Monday, May 14, 2012

Oh la la, how time can pass: #1 Rendez-vous ANNECY

Good day everyone! I haven't written for an entire month so you can imagine all that I have to tell you! I will break it up into different blogs.

Let's start this summary off with a bang. ANNECY. That is the name of the city we went to, but it now holds many more meanings than just a name. On Friday, March 30th our weekend began. With little to no knowledge of where we were going or what we were going to do, we packed a small bag and headed to the nearest large train station. When I say we, I'm including over 430 exchange students living in France this year.  From each district of the country came all types of foreigners from around the world.

Annecy is a beautiful city in the South of France, surrounded by beautiful countrysides, lakes, and the still snow-capped Alps to the east. The weather was beautiful and warm the entire weekend. If you can imagine every good thing that could happen during an escapade like this, you would not be dreaming. Imagine sitting on a ferry floating across beautiful mountain lake while para-gliders soar over you with the majestic Alps in the background. Imagine relaxing in a park, soaking up 
the sun while enjoying pleasant conversations in so many languages with so many different peoples. Back at the camp we had our own little apartments to share with only one other friend. We had two beds, a TV, a large closet, a desk, and a big bathroom with a little shower and sink, equipped with towels and soap. I don't know about you, but that really surprised me. You would think that with hosting over 430 students + however many supervisors and Rotarians were there, the living conditions would be a little cramped. But it was quite the contraire!  The food was amazingly french and delicious and nobody ever went hungry. 

Friday night dinner :) 

We were only forced to go to one conference meeting, and the topic was actually interesting! Olympic sports, my kinda interest. :) I got a picture with the guest speaker who is World Champion in chair snow-skiing.
With the Champion :)

The nights we had parties and danced and ate and had a great time. Each night the DJ's were great, but the greatest night was Saturday night. Right after a super chic dinner and talent show, where each district was represented with something they had prepared for everyone.
My district did a tradition dance of Brittany and we sang a song with our neighboring district after walking the runway posing as super models. The party that followed was crazy. The DJ's took the stage and we took to the dance floor. However, as the dance progressed we began to  dance on the stage, on top of tables and some lucky ones went crowd-surfing! Yes, I was among the lucky ones. Definitely and experience to try! Let's do some more imagining. You remember, there are over 430 exchange students in one room, ALL of them dancing and drinking WATER, POP or JUICE and having the time of their lives. Take any party you've ever been to and multiply it's coolness factor by 10 and you might have an equivalent to this one.


The next day was the first of April. April Fools day!! Except, in France it's called, Poisson d'Avril, which literally means "Fish of April." It's called this because the goal of the day is to stick as many paper fish to as many people's backs as possible without them realizing.  We also went on a paper fish hunt while getting organized to leave, and my group found all the fish first and we each one a basket full of chocolate! Of course we shared it with our entire district and it was dispersed through the crowd within minutes. Except for the giant chocolate hen that we decided to keep as our mascot, and surprisingly didn't melt at all until we ate it on the train. It was sad to see everyone go. But nonetheless after swapping pins and saying our goodbyes we were off to the train station once more for the trip home. Don't forget that the voyage is also super fun. :) We sang songs and played guitars and cards the whole way back with our newly-found or newly-close friends.

It was a fabulous weekend and I need to thank Rotary with all my heart. This weekend only happens once every three years and it just so happened to fall on the year that I would be here in this beautiful country! I'm so grateful, especially since the entire weekend was paid for by Rotary. 

Flag ceremony 

All of the Americans, we were the biggest group.

Traditional Brittany dance

Eating some mar-mite that an Australian gave me on the train

On our way to the lake! :D

the famous free-styler from the talent show

Vive La France!
Sadly, our weekend ended the 1st of April, 2012.

Love, Faith

P.P.S here's a video that another exchanger made of Annecy that you can watch on youtube. :)