Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Capitol Place

The recent protests have not caused us much trouble. Students around here have mostly been sitting around peacefully--or talking over loudspeakers to voice their discontent. This morning there were many police cars around the town square (Place de Capitol). We thought it might have something to do with the ongoing protests. Instead, it was a visit from the King of Spain. Never a dull moment--but we are glad to have bicycles since public transport is disrupted so frequently.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


To celebrate "Francophone day" (that is a day to celebrate the fact that many countries speak French) our language school recently hosted a photo competition. Steve thought it would be fun to submit something--just for kicks. He took his camera when he went out a couple of days before the deadline and took some shots. To his great surprise, his picture of gravel titled "Thirst" won the competition! (He had submitted that as a last resort--only because he was supposed to have two submissions) One never knows what people are going to think! He won a beautiful (and heavy) book about France. Then again, there ended up only being two contestants, so the chances were pretty good. : )

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sunshine and Wind

The sun came out again. Yipee! But along with it came incredibly strong winds. We thought we were going to blow away! Riding along the canal was a big challenge. It's a good thing our heads are attached or they might have blown away too. But on the way home we hardly had to pedal--just sit up tall, broaden the shoulders, and let the wind push us. It was great!

Chocolate Fondue

One of the "cultural activities" put on by our French language school last week was a presentation by a local chocolate artisan. After a brief introduction to the origins and processing of cacao we were able to taste-test four different chocolates from various locations. It was interesting that some were in fact more bitter than others. The afternoon culminated with chocolate fondue--fresh fruits dipped into a wonderfully smooth chocolate. It was great fun for the tastebuds.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Rain, rain, rain

We thought Southern France would be much warmer and full of sunshine. However, we have actually felt more cold here due to the strong winds and less-than-optimal insulation. This week it has rained every afternoon. Wearing bright reflective vests over rain ponchos that cover our backpacks, we look quite strange as we ride through the city on our matching maroon rental bikes. Hey, at least it's faster than walking. We'll be glad for a little more sunshine soon though...Spring is supposed to be the prettiest time of year in this area.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Internet access

Now that Steve has switched to a different school, we no longer have easy access to the Internet. This means that our blog postings may become more infrequent. We'll do our best, however, to update it as we are able to.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ah the joys of language learning

Learning a new language is quite an adventure. On the first day of French class, for example, Steve said that he liked his poison cooked instead of raw. He meant to say he liked his fish cooked. The next day, he insisted that the lady in the drawing let go of her poison and it rolled down the stairs. He meant to say her baby carriage. His classmates now think that he is infatuated with poison. Then he said he needed to cut his horses--instead of his hair. Meanwhile Beth wondered why the handout at church said that God condemned the peaches (it was talking about "sin").

Our new neighborhood

We are enjoying our new neighborhood. Although we live in a large building with many apartments, we have a courtyard outside our window. Nearby there are beautiful canals, some of which even have large boats that now serve as homes. As we go past the canals we try not to fall in--as the sign so appropriately warns.