Thursday, March 24, 2016

Normandy Scholars: Day 7 - A Bittersweet End(?)

(Tonight's post is written by Frankie Ciavarella '17.)

Displayed in a corner of the faculty room at Jeanne D'Arc.  Perhaps follow them?
Today has truly been bittersweet. After six wonderful days in Bayeux, we left our French families and departed for Paris. The morning began with being dropped off at school by my correspondent, Marie's, mother. As she helped me get my bags from the car I tried my best to thank her for her incredible hospitality (and cooking) during my stay, but in the moment it was difficult to convey my thanks with my level 4 French knowledge. I made a mental note to write both of Marie's parents a thank you letter as soon as we get back to Virginia.

First period I attended an English class, where all the French kids wanted to hear our thoughts on Donald Trump, gun control, and the American healthcare system. Not quite the culture I was interested in discussing. After that, the Americans left to explore the town of Bayeux. We indulged in café, eclairs, and un peu de shopping, then returned to the school for a final lunch with our French correspondents. One definite thing I've noticed about French social culture is the difference in expectations between the genders. For instance, at lunch the boys like to play sports while the girls stand along the side and watch, while they gossip about each other. After a lunch of jambon baguettes, Catie, Margaret, and I decided to break this invisible barrier. Both the French boys and girls were a little thrown off when we joined the game of soccer being played.

After an exciting game (in which both Catie and I scored), we had to say our goodbyes. Sean's playing of "Love on top" by Beyoncé kept it from getting too sentimental, but it was sad to leave the friends we've made and their beautiful town. The girls kept saying "seulement vingt jours avant les Etats Unis!" (only 20 days before the United States), and we've already begun to make our plans for their visit.

We tried to get them to jump in time; we tried to get the camera to take the picture in time
Now- Paris!

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