Monday, February 27, 2017

School Vacation

            We might have longer school vacations in France than in the US, but at the end of the day, or in the morning, I should say, it all seems the same!

           It was a great first week of school vacation. In the beginning of the week, along with watching movies with Ayelen in the evening, I did a lot of studying, mainly for the SATs and my French fluency test. Tuesday evening my host parents treated me with opening a package filled with American goodies that we will share. I love their thoughtfulness! Dr. Pepper had never tasted as good as that first sip Tuesday night! In fact, I had never really been the one in the US to choose Dr. Pepper as my favorite soda, but it's the same story with peanut butter. You don't realize how good it tastes until you don't have it! I also loved the moment when I showed my host dad a small box of Nerds, and his response was "What is this?"

          Wednesday, I studied French pretty much the whole afternoon, took a short visit to my host grandparents, and returned, only to study more French by watching the news. The political buzz is on over here, and my host parents explained how that all works here. I feel so educated now! The news is still hard to understand sometimes, but one of my host parents are usually there to help me understand. On the other hand, reading the French newspaper is a cinch, or almost that.

With all our American goodies (as the American flag proudly hangs in the background)
            I was able to get out with my friends towards the end of the week. One of the things I really enjoy about France is the easiness of transportation. That's probably one of the reasons I've been able to see so much of Europe. Whenever I want to go somewhere, all I need is a train ticket. It makes me question if trains actually exist in America because I never use them! I've taken the train this year more than I ever did in my whole life!

          Thursday I went with some AFS friends to Lyon, the second most populated town in France and one of the oldest, I am told. We went to the Confluence, "La Place Bellecour", and we are planning to go back sometime to do more. My AFS volunteer friend from school was kind of like our tour guide, and she told us all of the fun facts about Lyon. We also found a candy shop and Ayelen and I tried the Lyonnais specialty of bugnes, which are kind of like donuts. Needless to say, we weren't very hungry for dinner that night!

La Place Bellecour, Lyon

           I was able to spend a wonderful Friday afternoon with my good school friends. We ate lunch together at a park, went to the cinema, and then played Lasergames. I understood almost everything that was said in the movie without pouring all of my concentration into it, and I even ate popcorn! Ayelen and I had the box finished before the ads were over. Popcorn is so popular to have at home in the US, but it was the first time I had tasted popcorn in France since I got here. Don't get me wrong. It does exist! However, in general, the French don't think the world of American junk food. We also showed Ayelen a little bit of my town. It was a flashback to a month ago when I was just discovering the town!

At the movie theather with my school friends

            It's a full house this second week of vacation. My other two host sisters are here, and my host dad has off work. I've done lots of studying and researching for colleges this week. I have some plans with friends Wednesday evening, and Thursday we go on vacation for a few days. That will give us some time to have fun all together, and for Ayelen and I, we get to discover more of France!


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