Saturday, June 29, 2013

A small town, lots of happenings!

This past week was full of cultural events in the city and serious studying at school. Last Friday, many students took advantage of the opportunity to go to the annual music festival – always on the summer solstice. Quite the variety of musicians filled the streets, as well as crepe and dessert stands, of course. This was an event that was free and open to the public and got a lot of families out and about with their student. One of the host families even organized a dinner in town at an outdoor terrace for students and families who wanted to join.  The instructors went out, too, and happened to run into what seemed to be about half of the group! Here's a picture of some desserts being made at the music festival - super fresh!! 

The next day, I took a good number of the group to the Vintage Bike Festival in town as an optional activity. The students were able to listen to live music, see vintage bikes and boutiques, learn about cycling in France, and of course, have an afternoon snack. The festival was particularly exciting this year because it’s the 100th running of the Tour de France! Here are some musicians that were playing at the bike festival, as well as the students who came at the finish line:  

The rest of the weekend, students had the opportunity to spend with their host families. Students are divided in three different groups for classes, and during the weekend one of the groups spent time making local desserts with their host families. We had lots of cakes, and even a flan with prunes in it! On Monday, students brought the desserts to class and we all indulged during our break. Next Monday, another group will be bringing homemade desserts to share!

Later in the afternoon on Monday, we went to town hall and met with the assistant to the Mayor of Saumur. Dressed in their finest, students were asked questions by the Mayor’s assistant, such as differences they noticed between Saumur and the States. While everyone was enjoying cookies and juice, she came up to the instructors and raved about how impressed she was about their level of French and how well mannered they were! We were extremely proud of the students. They give a very positive image of Americans – they’re extremely polite, always on time (which helps the group a lot!!) and are working very hard.

On top of being well mannered, though, they also know how to be silly: 

The rest of the week was full of classes, theatre, choir, and sports. Next week we’re looking forward to a 2-day excursion to Normandy – we’ll actually be there on the 4th of July! Stay tuned! 

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