Sunday, November 27, 2011

I went to Belgium!

This post was in Draft form and never published. Haha :)

Hey everyone!! I just want to let you all know that I was in BELGIUM for 5 days. Europe is so cool. I saw Devyn Husband and Henri Leclef, two of my besties through Rotary. It was so cool to see them on the other side of the world!! I was able to visit Brussels, Mechelen, Brugge, and another town. Brugge is definately the most beautiful. It's like a fairy tale!
I ate escargot, frikadels, belgain fries, chocolate, waffles, swordfish, deer, pheasant philet, and speculoos cookies. I had such a blast!

I was going to post this a long time ago, but it looks like I started it and then forgot about it. Here is a picture when we were in Mechelen, and I'm afraid that's all I have for you because I'm tooooo lazy to type everything. ;)

I was there from the 17th of November to the 22nd, and yes I got to skip some school! =D

Love, Faith

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Did you know that they have dora the explorer here but for english instead of spanish? :P

Hello hello!
At St. Malo with Aja Corliss 
(This section below was written on 10/09/11)

It was my birthday last thursday so I could tell you all about that, but it's rather a bore. But I need to talk about something so here we go! Phewf, it kind of feels like the weekends are being mixed together and I don't really know how long I've been here anymore. My french skills are coming along and I can hold conversations alright, but mostly when the conversation is directed at me, otherwise it's sometimes too much work to listen to what everybody else is talking about. ;) 
So, my birthday.  It was a perfectly calm and peacefull day. A little sad because it made me a little home sick. (the first time). I walked into math class and on the board in big letters was "Thursday October 6th" (Jeudi 6 Octobre) and on the wall was a giant map of the world where I could plainly see how far away I was from my home.  It's strange how much more patriotic I've become. ((10/09/11)

Ok well I gave up that last day, so I'm going to try writing again now. Today is the 2nd of November. :)

I'll finish my birthday recount.  After school (6pm) I went to my room and chilled for about an hour or so. I never do homework. :P But I'm planning on changing that habit soon. My host parents said they had a surprise dinner for me, and so they took me to a place called La Pataterie, which is a potato place. It had a nice country style and I got a s plush potato to take home with me. My host family gave me some nice and useful gifts, which was very kind and then we went home.  The next day I received a package from my family which also had lots of nice gifts and awesome letters.

Next is the update that I wrote in my journal written on October 17:

Let's see if I can recall the events of the last seven days. Monday, school. Tuesday, school. Wednesday after school Manon came to my house for lunch where we ate curry. :) Then my host mom took us to Mayenne to shop.  I had to get a bank account, cell phone and some shoes, which I accomplished in getting all three.  Manon also needed to get some shoes and a cell phone.  You wouldn't believe how good the shopping sis here. Everybody dresses so nice here because it's so easy to find nice things. I bought the cheapest phone there was, it looks like a small black fridge, but it is nice enough. :) The plan is what really mattered. I have unlimited texting while calls cost 26 cents a minute. In total each month I only have to pay 8 euros. Also on that trip Manon and I decided to make a medly of songs and add our own lyrics to them for Rotary.  We'll see if we accomplish that at some point in the future. :)  So thursday, there was nothing other than news that my traveling plans didn't work out and that they had been changed to going to the coast for a day to see Aja Corliss, my bestie from Northbend, Washington who is in the north of France.  Friday I scheduled an appointment with Mr. Brouiller to be moved to premier or terminal. Saturday my host mom and I picked up Naz and Manon and we went to a cheese factory. I love Camembert cheese. :)  
After this they came to my house and ate a snack and Manon organized my clothes into outfits for me, because I have absolutely no desire? to do that. (I have the word in french but I can't think of the right word in english at the moment.) After this I went to Manon's house. Gabby came and we ate dinner and talked for awhile until Gabby had to leave.  I also forgot to mention that I worked out for the first time in a long time that morning and so I was so sore for the rest of the weekend.  I wish I could go running! (I just bought some new running shoes)  Sunday was the best.  Manon's host dad is so cool! He told me that I could stay past noon without a problem, which normally my host mom would have come to get me at like 11 in the morning because Sunday's are family days normally.  But it was alright and I stayed for the day. :) He even took us on a boat down the river! It was the best Sunday. It was beautiful weather and the river was beautiful as well. We went through the barrage also which was like the locks in Seattle but we operated it ourselves! There was a park upriver and we hopped out for about 10 minutes and just layed in the grass, while waited for her host dad to come back.  After getting back on the boat and going some ways down the river I finally took my shoes off and put them in the water. I sat at the head of the boat like "Helen" with Manon's host dog next to me and sang Just Around the Riverbend from Pocahontas.

I love boats :)
Then at 6 my host family came and took me to the cinema with them where we watched the film "The Artist" where there was a lot of English involved and not much speaking in general. It was a great movie. So that was my week and weekend, now I should continue my writings in french. - Faith :  Written in History class at school.

The next update that I wrote in my journal was from the 21st of October:

Some good news! I'm going to be changing classes after the vacance! I am going to choose Terminal ES1, which is the Economy based group.  I have lots of friend already in that class and I think it will be really funny and nice.  :) The class that I was in (seconde) was really nice and I loved all of my classmates but I'm glad to be moving and meeting new people. I can't wait! Mr. Bouiller gave me the choice of what I wanted in classes and so I have less hours of school now. Yay! Haha, I am so lazy. ;) I chose Terminal because they have a Ball at the end of the year, and I really want to go to one classy French dance.  :) I have other reasons, but that was the main one. ;) -Faith

So today is Wednesday the Second of November and the last day of the first school vacation. Tomorrow I meet my new class at school and I'm a little bit nervous!! I already have friends there, and my french is a lot better, but I am still a bit scared. :)  Things will turn out great though, I know.

I'm going to try and quickly recap these last two weeks of vacation.  I can't really remember the beginning. ;) But I'm pretty sure that it was just chilling at the house or going into town.  I know that one of the days my host mom and host sister and I went to visit a castle and see the beginning of a hunt. They had the bloodhounds, or beagles or whatever they were and everything. It was really quite interesting.
Another day I went to visit my second host family who are really really super nice. They live in the country in a nice cozy house with a big fire place and kitchen, and my host sister to be showed me my room which is so nice and girly. (It will be a good change.) But before that my host mom and I were in another cute village and as we were walking down the street I saw peanut butter in a store window and went inside and bought it. So now I know where to buy peanut butter in France!! It was a sketchy little shop, but peanut butter is peanut butter. :) That day I also tried Mcdonalds here in France for the first time. It's really not very different.
Another day I was invited by my friend Alena from Australia to go to Le Mans which is a bigger city and good for shopping.  Naz and Alena's host mom and sister were also there for the trip.  The Cathedral there was amazingly beautiful! And there were cobblestone streets and amazing views all over the place.
Amazing view 
I love being invited to go places. It is so nice!!

The next day that I'm going to talk about was probably the best day of this vacation.
My host mom drove me to the coast to visit a friend from America. We were early and so my host mom took me to a really beautiful village by the sea where we went on a path on a cliff side. It was so beautiful in the morning!

Somebody wrote this on the beach and I thought it was funny.

The Great wall of China (St. Malo)

Copying the statue in the distance

 We went to Aja's host grandparents house for lunch, where Aja and her host mom were staying for a couple days for vacation.  We had sea food which was so fitting for the occasion of being at the sea. :)  After this Aja and I crossed the street and went down a small alley way until we were on this paved walkway just in front of the ocean.  We went down some stairs and onto the sand.  It was a blast running around barefoot, writing things in the sand and taking a bunch of photos. After this our host moms came and we went for a walk on what Aja and I called the Great Wall of China, but really it was just a rampart of St. Malo. It was so beautiful! As it got later the ocean kept creeping up towards the edge. We walked along the entire side of the rampart until we got to the commercial area of the city. From the rampart Aja and I spyed an ice cream shop and then wanted to get some ice cream the whole time we were walking around the shops.  Finally at the end we found that ice cream shop and ate some delicious ice cream. :) It was well worth the search.  By the time we finished going through the shops and finally buying and eating our icecream we walked back to the house. It was dark by then and time for my host mom and I to leave.  It was really a great day. I wish that I could have stayed longer.

The next Friday I went back to Le mans with my host mom, Manon, and my host sister and her friend. After shopping and spending too much money we went to a swimming pool! It was so GOOD to go swimming again. I wish I could go all the time. :) It was really an awesome day.

Then on Saturday I was invited by some friends from school to their house where I ate something new. It was called Fondue de Bourgouine, or something like that. There was this pot of hot oil in the middle of the table and everyone has little pieces of beef on their plate that they skewer with a metal thing and put it in the pot to cook. We had french fries and green beans and bread along with that. It was really good! Then they showed me around the house, and I showed them videos of my mom's dog business on the computer. After awhile the sister Marine had horse back riding lessons and so I was able to go with them and see a Stable there! It was so awesome! I helped with preparing the horse before riding, brushing the horse and cleaning it's hoofs and putting on the saddle.  Later I left and went home to pack my suitcase because I was invited by a family of Rotary named The Rivals. They have two sons, Thomas and Nicolas who are 9 and 7. I arrived there on Saturday night and ate dinner with them. They had their best friends there who were visiting from Nantes as well. They had two girls, Clara and Ariane. I forgot to mention that they had a big WELCOME sign and two flags, american and french, that the kids had drawn hanging on the staircase in the entry way of the house for when I arrived. They were so nice! The kids were so cute! And it was so good for me to talk and learn with the kids.
Bizzare museum 

Holding up the statue in the distance

Clara copying the fish in the pond

Delicious pizza at an Italian restaurant 


The forest

Each day that I was there we went on some sort of outing.  We went to an outdoor museum one day and saw tons of weird statues that were so interesting! The artist who created them was either crazy or just had a huge imagination. That night we went to an Italian pizza restaurant. It was so good!!  The next day we went for a walk in the forest. It is all so beautiful here! And it feels like it never rains when I'm outside. I feel really lucky! We also went to a zoo one of those days that I was there. I have never been to a zoo so it was so cool!! I fed a peanut to a monkey!! I saw so many cool things. It was a great time. I spent three days with that them. They have a really nice family and I was invited back for a week of Christmas vacation as well.

So today was my day of catching up on the little things that I needed to get done, and I'm glad to say that I did finish quite a bit of them. Time to sleep. School tomorrow. I love you all and am so glad that you are reading this. :) Sorry I'm a bit slow in updating. There should be some videos sometime soon! I got an editing app on my ipod. :) Anyways, chow.
-Faith Stoneman

p.s. Please disregard the spelling errors and poor english. ;)