Sunday, July 1, 2012

Two days in Normandy

Last week, we had three days of classes that led up to our two-day Normandy excursion.  The first day we visited Saint-Malo, a fortified city with very scenic ramparts, and Mont-Saint-Michel, the famous and beautiful abbey.  
Mont-Saint-Michel in the distance - in Rodica's culture class, the stagiaires learned about the legend of Mont-Saint-Michel by reading a short story by Guy de Maupassant

For most of our excursions, stagiaires have assigned groups and a meeting place.  We accompany them to the main site and then they are responsible for staying together and meeting on time.  This time, both the profs and the stagiaires met up and discovered that virtually everyone had an ice cream cone in hand.  

We spent the night in a youth hostel right next to the ocean, and were lucky enough to have enough sunshine to play pétanque, begin a seaweed war, and run around the beach.  We had enough warmth to go swimming, according to some of our crazier stagiaires.  Zero out of four profs were crazy enough to go more than ankle deep in the water.

Jumping at the beach!

We woke up bright and early on Friday to head to the WWII memorial museum at Caen, followed by a trip to the American cemetery and Omaha beach.  This was a much more somber day, of course.  It is also a day that can be a test of the language pledge, as stagiaires are suddenly surrounded by other English-speakers.  

Stagiaires in front of the Mémorial de Caen.  The building reads "La douleur m'a brisée, la fraternité m'a relevée, de ma blessure a jailli un fleuve de liberté" - roughly translated, this means "Pain/Grief crushed me, brotherhood lifted me up, from my wound emerged a river of liberty"

I highly recommend checking out the Picasa album this week; I got some great photos, including some individual ones, but had a hard time choosing what to put in the blog!  The link again is:

Next week promises to be extremely busy.  Quite relevant to our excursion, stagiaires will be participating in a Fourth of July ceremony at the American memorial in Brest, during which they will sing the Star-Spangled Banner (our one honor pledge exception) and the Marseillaise, France's national anthem.  They will also be learning regional dance, having a reception with the families, and participating in several optional activities.  

See you next week!  (And can you believe the program is already half over?)

1 comment:

  1. Hi there !

    I'm studying English in Brest, I live in a smaller city near Brest and I read the article in the newspaper. I'm a huge Indiana Hoosiers (Christian Watford's three to beat Kentucky was damn good) and Indiana Pacers fan (Paul George FTW), and I was quite surprise that a few Hoosiers came here :D

    I hope you're enjoying your trip, Brittany is one of the most beautiful place in France, particulary the Finistère's coast. You're not lucky with the weather haha, it used to be better during the past few years.

    Enjoy the sea, particulary, cause you'll not see it in Bloomington :D