Friday, September 29, 2006

Last day of school party!!!

Mr. Paita stole my camera and took a picture of me writing my evaluation.

Today was the last day of the intensive language program that we have been taking to prepare us for the semester classes. Everyday we work from 8:30 to about 10:30 and then we take a break for a while and then come back and work until 12:30. Today when we came back from the break, our teacher came back from the break with two bags full of stuff. He had us all write an evaluation of what we thought of the class and him as a teacher just for his own assesment and then when we were done he took out some champaign that he bought, and cookies and stuff for a party! He is so great. He made a toast to us all and told us not to drink too much cause he didn't want us all leaving the class drunk. So we spent the rest of the class time talking and taking pictures with Mr. Paita. I hope I have a class with him during the semester. I was so blessed to have him and a teacher during this month. He is always in a good mood and we finished the month with a great party. He always draws pictures on the board to help us understand stuff when we are confused so before we left, we drew him a picture. He told me how he thinks I should move up a level and let everyone know how they did in the class and what we all need to work on. It was just a good class day.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Gorges de L'Ardeche

Well the place I get my internet from also offers excursions every weekend for students. This last weekend , the 23rd, they were going to a place called Les Gorges de L'Ardeche. The river is called Ardeche and it is so pretty. The sun was out but not too much so I didn't get sun burned. It took 3 hours by bus to get there and we were only actually there for a few hours but it was worth it. So I really wanted to go Kayaking. The river had about four or five rapids. They were not too big, but one of them made some of the boats flip over. Me and my friend Alexander got stuck on a huge rock and had to shift the weight around to get off. Then we lost a paddle. That was the best part. The Kayaking was actually pretty easy but I went online and found another place the offers kayaking on the ocean of on different levels of rapids. I want to try that out. I might have to wait until march or April though because it is starting to get cold and rainy so those places are closing soon. Melissa and I did not get to go for our hike up St. Victoire becasue it was raining so hard on Sunday.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Chinese food in France

So Saturday night, one of my friends from class came over to my appartment to cook for me and our other friend Melissa. The girl who is cooking in the picture is Lu. She is from China and is here learning french in the same class as us for the month. I don't really know how we became friends. She just came up to me one day and asked if I liked Chinese food. Ummm Yeah are you kidding me. I love all food. So she asked if she could come over and cook some ofr me and Melissa. It was really fun. We met around 5 pm to go shopping for the food she needed then we went to my aparetment. We cooked there because I have the biggest kitchen. Lu brought some of her own seasonings from China and made the best food. She made rice, tomatoes and egg dish, a spicy egg plant and pepper dish and chicken that was awsome. I got to keep the leftovers at my place. We had a good time. Lu does not speak english, only Chinese and French so it is funny to try to communicate all the time. She wanted to keep her seasonings at my house for the next time she comes to cook. I didn't mind that at all. We were going to watch a soccer game that night but the game was actually on Sunday not Saturday. Anyways it was a good night. Then We told Lu that we were going to church on Sunaday and she wanted to come to thet too. So ... she came. Apparently she thought we were just going to visit a church to look at it and not actually attend a service. So she was surprised when we sat arrived for the service. I didn't think she liked it but today she told me that she really did. She had never been in a church before so it was really new for her. So the weekend was fun.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Church BBQ

Nevermind the people! I just wanted you to see the food!!! ha ha ha

Last Sunday I forgot to tell you that I went to a BBQ that the church put on. Anyone was aloud to go and it was mostly people my age and some other adults. There is a married couple in the church who organize things for youth and foreign students in Aix. Their names are Julie and Darrin. Ther are not french but they have been living here and running this Christian group for four years. The BBQ was at a ladies house who goes to the church and opens her house for all kinds of things. Her house is just outside of the center of town so we had to get a ride to the BBQ. Anyways her house was awsome. As you can see in the photos, she has a pool and a great view of a famous mountain called St. Victoire. They made so much food I couldn't wait to eat. BBQ chicken, potatos,couscous,hummus, quiche, and so much more. Then they brought out the cheese and bread. THEN they brought out dessert!! Everyone was supposed to bring something so of course most people bring sweets. As did I. So you can Imagine how much more there was to eat. I ate so much food I almost died. I didn't eat after that until two hours later.....okay the next day. There was a small band who played worship songs and a giant trampoline. There were some military people there that are my age. So I talked to them for a while. I hope they start comming to the church. So it was a great day and everyone there is so nice. I love to be around food, people, and such a nice house. It was a good Sunday

Monday, September 11, 2006

another week

Well.....I am still here. I think I am strting to get the idea that I am not just on vacation here. I am going to be here for a while. Today I took the bus to the cheap market to get some food that will last me a month or so. This was a huge place alot like costco. I was there for about 2 hours and I didn't even get to the other half of the store. So I got tons of food.
Sbhool is going well still. I think I am getting better at understanding my teacher when he speaks quickly. However my writing skills are another story. I need to work on all that still.
Anyways I just wanted to leave a little note to let you all know that I am still live and here. If anyone wants to come see me you are MORE than welcome. Sorry I don't have pictures this time.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Day in Marseilles

Today we took a tour of a big city called Marseilles given by the student program that I am in. Marseille is the bigest port in France and huge. We rode in a bus around a small portion of the port and then we were given a few hours to walk around and eat. One of the stops on the way was at an old church called " Notre-Dame De La Garde." The church is placed on top of a hill and is so pretty. The people in Marseilles are all tan. They take their boats out and eat expensive food at the port all day long. The day was perfect for being in Marseilles at the beach. The girl in the picture with me is my good friend Melissa. She goes to church with me. We just walked around and watched all the boats come in and out of the port. I loved it. When we came back to Aix I talked to my friend who runs a bakery on the way to my house. I told him that I went to Marseille today and he asked me if I liked it. I told him I did and he said that usually people who come from Aix do not like the city of Marseilles or the people, and the people who come from Marseilles do not like Aix or the people from Aix. The French are really proud of their city and region they come from in the country. I did really like Marseille to visit but the truth is that I would much rather live in Aix. Kinda strange huh? I thought it was interesting to talk to him about it. I want to go back to Marseille and swim before the summer is over though. The water is so clear and blue. There is so much to see I can't believe it. The pictures don't even do the place justice. I didn't even see the really nice part. I want to go to some other parts of the coast. I hope you like the photos!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hey Shawna

Hey everyone, I am Jeff. Shawna and I are next door neighbors. We have been living next door to each other for several years. In fact, my wife Judy used to babysit Shawna's mom Cindy. No, we are not that old!!!

Shawna, it is great to see you have an apartment, a roommate and it looks as if school is starting to come along rather nicely. From what you were posting, all you do is take test and then sit around and talk. I think I could do that!!

Your apartment looks great. Is it a one bedroom or does everyone have a sofa bed that doubles as furniture? It looks as if you are adapting to the local culture quite readily with the shopping at the markets and all that. At least I would think the food; the fruits and vegetables are quite fresh.

Keep the posts coming. You will do well. It looks as if you are liking life in France.

Be well, Jeff

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

School !!!

I started school yesterday!! I am so excited to finally be doing something progressive. Yesterday we had to be at school by 8 to get the results for the test we took last week. Which means I just had to leave my house by 7:58 because we live so close. I tested in level 3 out of 4. So I did pretty good. I think I will be able to move up to level 4 by the end of the month. Then at 8:30 we started our class. My teacher is really funny so the FOUR HOUR CLASS goes by pretty fast. We look at some pages in different newspapers and then go over grammer and just talk alot. It is great!! We also have homework. Yesterday we had to make an interpretation about a story that the teacher told us in class and bring it back today. Tonight we have to read a story/poem and try to translate it enough so that we can understand it well. It is going well. I think I am going to learn so much in this next month. Then on mondays I have a news paper class in which we just read articles and talk about the meanings of the titles. That is really hard. I don't like that class as much as my first one. The teachers don't speak any english so it makes it hard to get away with just explaining something in english. I love it. Anyways, here are some pictures of my school. The buildings are really old and have so many class rooms.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sports clubs!!!!

Well, today was the day that all the sports clubs in Aix set up a booth and everyone can walk by and sign up for any club they want. So, today I looked at Karate, rock climbing, and salsa. I have not signed up for them yet but I will be attending the classes for the next two weeks for free to see if I like them. I think I will. The karate teacher was really nice and showed us where to meet and said there are alot of students my age in the class as well. That starts this thursday. Then I talked to the instructure for rock climbing and he sounded excited to have me come and start climbing. It is not too expensive. AND I talked to the teacher for salsa lessons. They have competitions and everything. So I might try to do that as well. Each of these clubs only meet one day a week so I don't think it will be too much. If it is I will just have to pick one I guess. I hope they go well. I can't wait!!!!!