Sunday, June 27, 2010

I took this picture this morning--it's my view from my window.

It’s a lazy Sunday here in Avignon. The sun is hot and there’s barely a breeze so here I am inside, taking a break from reading Milan Kundera’s La Valse des Adieux. This morning I went to the local contemporary art museum with my host mother to see an exhibit of Spanish artist Miquel Barcelo’s work. Barcelo is well-known in Europe and his paintings and sculptures are something to see!
His scultpure "Elefant Deft" is installed right now in front of the Palais des Papes

I am still acclimating myself to life in Avignon and life in France. I’m constantly comparing my experiences here to those in the U.S. I live with the nicest family, a mother and her 14-year old daughter, and they are incredibly sweet and patient with me and my French. I eat my breakfasts and dinners with them and we usually end up talking politics, education, or about the differences and similarities between the US and Europe. Mme’s daughter is so cute and very smart. We practice our foreign languages together. She asks me a question in her best English, I respond in French and vice versa. She loves Gossip Girl and so do I so one night this past week we watched an episode together! I never realized how quickly the characters spoke until I watched it dubbed in French—mon Dieu! It’s fast!
School is going swimmingly. I’m taking an Archeology/Architecture class that focuses on the architectural history of Avignon and the surrounding areas in the Rhone river valley. So far it’s been really interesting! This past Thursday we travelled to Vaison-la-Romaine to study Roman architecture in situ—I studied remnants of a Roman street, complete with stores and a large house, where we spent most of our time. I’m also in an African literature class, which I love. We discuss colonialism and travel and personal identity as it pertains to colonized and de-colonized countries—good stuff!
Here's a view from the highest point in Vaison-la-Romaine. This city is so beautiful.

Perhaps my favorite part of life here is the fact that I’m speaking French nearly all the time. My classes are in French, I speak to my classmates in French, and of course, I speak French with my host family (they know very little English so I can’t cheat). I’m constantly correcting myself or being corrected, but I love it. I’m even reading for pleasure and writing in my journal in French! It’s marvelous.
Yesterday, Saturday, we went as a group to the beach! It was fun and relaxing. I swam in the Mediterranean Sea and sun-bathed for a few hours with mes amies.

Le sigh. It was perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Bonjour! Sounds like life can't get much better for you in France! So fun to read your blog and see what you are doing. All is well in Austin, Texas. The heat is on! This morning Julie (my daughter) and I went to the Texas Rowing Center on Town Lake and volunteered for a group of kids who are kayaking in a Special Olympics event in a few weeks. I loved it. Looks like I will continue to do this the next few Sunday mornings. Alicia is already talking about what she will be cooking for Bastille Day! That will be fun for you to actually be there for their big day. I am going to Colorado(estes Park) for the first week in August to visit my sister (a nurse) who is working there for a few months over the summer. She rented a condo. We will have a blast... Hiking, rafting, etc. While I am typing this, one of my golden retreivers is sitting on my feet. Love that! Signing off for now. ENJOY! TIna