Hey everyone, As you all know I have arrived safely in Caen as of last Wednesday. I think I said this in an earlier blog but I had a sudden change in family. I am now living in the suburbs of Caen with an older couple and their 30-year-old son, who is currently completing his residency at the hospital/university for medical school. They are extremely nice and an awesome match for me. I have my own room on the third floor attic. There are two beds to choose from (well, actually more like 6) and a cute desk, window, shower/sink, couch, and a bureau for my clothes. It’s seriously the best thing ever. I have my own house key and my “Twisto” pass; I take the bus and tram to school every morning. The first night at the family was fun and of course a little awkward; I was a little lost but we made it work. I unpacked all of my things and had some before dinner drinks with Pierre (père d’accueil), Catherine (mère d’acceuil), and Jean-Baptiste (frère d’accueil).
The next day, Thursday, I had to get up early for orientation at the université. Pierre had breakfast ready for me, and he showed me how to take the bus and the tram to the university; he escorted me on the first day. We had a meeting with all of the students and then a tour of the university, which is surrounded by churches and castles, and in centre ville–so awesome. Afterwards we all had lunch–our UWSP group, that is, with our professor. The food here in insanely good. I’m kind of worried about gaining weight but we’ve been walking a ton, and I don’t snack during the day like I do in America.
Friday we had the day off; some of us UWSP students met on campus for lunch that day. I ended up hanging around town all day, and Friday night we had a party / dinner for all of the exchange students and their families. It was nice to see everyone and meet their families. We talked a lot and drank a lot of wine / champagne. It was a buffet dinner so Pierre brought crêpes, which were so popular that I didn’t even get to try some by the time it was my turn in line. Pierre was there alone because Catherine went to Versailles to visit their oldest daughter Sophie and their 3 children. She took the baby gifts that I originally brought for my other family, so I’m glad it worked out that way! The party was very nice; Pierre and I sat at a table with Ryan and Mme. Guillton. I ate a lot that night, and then the gang (me, Ethan, Ryan, John, Albert, Ariel, and Fez) went to the bars. Saturday I slept in really late; we went to a restaurant downtown for brunch and then did a bit of shopping. It was nice to just walk around. That night I went out to a dinner party with my host brother, Jean-Baptiste! The dinner was really fun. It was me, JB, his sister Florence, and two other couples. We had about 7 courses. First, just snacks. Then we had hors d’oeuvres, which was bread with a couple of foreign spreads that I tried. Next was salad, with the most DELICIOUS salad dressing. Next, lasagna, a very generous portion as well! Next, bread with about 10 different kinds of cheeses. Then, 3 types of desserts. Finally, coffee and tea. It was awesome to practice / listen to only French. Dinner started around 9:30 and finished at midnight. When people say that the French are obsessed with food, I can clarify that fact to be true. We left around 2:30 am, and I pretty much passed out right then and there.
Sunday was a fun day. Pierre offered to take me and 3 friends to the English Channel. Ethan, Ryan, and Ariel ended up coming with me. We walked along the shore, took pictures, and just had a good time. We stopped in a cafe for a quick drink and then made our way back. This was also actually a D-Day Beach spot, so there were a few monuments here and there. This is also the port I would take if I wanted to ferry it to London town. Classes commence on the Monday, but I will leave that for an alternative blog, perhaps at the end of the week!
My host father, Pierre, and me, on the English Channel (La Manche)