Tuesday, 27 May 2014

21 (finally)


April 5, 6

My birthday!!! :) 16
Aline and I went shopping in the morning to all the other things on my list for presents to bring back home. I hope they'll fit in my suitcase...
I found a huge French flag. I'm going to have everyone here write something on it so that I remember them, then hang it on my wall somewhere at home. Meanwhile Nadia has adopted it as her dress/fort/parachute. 
I got a lot of birthday wishes from back home. Thanks all :)
Dinner was tartiflette; cheese, garlic, ham, potatoes, other things. And salad. 
Then everyone surprised me after dinner: I was just sitting at the table talking with Olivier, and thinking everyone had gone off to get ready for bed, when suddenly all the lights went out and in marched Aline and co. Carrying a cake! With 16 candles! And a sparkler! And they were singing!! :)
I was pretty happy because I wasn't really expecting anything. We had talked briefly ages ago about doing something for my birthday, but not a lot since...
So you can imagine my amazing happiness when after the beautiful cake with strawberries in a Canadian flag-ish shape came presents! :) :)
Nadia and Clem gave me two beautiful boxes that they had covered themselves in patterned tissue paper and glitter and glue. Mathilde gave me a nice hand made pottery mug from Spain (she had just returned that day from a week long trip to Spain). 
Aline gave me a book: La Formule de Dieu. 
We talked about it earlier. I love it. It's a novel that incorporates scientific ideas, religious ideas, and a good plot. I'm really looking forward to reading it. I think it was originally written in Portuguese.... 
All of the presents were either nice and small or able to hold socks, which is good because otherwise I might not be able to bring them home with me. 
A beautiful end to a beautiful day. 

P. S.
I just realized that the bus I take home every Monday says "le vieux église". That's what it has instead of a number. 

Lyon. The whole day. We got day transit passes. 
Left at about 7:30am. Drove for 1 1/2 hours. Met up with Mathilde's great uncle Paul who lives there, he's too nice :)
Walked to the metro, took a train, walked some more. We went up a télépherique (a sloped cabin thing pulled by wires up a steep hill. It's a bit like riding a metro up a hill without any noise) and arrived at the top of a huge hill (almost mountain) with a beautiful cathedral. We were allowed to go inside, but there was still Sunday mass happening at the same time. Clem lit a candle. Also the view outside was amazing. The outside of the cathedral was covered in statues and carvings. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


Caves and blanket forts:
A poem. 

March 23, 24

Caves: OSEF organized
Got to see Elsa and Manon. Finally. 
Sleepover the night before, dinner with the Poulains, 10 kids at one table!
Big cave, short tour
Commercialized cave light show. Kinda wrecked the natural feeling of the cave. 
Got lost on the way. 
Strange weather... Snow? Rain? Fog? 
Road closed, long way round 
Got there just in time, running (panicked)...
In the end Horne lake on Vancouver island was more interesting.
Disappointed by lack of real "caving". No crawling around. Everyone seemed happy though. And I was too. 
Blind salamanders; no evolution for millions of years; very interesting. On dirait des verres de terres...

Not so great day at school. 
Snow on the ground;
I thought It was spring?
4 hour break with nothing in the middle of the day. Booooored
Gym not so bad- weightlifting 
Shoulders+ back+ calves bugging me a bit. 
Got home at 6:30pm
Really tired, hungry, not so great..
Nadia makes my day:
Comes up to me
Reminds me about my promise to make a blanket fort with her
Start to build fort 
right up until dinner
Huge fort, fills whole room. 
I mean HUGE. 
Clothes lines and clothes pins and blankets and bed sheets and pillows and a lot of work
Supplies low, must economize. 
Different rooms in the fort:
Kitchen, four bed spaces
Mine doubles as the living room
Super cozy 
Sleeping there for the week 
Or at least next couple days

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


March 10, 11, 12
March 13, 14

Skiing! For a week! Yay!
We left on Sunday in a big tour bus with about 20 kids of varying ages. The youngest was maybe 12, and I was among the oldest. There were also 5 adults as ski directors. Our destination: a huge ski hill comprised of six smaller hills. Samoëns (Vercland) was the specific village where we were going to stay. There was an old wooden chalet where we ate, and across a snowy field another big wooden chalet where we slept. The bunk beds were classic camp Pringle style, and there was a shower in every room and nice sheets and stuff.
The first day there we arrived at about noon, ate lunch, then found out that we couldn't have our rooms until five o'clock so we decided to walk (more like hike) down to the village of Samoëns to be tourists and see some stores and such. On the way, we passed a house with a huge St Bernard dog sitting next to another tiny dog. It was comical to see two dogs of alarmingly different sizes just sitting there. And barking at us. The same house was also home to a scarlet macaw parrot that squawked at us. We also passed underneath many a gondola bring skiers up the mountain, and as there were patches of snow about, the logical thing to do would be to try and hit one of the télécabines with a snowball, so we did. None of us managed it, but it served as a neat way to start a snowball fight. The people in their gondola cabins looked at us strangely. 
After screaming down a steep ice-and-snow-and-mud-covered hill, we arrived at the Samoëns village. We split up into groups and set a meeting point for about 45 minutes from then. We walked around peering at all of the tourist shops, I bought a couple gifts for my family back home (no spoilers :), and we bought some strawberries cause they were on sale and they looked really good. 
Eating our strawberries, we slowly made our way back to in front of the pharmacy (the meeting point). Then as a whole group again we scrambled back up the hill, passed the animal zoo house and got back to the lodge at about six o'clock. 
We settled into our rooms at last, and then went to eat dinner. 

The next day we got up at 7:30am and threw on some ski clothes and ate breakfast and by about 9 o'clock we were at the top of the nearest gondola, ready to ski. From there we split into groups again: the super fast advanced skiers who wanted to go off track and never stop (Mathilde's group), the medium group with skill but who didn't want to break any limbs (Clementine's group), and me (my group). Manu was my instructor for the day, the first of four who would kindly accompany me on my slow, careful ski days. 
The first hill was the worst, and unfortunately it was one of the busiest routes on the hill. You had to take this path to get to anywhere else on the map, no matter where. I was snow-ploughing my way for the first bit, until I got the hang of parallel, turn in snow-plough, parallel once more.
The second half of that first hill was super steep with lots of bumps and people, and I sorta freaked out. The going went really slow after that. I don't know exactly why I was so scared, I think it was the masses of people zipping by really close to me and almost colliding. Anyway, Manu was really understanding even though it must have taken us at least an hour and a half to descend (I can do it now in about 15 minutes. That's how much I've improved in the week). 
We went slowly and carefully for the rest of that day, and by the end of five hours I had pretty much got the basic movement down and was hardly using the snow-plough. 
That evening after a good 5 hours of skiing, we returned to Vercland by télécabine. I was thoroughly worn out and was happy to get back to the chalet. We then had a snack of baguette, chocolate, and chocolate milk. It seems we would get a snack every day after skiing. 
Next hour (18:00- 19:00) was a free hour before dinner. My roomies and I took advantage of it to shower and rest a bit. 
Dinner was fine. I don't remember what it was specifically, so it must have been pretty average. Tartiflette, maybe (that's gratin dauphinoise). 
After dinner we could choose to just go right to bed or to stay and play some games with the group. I was boring and decided to go to sleep, but in my defense I was really quite tired and felt I needed the rest. 

The next day it was Cédrique. He is by far the funnest leader, and I had a lot of fun that day. We started slowly until I got the hang of skiing again, and this time on the big scary hill from yesterday we found a small track on the side to use. It zig zagged down the slope instead of going straight down and there was practically no one using it. I think it was normally for snowmobiles, but it served our purpose quite well. It was a lot easier on me. At the end there was about the last 200m of a red track, but it was fairly easy. It appeared I wouldn't have to try the big hill again unless I wanted to. 
From there we took various ski lifts and small hills to get to Flaine, a mini station within the Grand Massif mega station. We met up with the other groups there, except we got there a bit early so we settled down in front of one of those amazing high altitude ski restaurants. Pretty soon a waiter came and asked for our order. I didn't get anything as I had my water bottle. Cédrique got a coffee thing. The others got there eventually, and we ate our baguette sandwiches and apples and oranges for lunch. 
After lunch we took the longest gondola on the mountain to the Grandes Platiers: the very top of the mountain. The view from there was awe-inspiring. We could see Mount Blanc right in front of us, and so many other peaks with and without snow. For a little city-born 0m from sea level girl like me, it was very impressive. From there we took all blue tracks all the way back to Flaine. 
I had done about 4 hours of skiing by the end of day 2. 


(Sorry just gonna take a moment here. I'm sitting writing this on my iPod in the recreational hang out room in lycée Pablo Neruda, waiting for my next class to start. I knew for awhile that there was a drinks machine in the back, but today I dug around in my pencil case, found 50 centimes and bought a drink. It's really neat. You can chose various types of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate and it will spit out a plastic cup and fill it with your drink. You can even choose how much sugar you want. It's something I think we need to get at esquimalt. Imagine: every time you think to yourself "a nice cuppa would really hit the spot right about now" and you have a couple quarters, you can get a cup of tea. I think I'm going to use this asset a lot more often in the next few months. The only thing I might change would be to allow you to use your own cup if you wanted to, so as not to use so many plastic cups.)


Wednesday we all took a break from skiing, a rule they had adopted after too many camps where people would get injured on the third day due to lack of rest. It was nice to just hang out and play board/card games for a day in a chalet with a bunch of people. There was a really good collection of games brought in by Jeremy ("all of my games are good, otherwise I wouldn't own them"). He's the leader of the leaders, by the way. He stays back in the chalet and works or something. He's also really funny and always has something to say. 
Anyway so we played a couple classics like Pit and spoons, and I also got introduced to some wonderful new ones. Dixit for example is a board game where all of the cards are various fantastic other-worldly magic paintings/pictures, and the whole goal of the game is to interpret them and invent scenes with the other players. There are many other aspects which I won't get into here, but suffice to say that it's definitely one of my favorite games. There was also a game called Blitz (not Dutch Blitz) and one called jungle speed and many others. My Christmas list has gotten a little longer since then. 
That evening we played a game that the counsellors had been working on for a while. It was a three-teams type of game with various different phases/levels. I believe it was called "c'est qui qui c'est donc?!?" which is utter gibberish for those who can't tell.  
It had levels similar to charades, karaoke, trivia, what's in the bag, etc. and it was quite fun. My team came second, but in the first round we were first. After that really long game we all went to bed. I think it was about 11pm at that point. 

Thursday was the second to last ski day, and I was with Laurent. I was really starting to get the hang of the whole skiing thing now, but still was going fairly slowly and taking little breaks on the side of the tracks which was good because Laurent had an injured leg. I actually managed the big scary hill I couldn't do that first day, and I was pretty happy. It didn't actually seem that hard. We met with everyone at Flaine again and I ordered an iced tea while I waited. Lunch was average, and in the afternoon we did some blue runs in and around Flaine. Nothing too challenging. Again about four hours of skiing that day. 
Nothing special that evening, and dinner was fine. Went to bed at around 22:30. 

Friday was the very last day of skiing in this camp. I was with Yanu, the leader who normally accompanied the Saturday ski bus from Revel. We planned to do the longest run on the mountain at the end of that day, a blue 14km run by the name of cascades. After cascades we would end up in Sixt and would have to take a bus to get back to Vercland. I was looking forward to it, as the run went through a national park and it was always peaceful and beautiful. 
We started out slow again but I quickly sped up until I was not taking nearly as many breaks. We ate lunch at the Grandes Platieres under a clear blue sky and with a view of Mont Blanc. I made a little snow cat but it quickly got stepped on. I took a lot of pictures, and then we took a big group picture with all of us. Unfortunately there was a slight accident and like dominoes we all fell over into the snow. Clem hurt her knee a bit but she's alright now. 
After lunch we did a bunch of blue (and red!) runs above Flaine until we were ready to take cascades from the very top to the very bottom. We also did a sort of half pipe thing which was really fun. I basically had no problems skiing during the 4+ runs and lifts. 
You could say I'm actually an average to moderately good skier right now. 
We started our long voyage down the mountain at about 3:30. It was very nice and peaceful, until the last bit. By that point there was only snow on the track and nowhere else, and even the snow we did have was starting to turn into dirt, rocks and mud. There was one particularly nasty patch where I ended up falling face-first in to the dirty snow. My mask bashed against my left eye and left a bruise next to the eyelid, and I jarred my neck a little, but I got up without too much problem. After that I knew I was starting to get tired and went really slowly and carefully. There was a section of about 100m where we had to take off our skis and carry them, and then put them on again when we got to the snow once more. It was slow work, but eventually we made it to the bus stop at Sixt. There was practically no snow here, and the only skiers were the ones waiting for the bus after doing the same thing we had just done. We caught the last bus (17:30) and got back to Vercland just before snack ended. I was so tired, I took a nap before dinner. All together that day I did about 6 hours of skiing, but I went faster (and stayed in control) than I ever had in my life. 
I think we just played more board games that evening, but I don't really remember. 

Then next day we packed up and left at about 11:30, ate lunch at macdonald's on the way back and finally returned home. I can't remember the last time I ate at macdonald's. 
I was very happy to be back in my own bed that night. 

We just got back a test and a lab write-up in chemistry. I got a 9.5 out of 20 on the test, and I didn't study at all nor was I present for 90% of the chapter in class. So it was mostly guesswork backed up by my general science knowledge. I didn't even have a calculator. The lab I did by myself and got an 18/20. Pretty good marks, I think :)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


March 7 

Me, Mathilde, and Eloi decided to sleep in an igloo. 
It was an idea that Mathilde had wanted to do for awhile now, and it just so happened that Eloi and his parents had spent the afternoon a couple of days ago building one. Luckily it hadn't melted. 
First Mathilde and I put together two large backpacks with every article of warm clothing we could find, and two sleeping bags each. Then we put on ten thousand layers, three pairs of socks each etc. and marched out the door to the waiting car. We also brought our instruments: mandolin and guitar. 
After driving to Freydières, we unloaded and started walking down a trail with all of our stuff, and dragging sleds full of firewood behind us. Tattooine the dog ran back and forth along the path from person in front to the back very fast. 
After about half an hour we got to the igloo and dropped our stuff. We quickly set to work building a fire, as the sun was swiftly departing. Eloi's mum and dad went to gather firewood and pine branches, while us three stayed and made little snow seats around the flattened snow fire pit. Eloi cut snow blocks with a saw, Mathilde carried them and placed them on the ground where they should go, and I packed snow in between the layers and on the ground to keep it from falling over when sat on. It was a pretty good system if'n I do say so meself. 
When they returned, we made a bed of pine branches, placed a metal sheet on top, and made a fire on the metal sheet (it was completely dark at this point by the way). Next we placed three sticks in a tee-pee arrangement over the fire, and suspended a medium-sized caldron thing by a chain from the apex. There were about seven snow seats that were made in a circle around the fire. 
When I write it down it sounds like it didn't take that long, but it actually took about an hour and a half to go from snow to flattened snow with seats and fire and caldron. 
The next part is the yummiest. We all sat round the fire and cheese was dumped into the caldron. As it was melting, various spices where added and it was stirred vigorously. 
Next bread was provided along with fondue sticks, and we dipped the bread into the melted cheese and ate it on our snow seats in the freezing cold night. It was at once a tasty and messy experience, because the cheese strings left after you pulled your bread from the pot froze almost immediately, leaving you stuck with a very long frozen cheese string attaching you to the pot. It was super fun though. 
Later on, Mathilde's parents and sisters arrived and we got out our instruments and played some jigs and stuff. I played melody, Mathilde played chords. Olivier and almost everyone else started dancing as well (partly to keep warm, I think) and with a synchronized choreography even. 
Then it got really late and people got really tired (myself included) and so the Croisats left, Eloi's parents went to their tent with the dog and Mathlide Eloi and I prepared for a night in an igloo. Basically we covered ourselves with as much fabric as we could. 
I got to sleep in the middle, but unfortunately my head was slightly lower than my feet, so I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep. And I was very squished. I wasn't cold, though. 
Even though I didn't get a lot of sleep, the next morning Mathilde said she'd slept quite well and was feeling quite refreshed. We ate breakfast (hot chocolate and bread) as we watched the sun rise over the mountain. It was really beautiful. 
Then Olivier came in the car to pick us up and we drove home. It was a fun thing to do, but next time I would try to get a better night's sleep. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Feb something- March 1st, 2nd

March 1, 16:00
Well since my last blog post I haven't done too much. I went to school for a week (which went by really fast) I got 18/20 on an English assignment (I cannot spell to save my life) and I wrote a history test, and a life science test. I get all the assignments in school now, and for march 18 there's a chemistry test and a monologue for French that's due. There's also an essay I should write for French, and some math exercises due at some point. Anyway, so lots of homework and somehow I can't just ignore it, even though it doesn't count for anything official back home. 
I haven't gotten really far on my work form home, which is bad because I've already been here a month (I can't believe it's already been a month. The days and weeks go by fairly quickly!). 
Today is the first day of a 2 week vacation here in France. The last class yesterday was nearly uncontainable, as everyone was really excited for the break. The second week of break I'm going on a week-long ski trip. The first week I plan to relax, because skiing is hard work. 
I woke up at 11am today and wolfed down some food and hopped in the car with Mathilde and Clémentine. We drove down to a parking lot in Revel where the bus that would take us up to Chamrousse (the ski village) was waiting. Currently I am sitting on said bus with my ski helmet in my lap on my way back down. It's 16:40. 
I am getting steadily better and more confident at skiing, but I'm still by far the worst skiier in the bus. I can now go down a slope using minimal snow-ploughs, and mostly zig-zags. Anything really steep though, and I get really scared and that's when I lose control and slam head first into a snow drift. It's still fun though, and I've improved since my last time. 
I'm also sitting here feeling really hungry. Note to self: bring food and water next time. Granted, I didn't have a lot of time to prepare this time. 
This evening there's a soirée, "Carnaval". Everyone (youth) dresses up and goes dancing. We did our costumes last night with Emma and Kestrel. Mathilde is going to be batman, I think Emma's being superman, Kestrel found this great colourful clown costume in Mathilde's dress up stuff (of which there is a lot), and I was waffling between gypsy (because of all the colourful cloth at my disposal) or detective inspector type thing. In the end I choose detective. It's slightly Sherlock-esque with a long dark coat, striped scarf and fedora hat. I also wear a shiny blue-silver mask. 

Well plans change, and it turned out I was so exhausted after skiing that I basically when right to bed and consequently missed the Carnaval. It's ok though, I got a lot of much needed sleep, and I've decided I'm going to wear my costume to school at some point instead. 
On Sunday March 2nd, we went on a 3 hour snowshoeing trip. We went to the same place as last time, but this time we made it our goal to have a picnic lunch at the little cabin near the top of the mountain. So we set out. We were with another family who was a friend of theirs, and they had a dog Tattooine. She was the same breed as Taiga (except brown-red instead of black-white), who we also brought along. Taiga, unfortunately, is very territorial and aggressive with other dogs. They got in a huge fight before we left, so we put Taiga at the front towing two sleds, and Tattooine stayed at the back. We had to make sure Taiga never saw the other dog even once, it was that bad. 
Eventually after two hours we arrived at the cabin. Everyone was really tired and hot, so we settled down in front of the cabin (it smelled funny inside. It was a tiny shepherd's cabin, with a small table and some candles and pots inside). Pretty soon we all got really cold, from sitting on the snow and not moving for awhile, so we put our coats and mitts and such back on again. 
Lunch was cheese and bread and a tomato and ham and tea. The tea was great and warm and the best thing in the world at the time. 
To get down the mountain again, Mathilde, Nadia, and I got in toboggans. Mathilde in one, me and Nadia in the other. We attached Taiga to Mathilde's sled and she promptly went speeding down the path. Nadia and I followed, and every so often we saw the tracks of a sled that had fallen off the side and been pulled up again, or that had stopped suddenly or gone over a bump (those would've been the tracks of the sled with Mathilde and Taiga). Our sled was a little more controlled, with me pushing and using my hands to stop us from skidding off the path, and Nadia happily relaxing in front of me. It was a real workout for me: I had to use my stomach muscles to keep from falling backwards, and at the same time use my arms and gloved hands to direct and push the sled. We went super fast at times, and eventually caught up to Mathilde. It took us about an hour to descend. 
I slept well that night. 

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Feb 22/23
(Weekend :)

Yesterday was Saturday. Aline and I went snowshoeing up a mountain to a lake. It was a three hour round trip, with stunning views of the valley below. We also brought Taiga, And she was very happy and kept rolling around in the snow and running around. Unfortunately she enjoys chasing and annoying skiers, so we had to keep her on a leash until we were far-ish away from the main trail. 
Snowshoeing is really fun, because it allows you to be as nimble as you're going to be in the snow. The trail is always atmospheric; a small path of trodden snow winding its way through trees, sometimes steep, sometimes flat, overhung by snow-laden tree branches. 
Said branches can be quite useful when engaged in a snow battle with Aline (she started it). 
Going up the mountain was a piece of work, but absolutely worth it for the views at the top and the fresh snow. Going down was not nearly as much work, and a lot faster because we were running. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to go hurtling down a slope in snowshoes, unable to stop and avoiding various snow clouds put there by the person in front of you. 

Later that evening we went to a small pub above us on the mountain (Freydières) for dinner. They had a small live jazz group that evening, so it was packed. You really get the feeling of a small village when everyone knows everyone else, and they all go to the pub on the same night. It was very comfortable, very cozy, and a nice place to be after trekking about in the snow. It was your classic wood cabin restaurant with the snow outside, packed to the brim with friendly people and the hum of conversation. The food was also really good, but I wouldn't expect anything less from a European pub meal :)
I actually recognized a few of the jazz tunes they were playing from the various jazz groups I've been in. They even played Chameleon, which made me smile because that song is so well known back at school. Dare I say too well known... 
After I'd eaten an amazing meal of ham, cabbage, gratin dauphinoise, and apple pie and ice cream for dessert along with a selection of cheeses, we cleared the table and took out Dutch Blitz. Nadia really loves this game, and who was I to say no to playing cards until midnight with no elbow room? Actually it reminded me of camping, and I really enjoyed it. (I won, by the way)
I was super tired when I got home, but was very happy because I think that was one of the best days I've had here so far. 

We went back to Freydières to go skiing/sledding/snowshoeing as a family. Mathilde, Olivier, Aline, and Nadia were on skis (with skins attached to the bottom to be taken off at the top of the hill), Clémentine and I were on snowshoes. We hiked for about an hour, then most of us turned back except for Nadia and Olivier. There was only one big sled, so Clem and I squished ourselves in it, tucked our feet in and let go. The ride down was really fun and really long, with lots of twists and turns and snow drifts, and bumps, and a really steep cliff on one side. We crashed a lot and laughed a lot and went really fast and fell over, and somehow we ended up at the bottom. I think we really scared all the skiers we passed; for one thing we actually passed them, for another we were screaming/laughing the entire time. 
Then while we waited for Nadia and Olivier to come back, Clem and I walked to the other side of the frozen lake (around, not over top) and did a couple of sled runs and built a snowman. It looked kinda dejected, with its crooked smile and tiny eyes and single hair (a leaf) atop its head, blowing in the wind. 
Then we returned home, and had raquelette. That is, we had really yummy melted cheese on potatoes with ham and lettuce. This is apparently another dish native to the region. 
We had to leave promptly after that, because Olivier, Mathilde and I had to get to a (mostly) Mozart concert an hour away. It was a really good concert, with a Mozart, two Mozart piano concertos and one Hayden thrown in for good measure. There was even an encore after the show. It was a fairly small orchestra, and frankly I liked the Victoria symphony more, but I am biased in that opinion. On the way back, Mathilde and I did our best to study SVT (Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre), because there's a test on Tuesday. 


Feb 21, 22

Yesterday I walked home from the center of Revel (a very small square closed in by buildings) after school, and it was really beautiful and sunny out. You could see the entire valley with Grenoble and everything there were a couple chickens and horses around as well. I took lots of pictures. 
When I finished climbing a small section of mountain I arrived back home, where the family dog Taiga was waiting at the fence. She's the friendliest being I've ever met, and stays outside most of the time, even sleeping out there. She's got super thick fur. 
Anyway, she really likes to play fetch, so what she does is she drops her toy over the fence, so that you have to pick it up if only to bring it back to the yard. But at this point, she's tricked you into holding her toy as she wags her tail and prepares to catch it, and you can either carry it in (it's really gross and slobbery) or you can throw it to her. 
She knows what she's doing. 

Today was Friday. 
I really don't like the way that students are treated in my lycée. No teacher trusts you on your word; you have to get a teacher to validate everything.  
So the way it works is like this: the cafeteria serves all the students at lunch, starting at 11:30 and continuing to serve until 13:30 I think. Students line up outside and are admitted in intervals, scanning their lunch cards on the way. Students with class schedules that only allow for an hour to stand in line, get your stuff together, sit down, eat, dispose of stuff properly, and leave (theoretically) get priority seating. Otherwise they would not have time to eat because there are so many students standing in line (side note: lines in France are a bit more "everyone for themselves" then in Canada. I'm used to it being customary to let others pass in front of you knowing they would do the same, but here if you wanna be in front you gotta push your way through and bugger the consequences. Otherwise you WILL be last, just like us polite Canadians). 
Today our class had limited time to eat, so we tried to get priority passes. The teacher wouldn't let us so we had to go ack around and join the pack of everyone else. It was kinda like being herded like sheep. We waited half an hour, but then we were really running out of time so we went and asked again, this time with the whole class who had since shown up. Only when our homeroom teacher came and talked to the supervisor did they let us through. I definitely think there's a better way to organize things here, and it really bugs me about the lack of trust in students. 
So not a great day at lunch, but later in the evening I taught Clémentine and Nadia the card game Dutch blitz, and watched Sherlock in French with the parents (who both loved it by the way). Tomorrow is skiing again :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Feb 18, 19

Yesterday (18) was a normal day at school. We had croisées, a type of tiny square pasta native to this region, for dinner. They tasted like pasta. I'm trying to think what else happened yesterday... Ah yes, I worked on a PowerPoint for school with Mathilde, I read until act 3 of Le Cid for French, I practiced my orchestra music, and Aline shaved my head for me. It was starting to look strange with patches of hair and stuff. So, average day. 

I brought a granola bar as a little snack today (19), and as I was eating it everyone glanced at me for a moment. They really don't eat any snacks here, ever. Par contre les répas sont très grands. Even if the food here is super yummy, there's a lot of gluten (which doesn't completely agree with me) and it's a strange pattern of getting really hungry, stomach rumbling, then eating until very full and then not eating for a long time again. To me it doesn't seem like a very healthy way of nourishment, but they think that eating little snacks all day when you're hungry is unhealthy. I think the cultures are worlds apart when it comes to eating schedules, but out of courtesy I'm going to eat in their pattern while I'm here (but I don't think it's very healthy). It's not like I really have any other choice: food is put in front of me and I either eat or go hungry. So yeah. 
Another big cultural difference I've noticed is "taboo" subjects. We had a guy come in and give a presentation on addiction and tobacco and drugs, but it also touched on everything from feminism to homosexuality to racism and classism. I noticed some flaws in his arguments, but I was too shy to raise my hand. I wanted to sound like I knew what I was talking about (I did), but because French was my second language I held back. I think presentations like these are fairly rare here, and there are a lot of taboo subjects that aren't really discussed. It's quite different from my school in Victoria, we are really open there with everything and I miss that feeling. I wonder if it's just schools that are different or whether it's a Canadian vs French thing. Maybe there are schools here like mine, but somehow I doubt it. Esquimalt really has an unbeatable atmosphere :)

Monday, 17 February 2014


Feb 15, 16, 17

The weekend, and today (Monday). 

On Saturday we went skiing for the entire day (ski de pistes- alpine) and it was really scary at first but then I got the hang of it by controlling my speed, and it got better. By the end of the day I was skiing at an okay level, remembering all of the three or so days I've gone skiing in the past. Meanwhile Mathilde is off skiing backwards and going in circles and doing small jumps, as I snow plough my way cautiously and carefully down the slopes. I did not want to fall. 

I didn't end up falling, but it was a lot of work and the second time around I had to take lots of little breaks to rest my legs, because they were trembling from the effort. I figured out how to kinda give them a break for a bit, by putting my skis in parallel when going straight. It kinda worked. Sort of. I definitely have a long way to go still, considering my favorite part of skiing at the moment is still the téléchaise ride on the way up. 

Sunday was a nothing day. I caught up on my school work from France (of which there is a fair amount at the moment- I've been here long enough to be caught in the net of people who were present last time) and I plan on doing my best in the schoolwork here, even if it doesn't count for anything official back home. I figure, school is school. I'll do my homework. 
I also started on some work from home, but didn't get too far because it was getting really late and there was school tomorrow (what was I doing the rest of the day, you ask? Reading. Darn books wasting all your time :). 
I also practiced viola yesterday, which felt good. I tried to play every fiddle tune I could remember after practicing, but in the end ran out of tunes or could not figure out how they went (of course later while half asleep they all came back to me). I also got my postcard all packaged and ready to mail, and Aline mailed it for me today. Hopefully it will be at my house in Canada in 10 days-ish. 

Today was a typical Monday: school; math, history, English, chemistry, gym. Lunch was little wheat pasta-like thing with pork and yoghurt for dessert. Now I'm going to go do homework. 

Good night. 

Friday, 14 February 2014



Feb 14, 2014

Yesterday was average, so no blog post. As a quick description: stuff happened. I went to school, I came home, I did homework. I do a post everyday, that's not going to work...

So. Today was a pretty average day at school. We got some homework, homework was checked (I did mine- it's nice finally being in attendance long enough to know a bit about what's going on). 
After school Kestrel came over to mine and Mathilde's house because Emma (her OSEF partner) got her wisdom teeth out and wasn't much fun to be around. We made crêpes by throwing random amounts of milk, flour, and eggs into a bowl and then haphazardly pouring the "pâte à crêpes" into the frying pan. The first one was too wet, the second too dry, and by the third it was about right. We were creative with our toppings: Nutella and sugar (except I put way too much chocolate hazelnut spread on mine and had some trouble finishing it). 
Then the afternoon progressed, we watched some Sochi Olympics on TV (this is one of the only reasons I would want a tv- to watch the Olympics every couple years) and I was reminded how "great" tv ads are, especially in French...
Eventually Kestrel left and it was time for karate. I worked more on my catan (still don't know how to spell that- I really should look it up), and was shown some basic blocks to kicks and punches with either hand. My reaction time sucks, not to mention that a lot of the time any appendage that I'm not paying attention to will do whatever it pleases. Such as: I think of my punch, my other hand stays outstretched wherever it was last. I think about tucking that hand into my side, and my punch becomes a half-hearted attempt at a fist-bump. I need to work on some coordination. 

Today it was also valentine's day, and it seems like a bigger deal here then in Victoria, but maybe that's just me. 
Anyway, the way it works is us kids get to eat a wonderful French meal in front of the tv, while the parents get the kitchen to themselves for a nice romantic dinner (of course they still have to bring food in for the kids from time to time). The food was really good- Greek salad and Chinese mini egg roll things for starters, and 4 escargots (I have now had foie gras and escargot in France, and I quite like the snail because of all the garlic and butter. There's not much actual snail taste). Then the main course: roast duck, gratin dauphinoise, rice, and green beans wrapped in bacon. For desert there was a big selection of mini cakes with were way too rich for me to eat a lot. 
Dinner was really good. I'm really full. We're going alpine skiing the entire day tomorrow. 
Good night

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


Feb 12, 2014

At a restaurant with Mathilde, Ariane (who I just met, friend of Hugo's) and Hugo (there are three in our class- this is the one with red hair). We are eating here for his birthday, I believe, but it also might be Mathilde's or something. Anyway. 
School ended at midi today, as it does all Wednesdays. We had French, English, then history. I managed to save as much paper as I could in history because I wrote really small. We learned more about monasteries and churches in the 1000's and monks and cloisters and people. I took notes. 
In French we started reading the first scene of a play "Le Cid". It's a tragedy, and actually I can understand it and I quite like it so far. It's all about honor and love (forbidden, of course) and knights and princesses. I think it's going to be good. 
In English we did a debate on whether computers were stressful or not. I was the moderator, and lead the discussion. It was kinda boring. 
And now I'm at the restaurant. That's my day so far. I ordered tagliatelle.

The food at lunch was ok. Not super bad, not super great. I didn't like the fact that there was not nearly enough meat sauce for the pasta. It was really boring. With each bite, I got a hint of tomatoness, and not much else. This was really annoying especially because I like my pasta dishes to be meat sauce with a garnish of noodles. Luckily they give you complementary parmesan, and I used up the entire little container they put on the table. It was kinda like parmesan with noodles when I was done, but it wasn't boring anymore. 
 After lunch we went to the supermarket, and I found out that kit kat makes little chocolate wafer balls that you dip into pre-packaged vanilla flavor kit kat yogurt. We bought some because it was so strange, but I didn't really feel like trying it (neither did Mathilde) so right now it's sitting in the fridge. I don't know if I want to know what kit kat brand yogurt tastes like. 

We went to karate again tonight, and this time Kestrel was with me. Turns out in Canada she had done four years of karate in the past, so there goes my hopes of having another beginner  start with me. It did comfort me a little though: she didn't remember everything. I struggled my way through the warm up, realizing that I really need to get better at running for more than 30 seconds before I start panting and getting tired. Maybe I'll work on that while I'm here. 
After warm up, everyone split up. Kestrel and I joined a teacher person who taught us (me) the basic guard position and three types of kicks and two ways to block a punch and four ways to turn and block. My level of retention now is about 10%. Then he went on to tech us the very first catan (I don't know if it's spelt with a "k" or a "c"). There are apparently many levels of catan, of which two were happening on either side of us with the groups of more advanced students. They looked very impressive. 
By the end of the class, I had the movements memorized (but not perfected, of course). It's kinda tricky thinking of what to move when in a certain position; it reminds me of playing viola because there's a million things that you're thinking about all at once. Kestrel pretty much got it right away, but it wasn't her second day ever in a kimono so I figure I did alright. 
Then we went a little overtime with our class, and I could tell because people started bringing in huge African drums and such. We did the ceremony thing we do before starting or finishing a class, and went home. 
Then I had dinner (cenelle (leftover cheesy stuff), spinach purée (wasn't too bad actually, I think there was a lot of butter), cherry tomatoes and leftover pasta with cheese). Now I'm in bed, and now I'm going to brush and floss my teeth. Good night

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Feb 11, 2014

Well today was mildly interesting. 
I was slightly tired and falling asleep the entire day, so keep in mind everything had a lazy tinge to it. 
So school was fairly normal. We had chemistry/physics and life science (which I had not too much trouble with- it all kinda made sense), then after a lunch of rice, Yorkshire pudding and some sort of stew thing, they had a French test on a play by Molière and I read a book. 
After school we got picked up by Mathilde's grandma (Oliver's mum), but not before Mathilde was given a gigantic red heart-shaped balloon for her birthday yesterday. Somehow we fit it into the car in the backseat, then we drove home. I should mention at this point that I was almost falling asleep in the car and finding it hard to keep up a conversation in French with the driver.  I found myself speaking slower with more pauses than usual, and my vocabulary was decreasing exponentially. Eventually we just stopped talking, and I decided to have a nap when we got home. 
I went to sleep right away for an hour, after which Mathilde and I were going to leave for the rehearsal of her orchestra before the concert they were playing at tonight. But as I was too tired and had only been to one rehearsal, I decided not to go. So Mathilde left, (probably picked up Clémentine along the way somewhere) and I went back to bed.  
An hour after that, Aline, Nadia, Olivier and I left to go watch the concert. As we were getting into the car, I noticed aloud that on the way back we would have six people and only seat belts for five. Aline said oh yes, she had forgotten but we would figure it out. I didn't worry. It was a short drive in a small village. 
We got pizza and calzones (pizzas folded in half and glued together) on the way for dinner, and I have to say take our pizza here is much better. It's more Italian style, with thin crusts and interesting cheeses. Also one of the pizzas we got was called a "pizza Eva". 
We got to the conservatory and headed in with our pizza. We weren't sure exactly where or when we were going to eat it. It was almost at this point when I had not eaten anything since lunch, about seven hours ago. I guess I didn't realize I was hungry because I was so tired, but now I was really hungry. 
So we walked up the stairs to where the doors to the theatre were. There was kind of an airlock setup, where you go in some doors first, then there's a dark area with little red lights behind the audience up high, then you go through another door to go sit down. But what we did was go through the first door like normal, then inconspicuously place our pizzas and stuff on the floor of the dark area and eat pizza. I was about half way through my piece when I realized what I situation this was. We were crouched around some pizza, eating really fast because we had to, behind a theatre in which a semi-formal concert was going on (I say semi formal because none if the groups were really great, they were mediocre). So yeah. Just hanging about like we owned the place eating our dinner. 
After we finished and saved some for Clem and Mathilde, we washed our hands and went in to sit down. Just in time too, because the orchestra came on just then. Before them was a girl singing "skyfall" but she wasn't that great of a singer, and got off the beat a couple times. It was ok though because her backup piano, drums, and bass trio were super great. 
The orchestra played. Nothing special, just what I expected. Better than advanced strings at central, but much worse than the junior orchestra at the VCM. There were some really good individual players though, including Mathilde and the concert master. 
Then a trombone quartet plus bass played, and they were pretty good. It was nice to hear a trombone again. I wondered if there was any way a trombone-less teenaged bald canadian girl could join a trombone quartet of French balding men. I figured there was a possibility. Apparently the trombone teacher in the quartet is the husband of Mathilde's violin teacher. It's a small place. 
After the concert we all piled into the car, Aline and Olivier in the front, me, Mathilde, Clem and Nadia in the back. Nadia sat on my lap, since she was the smallest. Mathilde and Clem are their pizza in the car, and I mused that we were turning this little fuel-efficient car into a gigantic RV just by cramming it with people and eating food in he back. It was cosy, the kind of cosy feeling you get when you build a blanket fort and then realize it's a bit too small but you stay anyway. And then cram all your friends into it, and start eating pizza. Anyway...
We were all super tired after that so we all went to bed. Or rather, we should have all gone to bed but instead I played viola, Mathilde played violin, Nadia had a bath, Clem did her math, Aline found a strawberry pie (mmmmm...) and we all got busy. Then later Mathilde hogged the bathroom (she's still in there..) to have a bath and I showed "It Must have Been the Dragon" to Aline and Olivier while Nadia and Clem complained about the noise and the bathroom-hogging. 
Then things finally calmed down a bit and I got handed my toothbrush by Mathilde opening the bathroom door a crack, and now I'm writing this. Whew. How is it 23:20? I started at 22:30. Darn, I was totally planning on getting to sleep at a reasonable hour today. 

Monday, 10 February 2014


Monday feb 10

School day. 7:22
Waiting at the second bus stop of the day. 

On the bus. 

On the bus again. School just finished. Last block was gym, and we did pong pong. Mondays for me are spent mostly sitting around, because I'm here till five thirty but only have three classes. So I read my book. 
Today at lunch there were choices: ravioli with tomato stuff, ravioli with cheese stuff, or fish and carrots with cheese. I took the carrots and fish, and I was very proud of myself for that because here in France there has been so much bread and wheat and gluten, and I haven't been feeling super great. My guess is that is has something to do with that, and I think I was right because I didn't feel as bad after lunch today. 
In summary: today school was long and I made good food choices. 

I'm not going to tell you everything that happened in every class every day, because that would be exhausting. I'll just tell you the interesting stuff, for example: I had my first history class today, and it's pretty much the same as sciences humaines back home. We ate learning about the church reforms of the Middle Ages. It's pretty dull stuff, but it's also pretty easy. Also I learned that other Canadian exchange student Castrelle's name is actually spelt Kestrel. A bit different. I feel like it's the name of a bird, or close to it...
We got our timetables and papers and stuff after gym, because the gym teacher is also our homeroom teacher and we didn't have homeroom last Friday. I need to talk to people about my timetable (emploi de temps en français) because there are some things we need to change. 
K. That's all for now. 

For dinner we had spinach noodles and chicken. It was really good. For dessert we had blueberry pie. Mmm. 
It was also Mathilde's birthday dinner (it's her birthday today :) and she opened all her presents. She liked the portrait I painted of her, but she especially liked the laptop that she got. Now she has her own computer, which is good because there was only one computer in the house until today, and it was always in use. 
We've all got an orchestra concert tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. 

P. S.
Sorry if these posts are getting shorter or less detailed, it's just that less is happening. The first couple days were a whirlwind, and now things are calming down a bit. 


Feb 8/ feb 9

Yesterday (feb 8):
Me and Olivier went skiing, but then we had to come back because my boots were too small and they were hurting my feet. Luckily the ski hill is only a half hour drive away. Then I worked on a watercolor postcard for the rest of the day, then Mathilde, Albane and I went to a concert in the evening. All in all, it was a pretty quiet day. Nothing much to say, except the concert was mildly entertaining and was in the same hall as karate. I think everything in Revel happens in that one hall. 
It was kinda nice to just have a quiet day; it was the first of its kind since I arrived in France. There were some people who came over for dinner, and we had some of the salmon I brought with me from Canada. I also tried foie gras, it was ok. Tasted kinda just like normal meat. I met another Canadian exchange student (Emma's) at the concert, Castrelle. She had arrived four hours ago, and was really tired. We talked French and not English, for which I was proud of. 

Today (feb 9):
It's morning and we're all getting ready to go cross-country skiing. I think we're just about to leave. Will check in later. 

Back from skiing (all day):
We went cross country skiing all day and I am thoroughly wiped out. I actually wiped out two times (fell over and rolled ungracefully down the slope) , trying to go fast down a hill. Got the wind knocked out of me the second time. Not fun, but ok. We also played "magic square" in the powdery unpressed snow (did you know that "snow plough" in French is "chasse-neige"? That means snow chaser. Such a better name than snow plough). We traced a square with diagonals and horizontals and one person was the wolf. The next person the wolf tagged was also now a wolf, and the game ended when everyone was a wolf. There were only two rules: you must keep your skis on and you must stay on the traced lines in the snow. If you fell over (and I did), you'd better get up quick otherwise you were dead meat (and I was). 
But overall it was a really good day, because even though I suck at skiing at the moment I still love it. And by the end I had improved a little. Also, we went for hot chocolate and Nutella waffles afterwards which helped a lot :)

Friday, 7 February 2014


Feb 7

Just sitting right now at Lycée Pablo Neruda waiting until our next classes start. They start at 14h, lunch was from 12:09-12:30. Woke up this morning, had cereal with little bits of dehydrated fruit, got my stuff together, walked out the door.
We set out again for school, taking the bus down the mountain it was a little early, so we had to run a bit. 

First class was math, so I went to the equivalent of study hall to read "to kill a mockingbird". I'm not giving any spoilers on here, but I will say right now it's a book which I think I will have to read at least twice to get everything out of. There are so many references early on to things that happen later. Also it's a really good book and I couldn't put it down for the entire two hours. It's good that in not going to math because:
a) it's a terrible class
b) I can use the math blocks as spares to finish all of my work from Canada (of which there is a sizable amount). 

Then we went to French and they started writing a critique of a movie they'd seen which sounded really good and worth watching (even if a little sad), so I'll try to find it at the library and watch it, and then I can write a critique too. It's my intention to keep up with homework as much as I can here (why not?). 

So remember what I said about not staying up late? Yeah, that's not happening. But I didn't get a chance before this, and I will explain. 

The rest. Of school was pretty average: English then Spanish. I n English I can participate as a full member of the class (but it's embarrassing speaking English in front of them all, because I don't want to speak too fast but at the same time I want to sound like English is my strong point and I'm not hesitating). In Spanish, it's a little harder because they've done twice as much Spanish as me, and it's no one's native language. 

On Fridays we get home from school at 6:30pm which kind of sucks. And then we have half an hour at home until we have to leave again for karate. We watched a bit of the opening of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on TV before we left. 
Karate is so much fun. It really is. At first I had no idea what I was doing, but after figuring some things out (like how to put on the white robe kimono thing and such) I dove right in. The teacher taught me 3 ways go block someone who wants to stab me with a knife. This instruction included descriptions of what would become of me if I failed in blocking said knife, which included sound effects. In the end, he's a really good teacher. 
I really quite enjoy karate. I will definitely keep doing it here, and maybe even when I get back. I was practicing the three defense moves when I got back home, and they're so much fun :)
It's a lot of work though, but I don't mind. You forget how much you're working when you're busy (It's the same with dancing). Mathilde is really good at karate! It's actually a little scary how good she is. Did I mention she's going to nationals? She said I did really well for my first day, that I was faster than most first-timers. I don't know, I certainly didn't feel fast. I was working today with a girl called Marie. So much fun. Afterwards we walked home, basically a fifteen minute hike up the mountain. Mathilde's friend Élisée met us after karate to walk home with us. She hadn't been at school cause she was sick. 

When we got home we had dinner (leftover soup) and later this evening I taught Nadia how to make a relatively difficult origami bracelet. We did a practice one together, and I taught her how to read the diagrams, and then she made the real thing by herself. I never touched the paper, and it looks super good. Nadia is very patient, et en plus elle était une très bonne élève. She learns quickly. 

Ok time for bed. Tomorrow is my first ski day! Olivier is going to teach me the basics. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014


February 6

Right now Mathilde and I are on the bus on the way home from school and I have some time to write because Mathilde is just talking to Martin (a friend). Mathilde has lots of friends, and I can't remember all of their names but here's the ones I remember: Albane, Emma, Claire, Clarisse, Valentin, Laurane, Pierre, and lots more. Those might not be spelled right, because I've only ever heard them out loud. 

School here is different, but not as different as I thought it would be. The thing I've most noticed actually is the paper; it's always graph paper. Maybe I'll take a picture to show you. I don't know why, but it's the paper that I find the most different between Canadian schools and French schools. 
We do take a lot if notes, but there are also oral presentations and such. For example, in French today we started a PowerPoint project on "Le Cid" and in Spanish there were oral presentations very similar if not exactly the same as what I remember doing in Canada. 

Right now Albane has come over to join us. She was listening to music with Pierre until an minute ago. 
Anyway, so schools here are different but the same. The cafeteria was on strike today and there were huge picket lines and shouty people standing around outside the school today. It was a funny first day for me to come. 
So because there was no food available at the school, we bussed to subway for lunch instead. We were going to go to a Chinese food place, but something happened at the last minute, I'm not sure what, and we ended up going to subway instead. Which I was fine with. They were wondering if I knew subway, and I said I did. I think subway is all over. 

Right we had to get off the bus all of a sudden, so I'm continuing now. 

We had SES first thing, which is kinda like economy. We talked about supply and demand, and prices and demand, and how to calculate the elasticity of price as a function of demand and all that. Also about the paradox of luxury products: when the price get higher, more products are sold, and we talked about why this is and all that. I found it pretty interesting, but then again I had never been in a class like that before. Mathilde said it was boring. The teacher wasn't very good either, enfaite. 
Next we went to French, where they had a test (un "contrôle" en français) so I started reading "How to kill a mockingbird" for my English class back in Victoria. I figured I'd better start it. Next, because it was a double block of French, we went to the computer lab and started a new power point project about "Le Cib" (some Spanish lord from the 11th century called Rodrigo Diaz de Vivir, who defended Spain from Muslim invaders) and abound play that someone wrote based on this legend. I was in a group with Mathilde and a guy called Maxime (or maybe it was Maxine, I couldn't tell). That wasn't too bad, and the French teacher is really nice and everyone respects her as well. 
Then we had lunch, which I already told you about, and then after lunch we went to Spanish. Enfin il n'est pas très gentil lui, he has this was of looking at you which is scary. But he seems ok and good at teaching Spanish so there's that. They just did some little back and forth prepared memorized trialogue (a three person dialogue ;) with a mom and a dad and their son who wants to be a nurse, I think? I only understood about half of what they said because they've been doing Spanish for three years now, and I've only done one year, and it was a year ago now on top of that. So I'm a little rusty and they are way above my level in Spanish and speak really fast. 
Then the last class of the day: Math. Now normally I'm all for math, and apparently the class I was in were all strong students in math, but the teacher sucked. The parents are talking to the principal about finding a different teacher, because what's happening is students who normally excel at math are put with this teacher and all of a sudden their grades go down fast. He really doesn't know how to teach: he goes too fast, he doesn't care, sometimes he teaches the wrong things, etc. The class just generally hates him, and so they just talk the entire time which makes it even harder for the teacher (and the kids). For me, I find that what he is teaching and the actual calculations aren't hard, but the round-about way that he teaches makes it really hard for anyone to concentrate. Also it's impossible to read his writing. 
I was sitting next to Mywïenne (I have no idea how to spell that- it's apparently a name from Bretagne) during math and she seems to be like me: she's really good at math and she likes doing it, but even she didn't know exactly what was going on, and she had come to math every day. This math class is the equivalent of our classe de sciences humaines à Victoria, but ten times worse. Mathilde says each time that have a test, she just uses the textbook to study because nothing she learns in class makes any sense. I probably would too. 
Luckily, because I'm an exchange student and marks don't count here, I can talk to the office and to Mathilde's parents (and I have already) and just go to the library or something during the math blocks. I might be able to work on work from home or something. 
Also we didn't have sports  (PE) today, but apparently we are doing ping pong right now, and then muscle building. 

I just remembered their dog's name! It's Taiga. I think it's a good name. 

Well I've been writing for an hour now. Funny, it doesn't seem that long. 

After school, Mathilde, Albane and I bussed to the bottom of the mountain, where we hitch-hiked up the mountain with someone named Phillipe (we could tell because on the display it said something about Phillipe's iPhone). Apparently Albane had hitched a ride with him before. I think because revel is such a small village, it's ok to be hitch- hiking about. If we were in a city I'd be a bit more worried. It seems like everyone knows each other here. 

And now I'm sitting at home in front of the wood stove (the only source of heating for the house) and warming my feet. I'm feeling quite content at the moment :)
Oh yes, and I wore my wig ("perruque" en français) all day at school today, just because it was the first day and I didn't know how people would react and all. I think tomorrow I'll wear a hat, and see what happens. It's quite annoying to have to wear a wig all day. It really gets in the way, especially while eating. 
I think later this evening Mathilde it going to karate again. In Thursdays it's heavy workout day, and because she's qualified to go to the France national karate competition in Paris this March representing Revel, she is working really hard at the moment. It means I get to back to Paris once more before I leave France :)

I'm going to go to bed earlier today. So this is just to tell you what I had for dinner: vegetable soup, fish, pasta, cheese. Voilà. Bonne nuit tout le monde :)