Week 8&9 Italy and France

We had two weeks of Vacances (holiday/school break) so my mom came to visit me for the first week and then I went on a tour of France with my school program here for the second week. So, I’ve posted my adventures with my mom and my tour of France, I hope you enjoy (:

We started the week off in Paris and visited the Eiffel Tower. So Beautifully lit up, it was perfect.

IMG_0761

Then we found ourselves in Rome, Italy. Just kidding, this was carefully planned out by myself and my very helpful host dad who assisted me in picking a great location to stay in Paris and Italy. This is me and my mom at Mussolini’s Palace in Rome.

Spent some time at the roman ruins and went to the Roman Colosseum.

My mom and I inside the Colosseum.

IMG_0844

We spent most of the next day in Vatican City, at the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Hercules at the Vatican Museum

IMG_0902

Entering the Sistine Chapel, no pictures were allowed inside. Sorry ):

IMG_0909

This is the year of Jubilee which is every 25 years, so we entered the door in this year of Jubilee.

IMG_0942

IMG_0993

At St. Peter’s Basilica with my Mom

At the Vatican Post office, Vatican City is essentially it’s own country, so it has it’s own postage system and currency. That 50 cent Vatican euro coin is worth 25 European euro’s.

The Spanish Steps, Chanel, and Ice-cream at Piazza Spagna in Rome, Italy

IMG_1023

IMG_1017

To end our almost one week together, my mom met my host parents and we had a delicious dinner together that ended with my host mom’s home made
Tiramisu, it was Amazing.

THE FOLLOWING WEEK

We visited Mont St. Michel and the Chambord Castle, very beautiful. We climbed to the Abby at the very top of Mont St. Michel (on the left).

IMG_1041

Visited the Palace of Versailles and entered into King’s Room; Louis XIV’s actual room (bottom right).

IMG_1080

We rode on this Mechanical Elephant in the city of Nantes. It actually sprayed water from it’s trunk! This was at Les Machines de L’île (Machines of the Isle)

IMG_1056

Went to the Louvre Museum in Paris (in Paris again) and saw the real…

IMG_1049

Mona Lisa.

God is good.

Advertisements

Week 4&5 in France

Teaching in the schools and seeing the differnces between how things are taught

I helped to teach a relay race game to the students in English, trying not to speak French. This was challenging, because they think they don’t understand English, but they actually did very well understanding me and my gestures.

20160128_231659With the program we went to the Lazer tag place and that was really fun. We played two games of Lazer tag and it was pretty intense. My name was Viper in the game. It’s called and spelled “Laser Game” in Montpellier.

I also visited Jadin des plantes (Garden of Plants) which was really nice and calming. Gave me time to think, relax and meditate. The big tree has notes in in that people wrote and placed inside the holes inside of it, that was really cool. I tried to read some of the notes in French…

This is me walking through the paths at Jardin des Plantes–The sun is shining on me on my path (that’s deep).

This kitten came to visit me. Super cute.

My visit to Musee Fabre (Museum Fabre) was great! And there were 4 floors to the museum! There was a new African Exposition which was great, there was a lot of security everywhere at every corner of the museum and in the African Museum, they said that taking pictures was “Interdit” (prohibited)–This is to protect the Art.

There was a children’s book display at the museum too! And they’re all culturally relevant books, so of course I took picturesssssss (:

 

Went to the zoo and Jarden de plante and parc zoologique de montpellier A.K.A, the zoo with my friend Hannah.

20160206_141730-COLLAGE

My Mood looking at the snake…

Fabulous pictures of Us

20160206_160644

On top of the Rhino

Week 2&3 in France

Because this is a Study Abroad experience, I take courses here related to my major and have an internship/volunteer experience related to my major.

My study abroad program is called the Teaching Practicum in France; therefore I will be teaching French Elementary school students English

On the left is my french book, because I also have to take a French course as well as other courses related to my my major (Elementary Education).

On the right are pictures that I took of the work my students were doing. I’m in a third grade class, which I’m happy about because I want to teach third grade. I’ve noticed that French students have much better handwriting!! Cursive handwriting is taught to all the students throughout their schooling K-12; do I even remember how to write in cursive? Moving on.

This is definitely a busy time being in the classroom for 2-3 hours a day Mon-Thurs, plus taking classes, but I’ve actually been enjoying what I’ve been learning.

20160112_221906

I got better from suffering from a sore throat during the second week. My host parents gave me this heat pad that was filled with hot water and wrapped around cloth.  It’s called a “bouteille”. I was to put in on my feet when I was sleeping, which I did, it felt so gooood! I felt like a baby! So warm and my fatigue and sickness went down.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These past two weeks have consisted of A-LOT of food, and I’ve found my favorite French cheese called “Camembert” made from “Lait de vache” (cow milk) .

My host mom is ethnically Italian, so I had “Le café Italien” (Italian Coffee). Though I don’t life Coffee it wasn’t too bad (very rich), and I didn’t even put sugar or milk in it. The second picture is the first meal I made for myself here; spaghetti, peas, and chicken.

I went to the city of Palavas with my host family and chilled at the Mediterranean Sea. So Beautiful!

More food!!! I went to an Asian restaurant in Montpellier with my friend Hannah, and I tried “Canard” (Duck)!! It tasted good, not an usual taste at all.

20160123_172955

Lastly, at the end of the third week. I finally got a chance to go shopping. I spent a portion of my Saturday enjoying the “soldes” (sales) in Montpellier, France. I leaned that these sales only come twice a year all over France, this is the first season for the sales and there are literally items that are 70% off. It was great!

 

1st Week in France!!

It has officially been an entire week since I’ve been in France and so much has happened in these short 7 days, I don’t even know where to begin and what to post. I am studying abroad this semester in France (SPRING 2016); more details in future posts.

Things continue to happen so, I will recap the first week with pictures and some words.

We arrived in Montpelier, France Monday the 4th of January Last week. Spent a Night in a nice hotel, the Ibis–which I’ve noticed is in a lot of different places in the south of France at least.

My First Days–Orientation

Jan 5 Wed:

  1. We had a tour of our Beautiful city; the tour of Montpellier

IMG_0502 IMG_0505

I loved the trees and they wanted to say Hi (:—-By the Tram (train/light rail)

IMG_0510 IMG_0511

Le Centre ou La Place de Comédie (The Main Center or  The Comedy Place)

IMG_0514 IMG_0520

Shopping area                                                         This is the more “risqué” part of town

IMG_0528 IMG_0529

Left: Photo of “Un Lycée” a Highschool  Right: In our program office, I decided to take a picture of a French Keyboard! It’s actually very different.

 2. Picture of the Home & Meeting my Host Family

IMG_0671 IMG_0673

The Kitchen/ Pantry Area

IMG_0675 IMG_0676

A view outside from the kitchen and living room balcony

IMG_0668 IMG_0669

The Living room Area

IMG_0666IMG_0679

The Hall of Books- A lot of French Books, Literature, Movies, and Kids Books!

IMG_0680 IMG_0683

My Room and a view outside from my balcony

20160110_17263920160108_200125

My Host parents; we were enjoying a pre-dinner tea and we were preparing on food another day (photo on the right)

20160106_20352420160107_201202

Our usual Dinner placement and “Le Vin Rouge” (Red wine)

20160108_195556 20160108_204504

Me cooking oysters

20160108_203912 20160108_204032

!!!Me trying the oysters Raw!!!!! That was an EXPERIENCE

Jan 6 Thurs:  Historical Tour of the city

 

IMG_0543

Le trois graces (The three graces) statue

IMG_0599 IMG_0583

Photos of L’arc de Triomphe

20160106_155438 20160106_155435

Me on Top of L’arc de Triomphe

IMG_0594 IMG_0595 IMG_0593

Views from the top of L’arc de Triomphe

IMG_0560 IMG_0561 IMG_0562 IMG_0567

IMG_0550 IMG_0551

An Old Church; From Different Angles

Jan 7 Fri: Our first shopping experience

 

We went to a mall called Odysseum in Montpellier, France and these are the things that I bought. I walked around the mall with a friend, exploring the different attractions. Much like the U.S. they have different recreational areas; for example there was an aquarium and there was a laser tag place in the mall as well.

Being an education major; of course I bought childrens books…IN FRENCH. I tried to choose books that looked more French and couldn’t easily be found in the US. The book on the left is titled “Ti-Pirate ” meaning Little Pirate. Also the book on the right “Mes petites règles de vie” meaning My little rules of Life. This book is awesome; because it details how to live the “French” way for Kids. I thought it would be good for me as well! To learn the french customs.

I also bought a sweater and electronic goods that I needed. But the books were cooler to me. I still want to shop; don’t know when that will be.

Jan 8 Sat: Our First Excursion to Le pont du gard and the city of Nîmes

IMG_0619 IMG_0625

 

Me at Le Pont du Gard

IMG_0628 IMG_0636

l’Amphithéâtre in Nîmes, France

20160109_112427 IMG_0662

Le Pont du Gard and the outside of l’Amphithéâtre in Nîmes, France

IMG_0644 IMG_0645

IMG_0658 IMG_0653

Inside of an old Temple and the Spring of Nîmes

1009903_10208529514660874_4623130612641818214_n

Me under a golden gate

RECAP/SUMMARY:

Besides being sick having “Mal a la gorge” (a sore throat), this week has been filled with a lot of different great experiences and I’ve learned a lot about the french culture in this time. I’ve experienced a bit of culture shock, in feeling tired and a little overwhelmed or insecure when wanting to speak the language.

However; here is a list of the differences (or things) I’ve noticed.

Faire la bise– In my city, we do this three times ON THE CHEEK, NOT on the lip (you make the sound; you don’t actually kiss people on the cheek).

Dinner is Late– In my host family’s home, it’s 8:30pm

Everyone smokes– A lot of people smoke, everywhere outside, it’s strange for me

Store hours-Stores close during lunch time (when I want to run errands)

Wine and Cheese– Always/typically had at dinner; they’re staples

Dog poop on sidewalks– I haven’t had too much of a problem walking into it

Baguettes– Besides having a whole bucket full of bread, my host Dad bought 2 baguettes to freeze–just in case they run out.

Sales– Sales are after the holidays, but they are amazing like 50-60% off-REALLY

How I feel & My overall experiences,

I’ve gotten sick, felt very awkward when trying to speak and express myself in French, and felt the differences in the culture and way of life. However; looking back at the pictures and the things I’ve experienced in just one week, I can already tell that this is going to be a worthwhile experience. It will definitely teach me to adjust, accept things as they are, and to go with the flow (and that’s not my nature) . My basic goals now are to take in as much as I can, write a lot, and learn by reviewing the things I’ve learned.

School began this week, so I will be posting a week 2 update on my experience here on Sun the 17th of January. Let’s see what this week brings.

Other Nuggets/Photos:

20160106_180845 IMG_0603

The Night Light                   ME at a French Cafe; look at the background

 

How to have Confidence and Power with People

How to have Confidence and Power with People. Remember your cup of tea

I promised myself I would finish this tonight, so many obstacles and unexpected difficulties, but I’m done and It’s all a learning process.