Monday, September 6, 2010

My First Week

So here I am, finally living the dream that I have had for the past few years.  All I have to say is that France is way better and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.  I went to see Paris with AFS and the Eiffel Tower is just plain amazing.  The architecture in Paris is another sight in and of itself; I am not an expert on architecture, but I could tell it was one of a kind and breath-taking.

On to my host my host family, they really are everything that I had hoped for and more.  The parents are very nice and forgiving with some of the stupid things that I have said already, and they are taking very good care of me.  Adélie is so nice and we realized on the way back to the house that we have a very similar taste in music.  She was also very sympathetic to me last night when I was having a tough time realizing that this was really happening.

This afternoon after school, she and I walked home together wich was very nice and a great work-out for my quads.  The Alps are not very forgiving in their steepness, or their beauty for that matter.  I had my first day of school today, and let me tell you that I am so grateful for my host family because they asked one of Adélie's friends, Natacha to show me around and keep an eye on me.  She was very nice and the best thing was that we are in all of the same classes, except for Latin and Math "elective".

In France they have different tracks in the high school for the juniors and seniors, you may pick from L(language), ES(economics) and S(sciences).  I am in the ES track because of my history of sciences and my strong interest in not taking any more of them.  So there are a group of 25 or so students in each class, and they are all together of the main courses in that track.  The only courses that you choose are the languages, and certain specials or electives, I picked math for that.

There is currently a teacher strike going on here, so there were numerous teachers who were absent, and therefore did not hold their class.  My latin teacher was not in, so I did not start classes until 11o'clock.  I also have many gaps in my schedule where I would have taken more languages but they let me take only Latin and English.  We also got one full hour for lunch in either the cantine or if you have permission to leave, then you leave.  There are only two days as of right now that I will have to eat at the cantine, because I have class both the period before and the period after lunch.  To clear up some confusions, I leave school Wednesday at noon, and have no classes on Saturdays.  On all of the other days, I get out at 17h50, which seems very late, but even now is not that bad.

Some very subtle, and not-so-subtle differences I have noticed here I find very interesting.  The first one that people think of are the toilets, and yes they are different.  The flusher is a button either on top of or next to the toilet, and the water flushes from the front, not the back or sides.  Another thing about the toilets is that the toilet itself is almost always seperare from the actual bathroom.  The food is the next big difference, at the cantine at both the hostel and the school, there are a few choices that you get.  There is a starter; like a small salad or tomatoes with basil and mozzerella, or different combinations of veggies with a dressing.  Next is the entree itself which is usually some kind of meat or fish with either veggies or potatoes or something of that sort.  You then have either cheese or dessert, and sometimes both.  Yogurts are also available at almost every meal.  Breakfast is simple, but you mainly get to choose what you want, either cereal with milk, or bread with jam or coffee or tea.  There are really so many options that you just eat what you are in the mood for.
The keyboards are also different and it has taken me forever to write this post because I keep having to look down at my hands.

The landscape is absolutely amazing here, I have taken a while to try to find the perfect words that work for it.  I have found none, but have no fear because I have come very close and with some pictures and a quick visit you will understand my loss for words. The following pictures are of the astonishingly, heart-breakingly, drop-to-the-ground-and-kiss it-ly beautiful view of the Alps from the balcony of my house.


  1. We are so proud of you! What an amazing place to live - how are you ever going to come back home? Enjoy every minute and keep sharing these wonderful pictures. Say hi to the Denizot's for us and we look forward to talking to you soon. Love, mom & dad

  2. Hi Victoria! You may remember me, I came to your house once to hang out scrapbooking and we made cards for the troops! Your blog is so cool and am so excited to read about your experience in France!

  3. Hi Victoria,
    So happy to read your post! The pictures are great and it is wonderful to be able to keep up with your adventures. Looking forward to reading more. Happy 16th birthday!
    The Harpers

  4. Hey little Pica!! Mom has kept me abreast of all the exciting things going on. I see the new kitten! I'm so happy for you. The view is AMAZING! Hope you get to catch up on some sleep this weekend. Don't forget to write in your journal. Love, Marcy

  5. YOU'RE ALIVE!!!

    Have an amazing life over there.

  6. Wow what a wonderful journey so far. Makes us want to see it now! Looking forward to reading and seeing all your excapades!
    Uncle Neil

  7. [The keyboards are also different and it has taken me forever to write this post because I keep having to look down at my hands.] I'm really okay with you.