Today in Guebwiller, it was still a little chilly for me but nonetheless a beautiful sunny day, finally! After a day long of courses at the lycée Kastler with their correspondents all of the students returned to their service today.
This morning, I spent some time at the elementary school, Rebzunft, which is the service site where Claire, Lily, and Quinn work. When I arrived there, the three of them were helping a group of 5/6 years old with their diverse coloring projects in the computer lab. Then, I was delighted to hear from the Director of the School, Mme Goetz, that she really appreciates their contribution in the classroom life and with the different activities, and she thought that they were responsible, engaged, and hard-working young ladies.
At the end of my visit because it was also the end of their morning shift we all headed back together to lycée Kastler for lunch and to meet with the rest of the group. All of them were happy but exhausted because, the day before, they sat in two hour long classes. These courses included subjects such as math, English, biology, chemistry, geology, history, and AP (Accompagnement personnalisé). Daisy who really enjoyed the AP class described the courses as a one where students can express themselves about their progress in other courses. In the overall, they all prefer George School class time length.
Bonjour tout le monde! Maintenant c’est moi, Debbie, qui prends le relai pour le blog de notre visite et service à Guebwiller!
Yesterday (Tuesday) Marie Laure and I visited the four service sites to drop off evaluation sheets for the students, to speak with their supervisors, and to see how they were doing. We were able to see GS in action. We were encouraged to hear each maîtresse comment on the willingness of the students to get involved in the class activities, to lend a hand; whether it be Abby, Christina, or Shannon reading a story, Abby zipping up a coat, Kinsey trying to comfort a little girl during recess, or Nathan playing a game with a group of boys, it was clear that even if speaking French did not come easily to some, their desire and ability to be of help were strong and true.
After our visit to our service sites, we met up with a retired English teacher from the Lycée Kastler, Suzanne Thuet. She participated in the exchange in the late ’80’s, staying with my family in Newtown. In the ensuing years, we have remained in contact, and she has often hosted me when I have helped lead the service/exchange trip in the past. We visited the picturesque towns of Riquewihr and Eguisheim, both with old town centers with houses built in the 15th and 16th centuries. Interesting random fact: Both of these towns escaped destruction during the liberation of Alsace in 1945….largely because they weren’t on any maps at the time. Lucky for us today.
Today (Wednesday) the students spent the day with their “correspondants” accompanying them to classes at the Lycée Kastler. One of the classes that I attended was a senior literature class of 23 students. The French system is one where the students have classes that last one or two hours, but they do not have as much homework as a typical GS student. Tomorrow the students will return to their service sites for two more days of work. A bientôt!
In Riquewihr and Eguisheim
In Riquewihr and Eguisheim
In Riquewihr and Eguisheim
Today’s day started off like all the other days, with Belvita breakfast cookies. My family drove me to the round about where I waited for Quinn and Lily, my service partners. We then walked together to the elementary school, Rebzunft, and greeted the director who has our service planned. She had us work today on sentence forming and math with 1st graders and on word search with the 2nd graders. Most of the kids were respectful but a few had quite a lot of energy. However in the end they all completed their work. I was then able to regroup with my other French and American Friends at Lycée Kastler for an appetizing lunch of mashed potatoes and beef with gravy. Back at Rebzunft, in the afternoon, we worked with the same 1st grade class on math, but this time we were lucky to play a fun board game. After a long day, I was rewarded with a delicious dinner of tarte flambée back at my host family home.
by Christina ’17
by Nathan ’17
Today, I woke up to the faint voices of my new host family coming from downstairs, commencing my first full day living with them. That is if you can call it a full day, exhausted from our busy trip to Paris, I had slept in until almost one in the afternoon. However there was still plenty of time for me to spend getting to know my new host family. After showering and eating lunch, we packed in their car, ready to tour Alsace. Continue reading
Saturday, March 12
Quinn ’17 writes:
After eating a breakfast of bread, butter (or cheese), and jam, we left the hotel for our last few hours in Paris. We walked around the streets, occasionally stopping in a store to buy gifts for our friends, biological families, or host families. When we were all shopped out, we returned to the hotel to finalize our packing and meet with the rest of the students from George School. Continue reading
March 11, 2016
Lily ’17 writes:
Today we went to what me and my friends loving dubbed the “love wall” which was a wall covered in the phrase “I love you”, in over 300 languages, including Swedish, which is the language they speak in my home country. Once we left that, Marie-Laure led us to an amazing carousal that almost all of us wanted to go on.
After they dragged us away from the carousal and the gift shop next to it, we ascended the stairs to the Cathedral of the Sacré Coeur. I managed to fine a free moment to light one of the candle that they offered in exchange for a small donation. There was a service going on while we were in the Cathedral, so we all got to see what normally happens in their services.
We split up for lunch, after which we came back together and went to see a modern art museum. After that we all had some time to relax during which my two friends decide to go out and get many souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. In the evening we went to have dinner and then we all went to see a show named La Leçon. We finished up the night by going on an hour long boat tour which let us see all the beautiful sites of Paris that we had already seen. Once that ended we all came back to the hotel and passed out.
Kinsey ’17 writes:
Today was a very eventful day for us in Paris! To start off, we went to the Musée d’Orsay, a museum of impressionist art ranging from Degas, Van Gogh, to Renoir. After much art seeing and picture-taking, we proceeded to explore more of Paris. Crossing a bridge with many locks (not THE bridge of love however), we found ourselves on Champs-Elysées. Splitting up to shop and try various restaurants in the area, we all reconvened later as we headed to the Arc de Triomphe. Jumping from one site to another, after a short ride on the subway, we arrived at the most well-known monument of them all, the Eiffel Tower. From the top, we were able to get an amazing 360 view of Paris. Famished from our travels across the city, we made our way to dinner. After a much needed break from walking around Paris, we took an elevator to the top of the Montparnasse skyscraper and we were amazed by the view of Paris at night. The veins of the city pulsed as if Paris itself were a living being. Ending our visit with a late night stop for crepes, it was a truly remarkable day in Paris.
From Shannon ’17
Wednesday, March 9
Today kicked off with me saying goodbye to my host family for a couple of days to start our Paris trip. We were dropped off at Colmar’s train station. As we waited for the train, we visited the convenience store to buy snacks and looked at French coloring books. We were all ecstatic to arrive in Paris. After our arrival we walked and then took a subway to the hotel to drop off our bags.
First, we walked to the Louvre. We explored the museum and got to see the famous Mona Lisa. Next, we walked through gift shops and chocolatiers. Lastly, we made our way to get something to eat. On our way we got a great glimpse of Notre Dame and the top half of the Eiffel Tower. After a great meal and dessert we made our way back to the hotel and ended our day with a spectacular view of the lighting up of the Eiffel Tower.
From Violet ’17
This morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to catch the bus for school. After a brief breakfast of chocolate treats with my host family, we walked for about four blocks to the bus stop. It was different from yesterday because yesterday we drove to school with my host father. Today, we took two short bus rides to the main bus stop near the school and even though it was not technically a school bus the buses were absolutely packed with students on their way to school. When I got to the bus stop, I met up with Shannon, my service project partner, and the other American students. After waiting and chatting for a bit, we took the short walk to the service school. Continue reading