Sunday, July 22, 2012

Au revoir, Brest!

Our last week together in Brest flew by so quickly!  Many of our stagiaires went with their families to the Tonnerres de Brest to see all of the festivities.  There were so many fascinating boats, activities, and sailors, with fireworks several times.  Special guests at the maritime festival included sailors and their boats from Norway, Mexico, Indonesia, Russia, Morocco, and more.  On Thursday morning, the early birds among the stagiaires went with the profs to go watch the boats leave after the festival ended.

We also celebrated one last birthday - Ellie!  Her birthday falls on a day when we will not be able to have a cake together, so we had one earlier.

Much of our week was devoted to prepping for our trip to Paris.  Stagiaires met with their groups to decide where they will go when they are allowed to break away from the large group.  We also had a goofy fashion show after Rodica's culture unit on fashion in which all the stagiaires modeled the outfit of their choice, set to music featuring the voices of all the profs.  I recommend checking out the pictures!

We also were working feverishly to prepare the Farewell Show for the host families - rehearsals, memorizing lines, getting costumes ready, melting large quantities of butter - it was a flurry of activity!  The Farewell Show went extremely well; we are so proud of the stagiaires and their many skills.
Backstage at the Farewell Festival

After the show, everyone was invited to our reception for drinks, dancing, and funny photos with some of our leftover props.  Stagiaires also got their t-shirts (which they designed themselves), and host families received a copy of the Honors Program journal.  Stagiaires will receive their own copy in the States - we didn't want to weigh them down with yet another book!
Checking out the program journal

 Photo booth accessories

 Trying on mustaches and ALL of the hats

Dancing at the reception!

Today is our very last full day in Brest.  Tomorrow morning we will be leaving very early to head off to Paris.  For those of you interested, our schedule is approximately:

Monday: travel day, visit at the gardens of Versailles, arrival in Paris, dinner and surprise activity
Tuesday:  Montmartre and Musée d'Orsay, free afternoon time for groups, surprise activity
Wednesday:  Tour Montparnasse for views of Paris, Louvre, free afternoon time, boat ride on the Seine, and yet another surprise activity

Thursday we leave for the United States!  In case you've heard anything about it, yes, there are most likely going to be some Air France strikes, but our flight will not be affected because it is long distance.

Our flight from Paris, just to remind you, is AF0664, arriving in Chicago at 12:30 PM on July 26.  Mike, Mark, and I (Amy) will be on this flight.  Stagiaires coming with Mike and I all the way to Indianapolis will be on flight AA5099, arriving in Indy at 8 PM on July 26.

It's sad to be so near the end!  Your children are wonderful people, and it was a pleasure and an honor to get to work with them.  I hope you see how much they have learned over these six short weeks!

All the best,
Team Brest!

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Amy! I can't believe you are all already in Paris...that went by SO fast!