This morning, we all met bright and early in front of the Lycee Saint Francois d'Assise to say " Au revoir " to our French friends and families. We prefer the French term "Until we see each other again" over the more finite English " Goodbye". Throughout our exchange, we have woven a tapestry of friendships that, for many, will endure throughout a lifetime. Hugs and tears always abound on this last day; most of the tears are tears of joy, as students know they will see their partners again, on either side of the Atlantic. Felling grateful for the friendships we have made, and for the care given to us from our French friends and families, we left with our luggage on a bus for Nantes, where we took the TGV to Charles DeGaule Airport, and then to board our Air France flight home. Full of happy memories, we were all happy to find our American families waiting for us at Logan International Airort in Boston upon arrival...there's noplace like home!
L'Ile D'Yeu sounds like L'Ile "Dieu" or "God's Island." This island might be described as a little slice of heaven; it is a jewel off of the Vendeen coast. Just a 45 minute ferry rideaway, our group hopped onto bike and began our 27k trek around the rugged coast which resembles both the Vendeen and Breton coast lines. In April, the island is spilling over with verdure and yellow flowers. We stopped at noon for a icnic alongside a medieval castle and continued to Port de la Meule and a lower beach, admiring small churches, boats, crosses, dolmens, and menhirs along the way. A group of French girls set the soundtrack to their favorite songs in the basket of their bike, and "il y avait de l'ambiance" for the entire day. We danced while riding our bikes, laughed, and felt the wind in our hair. The students genuinely enjoyed their time together; and, I believe that all would agree, the day was unforgettable.
Today was a truly eyeopening experience for all! Especially for American students, as some have never touched their feet upon medieval grounds. The History of France is tremendously enriching! First, we visited the Abbayee Nieul Sur L'Autize. Picnicing alongside a medieval Abbayee provided a moment for French and Americans alike to enjoy their time and to "play"! Next, we went to "Green Venice" and went for a tranquil boat ride down the Marais, driven by "gondoliers" . The day finished with a surprise of crepes au nutella et au sucre, as well as shouts of joy and appreicaiion!
We began the day hard at work; for some, geography/history, science, and English in French! In the afternooon, we took a lovely train ride to Les Sables d'Olonne, where the Vendee Globe leaves and returns; the famous sailing race around the world! Two hours of free time here permitted students and teachers alikje to shop and to have an ice cream or a coffee. Madame Mateja is sure to return here on vacation one day with a friend!
Wow! Quite an adventure today! We all left school at 8 a.m. for the Island of Noirmoutier. Arrving at the Port du Bec, French and American students alike lined up together for a group photo, then we walked along the Passage du Gois, only an open passage during low tide. Many are familiar with the Passage, as the Tour de France often passes though here. . Then, a small presentation on the Sea Slat of Noirmoutier; lovely gifts coming home for parents. Picnic lunch under the shelter of the Saint Philbert church if Noirmoutier. After lunch, Catamaran! All students braved the chilly weather and followed the leader from the Sailing School of Fromentine! All will sleep well tonight!
After a wonderful weekend "en famille", we all attended classes at Saint Francis of Assise High School today, and ended the day with a welcome reception from Monsieur Potier, the Principal, and a group of teachers. Tomorrow, we will cross the Gois to L'Ile Noirmoutier- well known by the famous Tour de France!
April 20 -April 24 Arriving in La Roche Sur Yon, Family Greeting, Field Trip to Le Grand Parc Puy du Fou, Welcome Recption by Parents, Weekend en Famille
We were all delighted to have taken the TGV to Nantes, to transfer to La Roche Sur Yon, and meet our tremendous family welcome at the Gare de La Roche Sur Yon in Vendee, Loire Valley on Thursday Evening. Early Friday morning, we left together for a spectacular visit to the world renowned Parc Puy du Fou. Friday evening, families welcomed us with a welcome reception. All students spent the weekend immersed in French family culture. France had the first round of the Presidential Elections today. We look forward to finding out the results of the elections in two weeks! What a wonderful experience for all to see history in the making!
Message from Principal Ruggere to Principal Potier, Teachers, Students, and Families of the Lycée Saint-François d'Assise