I mentioned conversation club in my last blog. Let me tell you about that. Every Tuesday night many of the IES student and about an equal amount of French students show up at the program center around 6:30. We split into groups lead by various French students that help out at IES. Usually there’s about 6 French and 6 American students in each group, give or take a few.
The last few weeks I have been in Samuel’s group and we have played this awesome game called Time’s Up. It’s kind of like charades and taboo all mixed into one. You start with a stack of names of famous people/characters. One person gets the stack of cards and has 30 seconds to get their team to guess the name on the card with words. Then it passes to the other team and they try to do the same. When all the cards have been guessed and points tallied a new round starts with the same cards. This time you try to get your group to guess the names with only one word. At the end of that round another one starts and this time you can only use charades. We played so that the French students had to use English and the American students had to use French. It’s a lot of fun, especially when hilarious and unrelated comments become the only way to get your team to remember the names for rounds 2 and 3.
Conversation club lasts until 8:00 and afterward a lot of students go out with the French students. I usually get dinner with Peter and Sean and occasionally others. We usually get kebabs, which apparently I haven’t mentioned on here yet either! Okay kebabs are not skewers with chunks of meat on them, they are lamb sandwiches with this red kebab sauce (reminds me of Arby’s sauce) and lettuce and tomatoes. With fries and a drink it’s 5.50 just about everywhere. They are the French burger and fries. So usually we hit one of our three favorites which are all next to each other (we choose based on whether its raining or not because one has indoor seating) or we get pasta next door to those at Mezzo, a fast food pasta place where you choose your pasta and choose your sauce. It’s served in cartons like Chinese food and is extremely yummy.
On Friday night we went to see a play at the same theatre where I went to see Richard III a few weeks ago. Man I’m really dropping the ball, apparently I forgot to write about Richard III! If you want to read about that, please visit Shayna’s blog, as she has a very detailed account of it. So we went to see a comedy called Les Fiances de Loches. It was funny and silly but was generally well done. I was most impressed by the use of copious amounts of water on stage, I wanted to meet the director that allowed two bathtubs full of water to be placed on stage for pretty much a water fight. You can also find an account of this show on Shayna’s blog.
On Saturday I hung out at the marche, bought some postcards, met up with everyone for lunch at Carrefour, and worked on my art history paper. That night I took my host sister to a Christian concert for the band Glorious. They reminded me a lot of the Newsboys and their website has some music if you want to listen. It was really awesome. I was in the front row of the church where it was held and had a great view. They had a powerpoint up with the words so everyone could sing along. I already knew a few songs because I listened to a few cds that my host family has. There were a lot of teenagers there that were really into the music, I was surprisingly surprised by this because I’ve seen so little Christian enthusiasm in France. On the other hand one could say the same thing about the US, but I just happened to be plugged into that scene so I do see it. In any case it was an awesome concert and I just left feeling really uplifted.
On Sunday I spent all day working on my art history paper for Monday but also had the opportunity to spend some time with my family while they weren’t running around. I showed them some pictures of my house and my church that my mom sent and they were really interested in comparing our two worlds. It was kind of bizarre that my family is from the US, a country where the average person moves every five years and most buildings are from the 1960’s and later, has lived in the same house my entire life and goes to a church built in the 1930’s constructed from a mansion built in the 1600’s. On the other hand, my host family lives in a country with a reputation for being much more stable has lived in four different houses within Nantes and lived in several cities in France and attends church at a parish built in the 1990’s.
Well, this brings us to Thursday, which was Thanksgiving. However that deserves its own blog post, coming soon to a computer near you! A late Happy Thanksgiving to all!