets and went to watch a horror movie.  It wasn't so bad, other than everybody died in terrible ways. But the good thing was that I could understand it. I caught some jokes here and there, but really, in a horror movie, you don't really need too many words. :P 
The next morning...

Naz came by in the morning while Manon and I were making our insanely American breakfast. (It was good to eat something more than wheat in the morning.) We were then all taken to a vineyard and we helped cut the grapes of the vines and put them in buckets and then sort them on these grand tables all the while tasting one grape to see if it was sour and then chucking it at someone or the trees if it was.
That was extremely fun. :)
Next, we finished and all left to a big barbeque. It wasn't the same of course, there weren't any buns or hamburgers. It was this Ricoti chicken stuff and some kind of hot dog, but it was more, how to say, real?  The bread that we ate them with was like a baguette but more flat.  Also, there was a lot of Camembert cheese which is my favorite, and also a lot of wine. 
Cheese and Wine really isn't a stereotype ;)
So we finished there and left to explore an old catholic church *while searching for a bathroom* and then went back to Laval, singing all the way to the radio. :) 

I was taken to the president of my other  host clubs house where I would stay the night because I had another early morning for sunday.  The president is actually the only women member in the club.  And she is so nice!  Her apartment is also beautiful. Its on the top story and has a balcony that has an amazing view of Laval's castle and an old church, as well as the Mayenne river.  I had my own room.  She gave me all the time I wanted to take a shower, and even let me use this really fancy hair dryer/curler. :) Then she took me shopping and showed me all of the really chic et raffiné shops around town.  We looked for some fancy shoes but the whole trip I only ended up getting a free perfume sample from Sephora, which is now my favorite. :)  Afterwards we left to go to a Handball match where her niece was playing. It is quite a different sport, you'll have to look it up.  There was also a basketball game right next door so I was able to go watch that as well. French people in my city really get worked up over basketball while they're in the stands. Shouting and all. 
I was invited by Madame President's niece to go running with her and maybe even to some handball practices so I could learn how to play. 
It was really late when we returned home, so I went straight to bed. After having some orange juice for dinner of course. :)

I forgot to say that I was on a can too! :)
The next day we picked up Manon (I forgot to say that I invited her the day before to come, even though she's not in that club with me) and headed off to Laval.  There was a big event that my host club was setting up.  There were two races in Mayenne that day. A bike race, and a running race.  We helped set up, and left to go see the beginnings of both of the races.  For the running race, it so happened that there was a young man from Chicago who was running, and so while he ran by the man with the microphone handed it to me and I got to cheer for him in English.  That was a blast. :)

We helped at our little stand for awhile. It was a game with a lot of cans with the pictures of the rotary members on them, and people threw tennis balls at them to try to knock them all off the table. There weren't any prizes and it cost 1 euro for three balls, but still a lot of people played. I was amazing, and felt a little bad watching the kids leave without any candy or anything.

After that there was a pik nik. (I forgot to mention that from the very morning they had two pigs roasting over two spits.  That was a first to see. But it was really great there. We were introduced to an American woman who lives in Mayenne now whose married to a Latino, and she invited us over for some mexican food! A taste of home. haha :)

The chef was nice too :)
After we ate the pig and some other things we piled in the car and slept all the way home. Or at least I did. 

It was an amazing weekend. :)  Then school early monday. And I'm going to write quickly because there were some cool things that happened. First there was another field trip, but for PE, which was much more fun, and then after school I had a doctors appointment. Doctor's appointments are so much nicer here! It makes me want to practice here, when I'm old. I found out my weight and height in kilometers and kilos, and it turns out that when we converted it back to pounds, I have actually lost quite a bit of weight. Which is really strange..  Then right away after practice we went to the basketball courts and I was able to practice with the team I had talked about before! They are all so nice!  I practiced with them again today, and then will again on friday. It is SO good to have an activity! I love it. :)  I'm still searching for a Christian church too. But since God has answered that prayer, I think this one is next. :))

Also yesterday, Tuesday, a lot of teachers were on strike, so I didn't have to start school until 10am, and then I only had two classes the whole day because all of the teachers were gone. :) 

Well that's all for now folks! Starting to miss old Yak Town, but I'm fairing alright here. (I just finished reading this really strange/interesting book so I think I'm typing differently.)  ;)



P.S.  I really miss hugs.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


How are you? Well, Here I'm doing great. Another week of school down and I am now fully submerged into my class.  I belong to two different groups of girls and even with the guys (since they are all one group). 
Also new news! There is another exchange student in my class. He's from Ireland and his name is Emmett. He doesn't talk much, and when he speaks french it's a little bit funny, and also when he speaks English. ;) But nahh, I'm just glad that I'm not the only exchange student in this gigantic school!

In other news, I have decided that I am going to be really good with french in a months more time because I'm a bit tired of not understanding things.  :) I think I can do it.! :)

So that was pretty much my whole week, going to school and then coming home and some of the days playing basketball outside with Constantin.  But friday my friend Naz invited me to a concert! I was so glad. The concert was really cool! The first group was a really strange group of four old men who resemble Einstein or Beethoven with their hair the way it was, but whose music was nice to listen too, just a bit funny to watch. ;)  The next group was a band called Archimède who i really liked! They sound exactly like an American band whose name I've forgotten, but in french. It was cool. :)  After the concert Naz spent the night at my house and then today we went a visited a castle! This weekend castles all over France are apparently open to be toured by the commonly type. The castle we visited was called Castle of Plessis-Bourre. It was so beautiful! I want to live in a Castle! We actually talked to the lady who lived in the castle.

 After we visited the castle and drove to look at another we went home and ate dinner, and then went to a basketball game where Constantin plays.  The game was really rough and it was a tie at the end so they played another 10 minutes and they still ended up with a tie. Then they played another 10 minutes and finally our team Laval won. :) I love basketball. It is almost the same as in the US.

 It was an awesome day today. :) I love weekends. And well, I better get some sleep. I don't know what i'm doing tomorrow.

Love, Faith

Sunday, September 11, 2011

School and other things

Naz :)
Hey again!

Sorry that it's taken about another week for me to update. I didn't want to write anything with the way things were.  Monday I started school and it was seriously tough. Not the classes or the teachers because they were all super nice, but the inability to understand and speak my mind drove me to tears.  Each day that week I came home completely exhausted and collapsed on my bed and let myself cry after holding it in all day long.  Friday, however, was so much better.  I started the day with the poor outlook of another miserable eight hour wait, but after the first period I started to feel better, and soon I was back to my old self again and was able to talk more and have a good time. I've been invited to go shopping Monday after school, and on Wednesday again to someones house and then shopping or something. I love it! I just wish my host family gave me a bit more freedom, because I don't have much.

The street of my school
and my third host family:)

Last night I had the best time with the other exchange students and their host siblings and friends at one of their houses. Then I had a sleep over at Naz's house (she's from turkey) afterwards.  Oh and before that we went to a Turkish restaurant where Naz talked to the people there! It was really cool, and Kebobs are really good. :)

Today I went to the local gymnasium and watched girls my age play basketball! My host mom and I talked to the coach who said I could play with them! I met one of the girls on the team too, she was so nice! And they won their game also, they're really good. :) I'm so glad to be doing something extracurricular!
There are some details that need to be worked out for me to do this.  But I will get what I want with this.  Phewf, it's so hard to get what I want(need ;)) over here. Everything is difficult. But I think things are getting better.  :)

So I love France. I can't stop saying how beautiful it is.

Love, Faith

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Rotary District Conference

This is the group of Inbounds in front of the Pool(s)
Dis donc! I'm here again letting you know about how things are going here in France.  I hope wherever you are, you are doing great and I'm glad that your reading my blog. :)

Today I woke up early and ate a croissant with nutella for breakfast. mmmm.  Then my host mom and I left for Rennes, where we met up with all of the Rotary Youth Exchange Peoples of District 1650.  We gathered and talked and then us "Inbounds" left for the swimming pool.  I wish I had a better picture of it, because it was quite different. The boys weren't allowed to swim because they had swim shorts which were considered "unclean" to swim in the pool with.   And another cool thing was, right outside the swimming pool there was a type of miniature zoo, or something.  But there was a pond with ducks, and then a little forest beyond that with a different type of deer.  They were quite beautiful. :) 

Kind of distant

Alors, when we returned we listened to some rules, introduced ourselves and then ate lunch, which was canard (duck) avec steak frites (french fries.)  Which by the way was my first time eating french fries in France. ;)  After eating we went outside and took some group photo's and said our good bye's.
I love my district.

Upon returning home, it was time for my oldest host sister Domitille to leave to Nantes for University. So I hopped in the car with her so that I could speak as much English as possible before my language would be restricted to French forever. ;)  It was sad, I really like Domitille.  She will be back to visit in a couple weeks though.  Tomorrow Aster leaves for boarding school too, and so it will only be my brother Constantin who will still live at home. 

Tomorrow school starts!  I found out today that all of the other exchange students that are in my city will be in one school and that I am the only one who will have to fend for myself in a totally different school. Theirs is supposed to be really easy and mine is supposed to be really strict and tough. Oh joy. ;)  But I am excited to go and try something new, and I think that it is for the better that I'm by myself. That way I can make all new friends and speak more french.  And I have God with me, so everything cool. ;)
I met my third host family at the rotary event today as well. They seem really really nice and cool, and they live right across from my school, so I can go there when school get's out when I want to. :)  Everything is turning out great! I'm so glad. 

Oh and I was given the key to the house today! With a cute tiger key chain.  And I was put through a tutorial of how to open and lock the front door since it's a little bit broken.

It has already been 10 days here and I already feel like I belong.

Well, until next time! :)

Love, Faith

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bonjour encore!

Yet again another beautiful day in France. I went running today with my host sisters riding on their bikes next to me.  We had to cross this crazy french highway and had to wait forever to be able to.  It kind of is true about the crazy driving here.  I see a lot of motorcycles, the crotch rocket kind, and I really want one more than ever!  There are barely any police (that I see) and they race so fast.

So later we went to a community center type of event where there were a bunch of people with booths, and a bunch of parents running around signing up their kids for activities.  I found a brochure about basketball in my town and hopefully I will be able to play. Then after that we drove to a nearby town where I met my "host grandparents." They were really nice and very short, ha ha. :)  They have a gorgeous house and a really big lawn with a ton of trees. There is a garden house and also they have three or so different types of apple trees.  We talked for awhile, and then grandpa brought out game for us to play. It was bocce-ball! My grandparents at home have this game and so I knew already how to play.  It was so cool! Here at the grandparents house they even had their own private court to play on.
 The teams were the young against the older.  We lost. ;(  Hahaha.  So afterwards we ate some crepes for a snack and then left for home.  The break has been really nice, but I am ready for things to start happening.  Tomorrow there is going to be the Rotary event which should be fun! And then school the day after! Woo! Pray for me!

Love, Faith

Friday, September 2, 2011

Aster and I
Allo again!

Woo!  I'm day number two with updating. :) I think I'll try for everyday so I only have to write a little bit. ;)  Well today was a very calm day. Straight away when I woke up I had to hurry to get dressed as we went to the grocery store which we walked to. We bought some ingredients to make some chocolate chip cookies and puppy chow.  So later I made the puppy chow. They liked it a lot I think. :)  I thought of some things that I should have brought with me:  Marshmellows and graham crackers and more peanut butter. Maybe one of you reading this can send me them? You know who you are.  Oh and maybe Chex Mix too? I used corn flakes since they don't have anything like chex mix.  And it still turned out yummy. :)  Well another great day in France.  And only two more days till School starts! Wooo, wish me luck!

Love, Faith

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Life in France so Far

I tried making a video, i was going to try and edit it more to take out the useless stuff, but it was taking too long so i'm okay with this. :) This is the beginning of the trip, the airplanes and such. :)

Well I arrived here in France last week, it has already been a week!!!  For the first couple of days i didn't have internet so I wasn't able to create any posts for my blog, and for the other times I was just lazy.  But I have been journaling so I will go back and look at what I wrote for those days for you.  Maybe more videos will be coming also, if i can figure out how to make them cool. ;)

-Okay let's start at my arrival.  I did not have jet lag at all. I traveled with about 20 people all the way here and all the way to my city so I never felt lost or scared at all.  It was nice, but for me, secretly I might have liked it to be a bit more adventurous. ;)  So from Paris the lot of us of District 1650 hopped on a charter bus and went to our cities.  My stop was first so I was able to say goodbye to everybody. I will see them all again on Sunday. We're going swimming in Rennes. :) WOO! My favorite.  Anyways, my family picked me up from where the bus stopped and we drove home and my host sister showed me around the house.  Then we had a little appetizer dinner outside where they had gathered some different foods which they thought I wouldn't know, I was familiar with all, they just had different brand names. :)  Then for dinner we had something to do with cheese, vegtables and bread. Domitille my host sister made everything including the chocolate mousse dessert which was called Charlotte. :) After dinner we played a board game called "Knack-Knick" which was almost exactly like the game "Sorry" that we played all the time at my grandparents house. Alors, overall the first day was great. :)                p.s.  I didn't know I could speak french, but apparently I can a little bit. :)

A head in the ground

Some birdies

An overlook of my city Laval

-The next day, August 25, 2011, my host mom and sister took me to Jardin Public de la Perrine, which was a beautiful park that had animals and carousels and lot's of trees. and there was even a random fake head in the ground. .. ;)

- The next day I went to check out my school with my host mom. It totally looks everything like it would in the movies. And it's supposedly strict. :0  I start school on monday so we will see how it goes.

- The other days that have passed we haven't done much, mostly go shopping or tour around Laval.

-Today which is the first of September, I went with my host sister to a friends house who will be going to my school and they kind of live near so we walked there. They were two sisters and they were really nice. :) Maybe i will ride the bus with them to school.  We ate some crepes with Nutella inside of them, it was sooo good. :) And for dinner tonight we also had something delicious, it was called a Tart, but it was more like a pizza. :) Haha it had green, red and yellow peppers and lots of cheese. And for dessert we ate something called Fromage blanc, which translated is white cheese, and it had the consistency of yogurt, but we put jam in it and mixed it up and it was also really good. :)  I also played basketball with my host brother after dinner, who taught me a really cool spinning trick for shooting better. I hope that I can join a team here!

Well once again, it is late. And perhaps I will write again soon. :)  Hope you enjoy the little bit that I can give you at the moment. :)

Love, Faith