We have spent a full two days now. Our arrival at Gaillac was delayed due to an electrical fault on the line. What an experience with no-one on the train who spoke English and all the announcements in French, luckily Sandrine (teacher) texted me and we were able to let her know. Apparently this is common. We met together yesterday and visited Cordes sur Ciel - a medieval town founded in 1222. The walk to the top was fairly epic with very steep narrow cobbled streets to walk up - a true workout, no climbing machine at the gym can compensate. I felt therefore that I had walked off the pain au chocolat from breakfast, and maybe the croissant as well! We shopped a little and the students started to mingle. What started as two groups in the morning sitting apart was one group by the afternoon and it was good to see.
I am getting a usb cord tomorrow at school and will be able to upload some of the pictures then. I am taking far more than I could upload and when I return I will burn them all to disc and the students can have a disc each.
We had a picnic lunch by the river below Cordes, to look up and see this stone town with walls and a church above us left me speechless and quite emotional. To know that I had walked on the same cobbles where 750 years ago knights on horseback would have ridden was confusing and mind blowing. The word picnic didn't do it justice. All the families baked a sweet and savoury dish that morning and many collected fresh baguette at the bakery. It seems many people make an olive oil cake that you add goat cheese, ham and other vegetables to. There was apple tart, chocolate cake and the home made pate was like nothing I have ever tasted. Of course there was the obligatory red wine on the table as well but the French do not drink like Kiwis and one bottle was shared amongst the 20 or so adults there.
The students all played football and other games together. At approx 5:30pm (when I would be at home getting dinner ready) the picnic packed up and we all went home.
At times it is hard to remember we are so far away, if you took the houses out of the scenery we could be in the Waikato, it is flatter than many parts of NZ and I never thought I would be missing seeing the sea either.
I am still a little awestruck at knowing where I am, yes I miss my children and a couple of the students are very tired and therefore missing home, but I have been in their shoes and know this will pass. I spent 3 months in the Philippines when I was 17 and had terrible culture shock and homesickness and remember this well.
Be assured Lucille and I are looking after them, the families all are so lovely and what some are feeling at the moment will pass and I know they will gain so much from this.
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Last modified on Sunday, 15 March 2015 15:14