Sunday, January 29, 2012

I have found the perfect church! It is located just two minutes down the road from my house. :D I went for the first time to a Protestant church since being here, and it is good to hear my beleifs and feel the same kind of love from different people.
During the service we sang songs and prayed and listened to the pastor and had communion. The service was on Jesus' teachings in Mathew, and on how he called us (christians) to be different from others in the world, and to accept that and be humble. To allow Jesus to be in every part of our life every day of the week and not just Sunday. I also sang in english to some of the songs since they had the same songs in French! 

Immediately afterwards the lady sitting next to me started talking to me right away, and the pastor came over soon after that. Then I was introduced to the other young people. There was an English girl and a Chinese girl there.  I was invited to a gallette des rois lunch right afterwards, but had to get home for lunch with my host family who were worrying about me being late.(My host mom came searching for me 20 minutes after the service was supposed to end, because she was scared that the church was some type of a cult.) I was invited for lunch at the pastor’s house the next Sunday with all of the young people. Everyone is so nice! Aha! To those people who told me I wouldn’t be able to make friends at church in France. I felt the same atmosphere in the church that I would feel in my own church at home. It was so…welcoming. 

Later I went to Le Refuge de l’Arche again, which is the zoo, with Florence and Paul Victor.
They still have cute baby monkeys. It was a very great Sunday. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hello everyone! I haven’t written since just before Christmas, so I’ll just give you all the quick info that I’ve written in my journal but not typed up for my blog. I've been in France for 5 months now! Time flies.

December 18 2011 :

Almost 2012! So on the 16th I went to my class party. I don’t like French parties that much, they don’t know how to have fun. :P But I had to go to integrate in with the kids in my class their way.  It was pretty interesting though! I dressed up as a hill billy, and my host brother Constantin was dressed as my grandmother. Neither of our costumes were very flattering, and we found out later at the party that we should have dressed more “cool.” :P 
Aster and I on top of the beautiful tower!
Today we went to a retirement home to visit the grandpa who is dying.  We also took a little drive to profit from the sun and climbed a tower which was located on the highest spot in the Mayenne. And we saw snow there! We had a little snowball fight and and then went back to the retirement home. The sun was so beautiful, and the view from the top of that tour so gorgeous, I could have stayed there forever.  Later we went to some cousins house and drank hot chocolate and ate brioche. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I went to Paris! I saw the Eiffel Tower, the arch of triumph, Moulin Rouge, and more! It was like a speed tour. We ate churros and paninis. I was with my host mom and Aster. It was so nice of them to take me. Tomorrow I’m going back to the Rivals.
Next time I will climb to the top ;)
Monday, January 2, 2012
Happy new year!
I’ll start off with the things that I’ve not been writing down. Going to the Rivals on the 23rd was great. It was just hanging out and eating crepes. J Then the 25th of course being Christmas, we opened presents. The way that you do this in France is as follows: The night before you put your shoes in the living room and then the next day you will find an orange inside, and a bunch of presents piled up next to them. Christmas morning we opened presents. The youngest goes first and opens all of their presents before the next in age opens theirs, and so on.  I was second. I received so many more presents than I should have. So many chocolates and socks and books (The Hunger Games, that I read in the two days afterwards) and best of all, a picture album made by my host mom with all of the pictures of the time that I was at their house. Let me tell you, a lot changes in 4 months.  

It was a great Christmas and my heart wasn’t homesick at all! The next days that followed we all went to the coast in the region of Brittany. I met more of their family and we took walks along the beach and I collected some small sea shells and learned sea language in French. ( not sailor language ;)) The whole vacation was just relaxing and not doing much. It was good. Then on Saturday it was new years and I went to a party with Manon. It was a masquerade ball and I wore my pink dress that my mom made me pack to France. (Thankfully, it’s perfect for every occasion) It was cool. 
Bal Masque

Not getting too fat eh? ;)

There were 25 people, and nobody was drunk and we danced and ate and screamed Bonne Année at midnight and then went to sleep at 4. The next day I was picked up, and we were taken directly to the grandparents house for lunch. We were there until seven at night. I did take a nap after lunch though so it wasn’t so long. The grandparents are so nice! And invited me back. Also today I watched the movie “Inception” It totally interested me because it’s about the brain and dreams and stuff. Totally unrealistic movie, but yet so brilliant! If you haven’t seen it, you need to. J
School starts back up tomorrow, not looking forward to it! :P

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Today is my last day with the Boitieres. It has been a great 4 months with them. They have done so much for me. 

On the coast

Also on Sunday I’m going to meet the Mayor with my new host family.
9 months today*

Sunday January 15, 2012

I’ve been with this host family for a week now and it is so great living here! I’m terribly afraid of getting fat now because of the unlimited supply of junk food and chocolate and literally whatever else that I want to eat. The family consists of mother Florence; father John-Pierre; 3-year-old son Paul-Victor, and 5-month-old baby Camille. They are a young family. :D Also there is a Canadian girl here who is the au pair, to help with the children since Florence and J-P work everyday. Also, Paul Victor, the little boy, speaks both French and English and a lot of the time a mixture of the two. Florence has been speaking English to him since he was a baby. We went to Angers (ahnjhay) today to do some shopping since it is the season of the sales. Almost all stores have sales in January. I didn’t buy anything though, since I’m having troubles getting my cards to work. Aftwerwards we went grocery shopping when we got back to Laval. Florence told me I could get whatever I wanted. Yummy!

Monday January 16, 2012

Another cool thing about this family, I’m allowed to run! Woot Woot! I have about three different running routes, and i'm discovering more of Laval each time now. :)

[I actually made this video today, (the 28th of January, but it fits in better when I'm talking about running.) Just thought I'd add a little bit of movement into this blog.] ;)

Also I forgot to mention, on the first day that I was with my new host family (Sunday the 8th of January) we went to meet the mayor and hear his wishes for Laval. We saw a choir sing, and some dancers dance and also a magician perform. At the end I was so awed that I simply said, “Man, now I really want to join a dance group or choir.” Which normally I wouldn’t really expect a response, but Florence said something along the lines of, “well I don’t know about a dance club, but I know someone who has a choir, and I think I could get you in.” So that was Sunday, and on Tuesday night I went to my first choir rehearsal. It was great!! Our name is “Café Sucre” or in English “Sweet Coffee.” Then yesterday I went to my first “outing” with the choir which was another Galette des Rois festival.  I ate lot’s of galette. J It’s like the 4th one that I’ve been too. Then tonight I also went to another Galette des Rois festival, IN THE CASTLE OF LAVAL. It was with Rotary of course, and in the nicest dining hall in Laval. Let me explain what a Galette des rois is. First of all a Galette is a yummy pastry/pie, and then the rest of the translation is “of kings”. There is a little fêve (bean object) in the Galette which, if you find in your piece, makes you the king or queen of the celebration.  I was there with Gabby, the Brazilian girl, and Eris the Taiwanese girl. J I also saw many of the Rotarians who I’ve had little contact with, of whom I should keep much more in contact with, but oh well. ;)

Wednesday, January 25th 2012

Today I went to a different Chinese restaurant with Manon again. It was delicious and not that expensive!
To inform you all, this whole month of January has been great. In school I’ve begun to participate in classes and do homework. Tuesday we had a four hour philosophy test which I wrote for two hours in. (Very proud of that, and I hope I get a good grade back, even though I don’t really listen in class. Philo is common knowledge right? ;) ) I’m scared for the History test that is coming up next Tuesday though, and also the Economics test the week after. But these will be some of the last important tests, and then they all have to start doing a Pre Bac (practice SAT). And I’m hoping that I don’t even have to attend those.
Now that I live in the center of town I have access to everything. I walk to school, walk to church, walk to the shops, walk to the movies, and run also wherever I want. :P I love it! I’m discovering France like I viewed it to be before I came.
My host family couldn’t be cooler also. Last Sunday we went to Mt St Michel and got to tour the inside. The last time I was there it was with Rotary and we walked on the sand outside of it, but I was stupid enough to think that it would be just like any other castle and so I didn’t go to see the inside with the others, and apparently I missed out on a really good chance, which now I have fulfilled. :) That was in October.
This Friday is Alyssa’s last full day with us and so we’re going to have a going away party at a crab restaurant. And then Saturday we say goodbye at the train station. There actually won’t be another au pair coming to replace her like what would usually happen. I think that it’s an English girl who is living in France that will come every day to look after the kids. And as for me, I’m thinking about taking over Alyssa’s old bedroom. :P

I hope that everything is going well with you wherever you are, and if not, remember that it’s up to you to make things better, and not up to everyone around you. Invest in your knowledge and go take a Philosophy course.
J Miss you all!

Love, Faith

Alright now today is Saturday the 28th, the actual day of this post: 

We said goodbye to Alyssa at the train station today. She'll be staying in Paris for a week and then going back to Canada after that. Now I have the entire top story of the house to myself. Which includes two bedrooms and a bathroom. ;) Thursday night we went and watched cheval de guerre ( War Horse) at the theater because there is some Rotary thing that they do every year with all of the theatres around France to help certain researches in cancers and stuff like that. So this year it was everyone who came to this movie. It was such a great movie!! And so sad, I must have cried a dozen times throughout the movie. Haha, and afterwards nobody else wanted to admit they had cried. I guess that it already came out in the US last November or something but Thursday was it's first day in theaters here. Also, the cool thing was I understood everything!! With the exception of a few phrases. Also yesterday I went to my first french lesson ever. Now that i'm fluent in French it's more for perfecting conversations and ameliorating my accent. :) The lady is offering them to me for free! And since I live in town now I can just walk there.
Tomorrow I'm going to church! I've found a christian church within walking distance and I'll be going tomorrow morning. I read their website and it made me so glad just to see something that I understand and believe myself. I understand that people aren't as warm or inviting as they are in the US, but i'm still hoping that I will meet some nice people tomorrow. Maybe I can have a new church family. :) We will see. :)

Miss you all, thanks for coming back after a month of no posts to read this one, and sorry that it's super long. I hope you don't get bored. ;)

Love, Faith


I also found Waldo while I was running today! :) His name is Charlie in the french version.