So far France has been amazing. We started working at our crèches (daycares) on Monday and at first I was very nervous because I worried my French wasn’t sufficient. However, the service has been extremely rewarding. When Jacob and I first arrived, the children started whispering in French: “the Americans are here!” and crowded around us. This was intimidating but I quickly caught on. They spoke very fast which is the most difficult thing I encountered. They also tend to slur their language and use common slang which we are not taught in class. But for the most part I understand them and thoroughly enjoy their company. I am excited for what next week will bring.
Service was fun so far. The first day, I had to play with the kids and help them do some “bricolage” (building craft project). It was really funny watching the kids all call the teacher at the same time because they had no idea what to do.
The second day, there was a carnival that we had to go to. I helped them put their costumes on them, and then we left. We walked to where all the school regrouped and watched some shows set up for the kids. It was wonderful.
The moment we stepped off the plane in France, I was completely overcome with astonishment. I couldn’t believe we were finally here! We walked to the arrivals, and to my delight, our host families were waiting for us. My host Camille found me before I found her. So began my tentative French conversation with her and her father. They drove me to their house, and I marveled at the wide expanse of land that France had. It was so incredibly green.
At her house I met her mom and she was so warm and welcoming. The whole family made me feel welcome.
The next day, Camille, her mom, her aunt, and I went to Strasbourg, with her sister Caroline. She was very lovely! She studies several languages including English, so I was able to have a decent conversation with her in English as well as French.
Strasbourg is one of the prettiest cities I have ever seen. It is very grand, historical, and stunning. There was a kind of elegant grandeur about the buildings and the streets. We visited the cathedral and climbed over 300 steps to the top. The view was breathtaking!
On Sunday, we visited Camille’s grandparents. They were so sweet! We went to the park near their apartment and they showed me the seagulls. It was very leisurely and I loved it. Then, we ate together, and I got to listen to them speak to each other in French. I wasn’t able to understand a lot of what they were saying because they were speaking so fast but all in all, it was a fantastic first weekend.