I can't believe it's been over two week since I last posted. Time flies when you're having fun (unless you're frog, then time's fun when you're have flies - Coach Dawson, junior physics… It wasn't funny when he said it either, which was often. The other thing he liked to say was “It’s 5:00 somewhere.” Remembering that now makes me wonder what exactly he was trying to encourage among the 16 and 17 year olds in his classes).
What’s happened since November 15th:
I took a couple yoga classes, which were very relaxing and required me to think in French (or just watch other people inconspicuously).
Fabiola and I had an afternoon snack with two teachers that we work with that turned into a 6-hour visit complete with dinner. I work with Christophe, and Fabiola works with Karine; both of whom teach English in our schools. They also happened to live in New Orleans for a couple years until Katrina screwed them over. The invited us to have cake (individual chocolate cakes with a gooey center), and then let us use their phone because they have FREE calls to the United States. By the time Fabiola and I had phoned boyfriends and family, they asked if we want to stay for dinner. We had the best quiche I’ve ever eaten with salad then cheese and fruit after dinner. It was so nice to get to have dinner with people who were familiar with the “living abroad” experience. They also have a 15-month-old baby whose name I can’t quite decipher.
Then came the week of Thanksgiving!
I was looking for information in French about Thanksgiving. I realized, in researching on google.fr, that whatever I intended to tell the kids, it was primarily about food. How often, on Thanksgiving, do you really think about pilgrims and American Indians?
Moi, non plus (me neither).
Anyway, they didn’t care about it; the kids are 7. They talk while I'm talking and only pay attention when I give them something to color. So, in the tradition of American school children everywhere, we drew hand turkeys, i.e. they traced their hands and attempted to draw turkeys. It was glorious.
Also read this: Thanksgiving. One of the other assistants posted it, and it's funnier if you know some French, but still.
After Actual Thanksgiving, we celebrated my birthday!
My birthday was fun, as fun as it could be without my bestest of friends and family (I don’t mean I don’t like my friends here, I do). We went out to dinner to a Senegalese restaurant called Daara, which was très bien. We kind of crowded the place; it was pretty small. Then we had drinks at Sam’s, then we went to a pub. We met the band for the French singer Alain Souchon http://www.alainsouchon.net/ . They were a funny bunch of guys, and it made for a funny birthday. If you want the full story, send me an email. :D
On Saturday, the assistants had Thanksgiving! It turned out to be a pretty awesome event:
First of all, all of the assistants there were girls. American, Mexican, British, and New Zealand. And somehow, we’ve all managed to befriend French guys. So the entire night was a battle of the sexes and cultures! We did pretty well for making the meal with French ingredients. Sam bought a turkey breast and turkey legs. The Brits brought bread cheese and two chickens. I made cornbread dressing (in Christophe and Karine’s nicely loaned baking dishes); it turned out really good! Meredith and Fabiola brought broccoli and potatoes, respectively. We had lots of deserts. All in all, it was great, and we were properly stuffed afterward.
There were probably 14 of us crammed into Sam’s apartment, and after dinner we played “Celebrity.” This is a game that some of Kevin’s friends claim to have invented, but it’s a fabulous mélange of guess the celebrity without saying the name and charades.
We had a marvelous time.
Stories about my kids:
French children have a snack at both recesses. This must be universal because every child at each of my schools has some kind of sweet snack-y cake (as Carolyn would say) or, less often, an apple. Some kids have a mystery snack wrapped in aluminum foil. Anyway, a week ago as I was walking out of Mme. Goupille's class before morning recess, the kids were excitedly putting on their coats and screaming. One kid, Walid, who is absolutely adorable because he is smaller and baby-fattier than the other kids, waved his snack-y cake in my face. Well, not in my face, per se, as he is less than two feet tall, but he waved his snack-y cake at me. "C'est de chichi!" he said. (sounded like shee shee). I responded as I usually do when they tell me non-school related things: "Je comprends pas" (I do not understand.) And he said, "C'est quelque chose qui est un petit peu sucré et un petit peu selé." Which means, it's something that is a little bit sugary and a little bit salty.
Adorable. Yesterday, the same little kid told me he was going to teach his mother English. Well, he said "Je vais apprendre l'anglais à ma mére," which translates more accurately to "I'm going to learn my mother English." This is okay in French, however, as the verb apprendre can be used both to mean "to learn" and "to teach"
At another school, I have a class of CPs (basically, kindergarten), and everytime I arrive or leave they're like "bisous! bisous!" And I kind of give them little hugs because I just really don't want to get kissed from all of those kids.
Also, if anyone knows how to fix formatting in the input box in blogspot, let me know. I'm having a bit of a formatting crisis.