Bonjour, tout le monde!
Two weeks down, fifteen to go, and I’m still loving it! Classes are finally starting tomorrow, so that will be a whole new adventure. I was placed in one of the intermediate levels, which means that I scored high enough to take some elective courses while I’m here. I’m not sure what my course options are, but I am pretty jazzed about that!
Well, this past week has been full of sun, fun, and some much appreciated R&R. On Tuesday, we took a little adventure to a beautiful old town in the French countryside. It’s called Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, named for the cousin of Charlemagne. As the story goes, Guilhem fought courageously in Charlemagne’s army against the Sarrasins in the 8th century. However, while he was away, his wife and children all died of cholera. When he finally returned and discovered his family’s fate, he was so distraught that he decided he wanted become a monk and die alone. So, he donated all of his riches to the Catholic Church and set out to find a secluded place to live out the rest of his life. He ended up in this town and eventually died in the Cathedral here. When Charlemagne came to pay his respects, he brought with him as a gift a shard of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. This shard remains in the cathedral, embedded in the heart of a crucifix displayed on the wall. Guilhem was eventually canonized, and the town was named for him.
That’s my fun cultural moment for week! Other than that, we’ve mostly just spent our days at the beach, which has been unusually crowded since everyone is trying to soak in those last few rays of summer before the school year really gets underway. Despite my attempts to tan, I am barely any darker than when I got here! I guess I’m just too pasty to really get any color.
The only other piece of truly exciting new is that my roommate and I finally mustered up the courage to ask to use the washing machine! That was a glorious day. The only downside is that there is no dryer, so we have to hang-dry our clothes on the balcony. Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, but it is fairly humid here, and it has been raining for the past day or so, so our clothes still haven’t finished drying! I don’t think they ever will.
Well, as riveting as my laundry regimen must be to you, I think that’s my cue to sign off.
À tout à l’heure!