Saturday, December 21, 2013


Cool things that have recently been happening here and there in France:
I went to a huge soccer (football) match! Lille vs. Marseilles.  There was a player from the Lille team who recently traded to Marseilles and the crowd hated him.  Poor guy got booed like crazy.  The entire stadium was filled with the red of the Lille team, except for a caged off area to the right of where we were sitting filled with the significantly lesser population of blue shirted Marseilles fans.  They sang and cheered and chanted throughout the entire game... but it wasn't enough.  It looked like it would be a match without goals, until Lille scored in the last 5 minutes and the crowd went WILD! It was awesome! Cold! But awesome!

spot the tourist

panoramic view from my spot

I joined an all girl soccer (football) team! Early winter evenings, cold weather and long days at school have been sort of not been permitting me from doing any of the running I normally would to keep active during the week, and it began to drive me a little crazy.  I decided to find myself a sports team I could participate in, and soccer was my first choice.  It's a sport I've always regretted stopping, so why not use the opportunity of the "sorry I'm so bad, I'm foreign." excuse and get out and join a team.  Gabby wanted to get in on some sport activity with me, so the two of us found an all girls team (after some google back road searching) not far from where we live that didn't have a problem with two not so great foreigners joining the team.  Only been once so far, but it was really fun, exercise is great! Plus we met a really cool English speaking Swedish girl who's spending the year here as a nanny.  

One day during a break at school my friends and I hijacked the blackboard.  Look at the adorable note they wrote me! 

"Siobhan is the best Canadian of the world" 
With seconds left before class was meant to start, my classmates wrote a hilarious rhyme about our math teacher on the board.  They just finished before he walked in... and everyone held their breath as they waited for him to react once he saw it.  I had no clue what he'd do (mostly because I didn't have much of a clue as to what they'd written), but his face broke into a smile and he pulled out his iPhone to take a photo.

Marion snapped a pic of my between-classes nap.

Bus rides to gym class, these kids like to laugh a lot. <3

Hugo, Marion, Jean

Science experiments in chemistry.  You know things are intense when you have to wear the gloves and a face mask (yeah I couldn't tell you what we were even experimenting with and why..) 

Excuse my crazy twitchy looking eyes
Yesterday was my last day of school before Christmas vacation.  I am SOOO excited to not have school for 2 weeks.  Sleeping in feels like the old friend I need to get back in contact with.  Yesterday I walked to and from school for the last time, which is such a weird thought.  I'll be spending Christmas with my first host family, then the second week of vacation will go skiing in the Alps with my third host family (YAYAYYAYAYAYA SKIING!!! MOUNTAINS! SNOW!), and when vacation is over I will have moved on to my second host family, where I will live for the next 3 months of my exchange.

Captured a quick photo of the sun going down on my street on my last walk back to this house from school.
Today I got to really hang out and spend time with my second host family for the first time.  There's Valentine the mom, Mathieu the dad, Augustin-18, Louise-17, Edward-14, and Suzanne-11.  I hope I got all the spellings on those right... Mathieu's family had a big reunion at his sister's house in the country today that I was invited to be a part of.  There was a huge amount of aunts, uncles, and cousins there to celebrate Christmas and exchange presents.  They're such a lovely group of people that it felt really cool to see them all there together during these holidays.  I was happy to just be an observer, then Valentine surprised me with a beautiful scarf and gloves that she'd knit for me herself!! It was so unexpected but so incredibly thoughtful.  It's moments like those that make me feel at home away from home.  

Christmas is almost here, and then I'm off to go skiing in the French Alps.  I am PUMPED.  Yay Holidays!!! I love December.

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