Hello again friends and families ! I can’t believe how quickly the program is flying by. The students are really busy preparing for the farewell show and planning for Paris, but we’re still having lots of fun in the meantime. Monday night this week we organized a dance party for the students at school, which was a big hit! We asked them to bring snacks and drinks, and we prepared the room and put together a playlist. All of the students danced, sang, and had a really great time.
On Tuesday we didn’t have class because the Tour de France was beginning in Saumur and everything was shut down. I went out to see it and ran into a few students! Most of them did go out with their families, and they described it as “fast, but cool.” We were really lucky this year to get to see it.
At this point in the program we also get some dinner invitations from host families. We really enjoy getting to know the families better, and getting a glimpse into the students’ personal experiences. I only wish we could spend time with all of the families! On Tuesday after the Tour de France we had the pleasure of seeing Nadia’s family’s beautiful home, enjoying some music by Nadia and her host father, and trying pigs’ feet for dinner!
On Wednesday we had our annual reception at the town hall. The Mayor’s attaché hosted us and said a few words. She also asked some of the students about their experiences, and they responded beautifully! They all sang the Marseillaise and then had drinks and snacks. A few host families also joined us. It’s quite an honor, and we were all very grateful for the invitation.
I happened to run into the same group we saw at the Tour de France after class on Thursday and got a couple pictures of Alexis and Ashlyn riding the carousel. It’s nice to see them having fun when they’re out and about after class! I may not have pictures of other students’ outings, but from what I’ve been told they all feel very at home in Saumur. They say they’ve found all the best spots for ice cream, crêpes, and pastries, and they enjoy exploring and shopping.
On Friday we had an excursion to the beach at Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. It was a great choice for the excursion because the beach itself is very wide, so even though there were a lot of people we had plenty of space and weren’t crowded. The water there is clear and beautiful, and it was sunny and warm with a cool breeze coming in off the water. The boardwalk is also full of cafés and shops. We got there at about noon, so we started with sack lunches on the beach, and then we hit the water! We all had a lot of fun splashing around in the waves. The students also played Frisbee and volleyball, and lots of them went to the boardwalk for crêpes, ice cream, and other treats.
It was really wonderful to have one day of nothing but relaxing and enjoying the weather before getting into our last week in Saumur. It’s going to be a really busy week, between exams, Paris planning, the farewell show on Wednesday and Bastille day on Thursday! We’re leaving for Paris early Saturday morning, and I know it will be an emotional moment for everyone.
In just a short time you’ll be able to hear all about the program first hand and see all of the student’s pictures, but in the meantime I thank you all for reading and I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post. Until next time!