A Mayoral Welcome and a Dinner Fest

07.16.2011I can't believe it's been almost a week since my last post...I was doing so well! I guess it's a good thing that I haven't really had time to write, because that means I've been super busy having a great time. Let's see...what happened in the past week.. Monday--had class until 4:40 pm, and then we all went to a welcome reception at the mayor's place. It was kind of a far walk, but he was super nice and basically told us how awesome it was to have everyone in Angers. I got home around 7 pm or so, and was there for about 5 minutes before I left again with my host family. I had forgotten that we were going to a dinner party at their friends' house. I was a little overwhelmed at first, because obviously everyone else spoke French, but they were all super nice and attempted to talk slower so I could understand. I was actually pretty proud of myself for keeping up with most of it. I ended up talking to Xavier for most of the time because he was sitting next to me, and we actually kept up a pretty good flow of convo about learning a foreign language and how important the teaching style is and such. And he tried to teach me a few words in Arab, but I think that might have been a bit of overload for me at the time...haha! It was also funny because every time I have dinner with a group they say that I must think they're crazy because they're so lively. But the truth is, they remind me a lot of my own family gatherings, because my family is the same way. Laughing all the time and poking fun at each other. It's really cool to see that those kinds of relationships cross cultural boundaries--it makes me feel at home. We got home from dinner around 12:30 am (whoa.) and I went straight to sleep because I had class at 9 am the next day. It was definitely a mentally and physically-draining night, but it definitely improved my listening and speaking skills, so hurrah for that! I'm going to split the next few things into separate blogs so as to not overwhelm you with the vast amount of awesomeness that is about to be presented to you...so, if you're curious, read on :) Monday--had class until 4:40 pm, and then we all went to a welcome reception at the mayor's place. It was kind of a far walk, but he was super nice and basically told us how awesome it was to have everyone in Angers. I got home around 7 pm or so, and was there for about 5 minutes before I left again with my host family. I had forgotten that we were going to a dinner party at their friends' house. I was a little overwhelmed at first, because obviously everyone else spoke French, but they were all super nice and attempted to talk slower so I could understand. I was actually pretty proud of myself for keeping up with most of it. I ended up talking to Xavier for most of the time because he was sitting next to me, and we actually kept up a pretty good flow of convo about learning a foreign language and how important the teaching style is and such. And he tried to teach me a few words in Arab, but I think that might have been a bit of overload for me at the time...haha! It was also funny because every time I have dinner with a group they say that I must think they're crazy because they're so lively. But the truth is, they remind me a lot of my own family gatherings, because my family is the same way. Laughing all the time and poking fun at each other. It's really cool to see that those kinds of relationships cross cultural boundaries--it makes me feel at home. We got home from dinner around 12:30 am (whoa.) and I went straight to sleep because I had class at 9 am the next day. It was definitely a mentally and physically-draining night, but it definitely improved my listening and speaking skills, so hurrah for that! I'm going to split the next few things into separate blogs so as to not overwhelm you with the vast amount of awesomeness that is about to be presented to you...so, if you're curious, read on :)