Sunday, June 24, 2012

Acting, Singing, and Kouign Amann

This past week, stagiaires began their creative activities in preparation for our farewell show at the end of the stage.  They had a choice between improv theatre, during which they will also write short skits, singing (particularly the Marseillaise and the Star-Spangled Banner for our July 4th event), and scripted theatre during which they each get the opportunity to perform in one or two short comedic pieces.  These activities take place in the afternoon after our last class, and then, usually before 4 pm, they have a little bit of free time with their friends in Brest before heading  home to their host families.

We also started phonetics classes - it's not easy to learn a whole new alphabet, but doing so will help the stagiaires to work on improving their French accent, as well as getting a better understanding about how to pronounce words upon first sight.

This past week, as well as part of the coming week, will also be devoted to lunchtime optional visits to a local crêperie.  If stagiaires so desire, each day a different teacher goes with his or her support group for a small lunch together.  It's a very small, family-owned restaurant so we simply couldn't all go together!

Of course, the big event was our first local excursion to Locronan, the Pointe du Raz, and Concarneau.

Group photo in front of the church in Locronan

While in Locronan, we visited a local bakery to discover how the regional speciality kouign amann is made.  Imagine the gasps as the baker very calmly put half a pound of butter into a cake that serves four to six people.  Of course then, the real question is, did the stagiaires enjoy eating kouign amann?

All signs point to yes!

We had lunch at the Pointe du Raz, and were incredibly lucky to have beautiful weather.  Last year's stagiaires didn't even get to walk out that far because the heavy wind made it too dangerous then.  This year was sunny, with only a light breeze.  Then stagiaires got to have some more independent time in Concarneau in their assigned groups, looking at the walled city, checking out everything that goes along with a cute seaside town - ice cream shops, crêperies, shops selling local goods, etc.  

And finally, on the trip home, we inaugurated the 2012 discobus!

This coming week will be short as far as classes are concerned, because Thursday and Friday are dedicated to our Normandy excursion.  Stagiaires and instructors will spend Thursday night not far from Mont St. Michel, and as well as visiting this beautiful site, we will also see the D-Day beaches, the memorial in Caen, and the walled city of St. Malo.  

All our best,
Team Brest!

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