Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dinner at the Château with a visit from the US consulate of Rennes

Today, the students from the program along with several young Saumurois, elected officials of Saumur and the US consulate from Rennes were invited by the city of Saumur to dine in a restaurant right next to the château of Saumur. The evening started with the city officials teaching the students how to play local games. This was followed by several speeches, notably by Molly and Evan (Bravo les stagiaires !) and then we sat down to eat. We ended the evening with several group pictures and with a sunset over the Loire and the city of Saumur.

I honestly can't believe how well we have been treated this year and I have a great appreciation for the Saumurois.

Before the event.

Evan giving his speech.
Molly giving her speech.

Group photo of everyone, even the Saumur and US officials.

Ma maison :)

View of Saumur and the Loire river.

The students together!

Fête du Vélo and Fête de la Musique!

June can be an interesting time to be in France. This past Sunday, many of the students participated in the Fête du Vélo ("the festival of the bike") here in Saumur and in nearby cities. Below you can see a photo that I took of what I saw:

On Monday, there was the Fête de la Musique (music festival). On this day, (almost) every city is filled with groups playing all types of music on the street (such as rock, fanfare, tap dancing, reggae, jazz, etc.).

If only I could find his myspace...

On Wednesday, the teachers got to meet with the host families. We presented the program and the goals of the program and we now feel that they have a better understanding of what is expected of the students and of them.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our first excursion! (Blois, Chenonceau, Amboise)

After spending just only five days in France, we took our first trip around the area to visit three different chateaux in the Loire Valley. We started our visit out in the city of Blois, a city that is 2 hours away from Saumur. Every student spent most of their time in Blois in the chateau and told us that we teachers should have gone into the chateau.

True, we probably should have gone into the chateau but if that would have been the case, then I would have any photos like the following photo:

Below you can see a photo of the entire group just before getting back onto the bus to see the next chateau, Chenonceau.

Chenonceau is without any doubt, my favorite chateau in all of France. I have never seen a place as beautiful as this one and I feel that I was lucky to have the chance to see it. I hope that all of you will get to visit it someday. Maybe your student could be your tour guide and/or French interpreter?

We finished our first excursion with a stop at the city of Amboise. Students got to visit the chateau and that was followed by a visit of the city. Below, two actresses were generous enough to pose with us in a photo.

The following photo is right in front of the chateau of Amboise.

Thank you for your trust, they are in good hands!

I very much enjoyed this excursion and so did the students. I now can't wait for the next trip to Normandie!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tour of Saumur

Today, we took a tour of our host city as a group and helped them locate important places such as La Poste (the post office). In the photo, you can see the that overlooks the Loire river, the Chateau de Saumur. If you would like to see more photos of our tour, please visit the picasa site.
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Safe in Saumur

The students made it safely to Saumur today after having spent a lot of time on the plane and in the bus. The are now discovering life with the host families and resting up so that they can visit the city tomorrow.

At the following link, you will find a my Picasa account where I will be uploading the photos that I take. They are not always the best photos and they obviously can't replace the real experience but I hope that you will like them.
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