I’ve kept busy even without work, though. Tuesday I taught the girls how to make s’mores rice krispie treats. They didn’t turn out correct, but still tasted good and everyone liked them. “Typical American food – sugar, sugar, and more sugar,” my host dad said about them, but isn’t that the truth! I think that when converting the measurements from our system to the metric system I converted some things a little wrong. I don’t think they know that we don’t use the same measuring system as they do, they didn’t understand when I tried to explain what I was doing (looking up the conversions). Like I said though, they enjoyed them, especially the kids because of all the sugar! Of course. During lunch we got a call from my professor at Purpan, I was getting a visit from Djamel and Kelly! When I heard the car pull in I truthfully couldn’t contain my excitement to see Kelly, yeah I love her, but just the thought of being around someone that spoke English fluently and was an American. Hallelujah! Didn’t realize how much I missed Americans after being secluded and only around French people. What a relief to see her and talk to her. While she was here, she attempted to interview me for the promotional video for the program that she is making for her internship. The interview didn’t work out too well.. I laughed too much, I can’t be serious around Kelly. She only was able to stay for an hour, sadly.
While the tempuratures Wednesday and Thursday were record lows at home in the States, here we were experiencing record highs. Each day the tempuratures were high 30’s (in Celsius that is), which in Fahrenheit is 90-100, I think. Whatever it is, it was freaking hot! And in France, air conditioning and ceiling fans are not all that popular! I was dying! Wednesday afternoon though, the girls and I found a solution to deal with the heat; we had a water battle. I seriously haven’t had that much fun in a long time, I felt like such a kid running around the yard with buckets soaking each other, and it was so refreshing! Thursday we went down to Andreas’ house to use his pool for half an hour or so. Thank goodness for a neighbor with a really nice pool. I was able to phone home for dad’s birthday but he didn’t answer, but was able to get ahold of my grandma and grandpa, talking to them for half an hour was so nice, made me miss home quite a bit though! Friday morning Claire and I went to Andreas’ again but this time to cook with his mother. She is such a nice lady, but speaks no English. So cooking with her was quite the struggle. We made pizza crust and tiramisu from scratch. We went home for the afternoon to have lunch and lounge around and in the afternoon we went back to swim and finish making the pizzas.. Swimming didn’t work out to well for me and I will tell the story in a bit. I went with Claire in the evening to her clarinet lesson and after we went and had the pizzas we made for dinner with our family and their family (and yes, I referred to my host family as “our family”, because they are my second family). It was a fun night, but a struggle for me because water from swimming had settled in my ear and I couldn’t hear anything, well it’s not like I can understand much anyway, but it was annoying! That night I slept on the side of my head that the water was in thinking it would drain out that way. That was a terrible idea on my part. In morning I couldn’t hear anything out of my right ear and it was so painful. My host mother took me to the doctor. I got my ears “power washed” (GROSS) and he said a petite infection had begun in my ear. So now I have ear drops to use twice a day, but even with the minor infection, my hearing is amazing! It’s like I have two new ears! …And that is my story for why swimming didn’t work out too well for me.
Saturday afternoon Andreas took me to Auch just to get away from the house and the girls and spend time with someone my own age. Like I said in a prior blog post, he does speak English, very good English. So it wasn’t an awkward afternoon of not saying a word to each other or anything like that! It was a lot of fun, haven’t laughed that much in a long time! He’s really funny! Once I got home, I went with my family to my host mother’s nephew’s birthday party. Here is how a French birthday party goes (for a kid): it doesn’t start until about 9pm. We don’t begin to eat until 10:30-11pm. There’s more wine and alcohol bottles than you can count, no not for the kids! And you don’t head home until 3am at the earliest. (That was my Saturday night/Sunday morning).
No one got out of bed until noon yesterday, but it was an exciting day once we were all awake - it was Amelie’s 5th birthday! The main events of the day were that since she is now “a big girl” she had to throw her pacifier away and then for dinner she wanted McDo (McDonalds). I don’t mind eating McDo in France, its so much better than in the States! Everything - the food is better, the people aren’t so trashy, much more classy, the atmosphere – is better about it. Definitely going to miss that about France. And what is funny is that in the States there is a McDonalds within 15 minutes of anywhere that you are, the closest one to us was 40 minutes away in Tarbes! Also yesterday afternoon I found out that the neighbor has an intern working (like me) also from Purpan. She is an actual student at Purpan, not in my program. She came over in the afternoon for just a little to meet me and see the winery.
On a much, much, much more sad note, I spent about an hour yesterday beginning to organize my stuff to start packing this week. Wow, the time has flown by.
This morning I went with my host dad to the next town over for a small wine tasting. I just stood there and looked cute (of course) next to the wine since I couldn’t speak to anyone, as usual, and got to try some wine from another winery in the Madiran appellation, tres bon. This afternoon we went back to the vines, and it was hot. I’m dragging butt trying to finish this blog post! Tomorrow we will be filling bottles! Not sure what else my last few days hold with my host family. So sad for this experience to be coming to an end.
(Photo credit to Kelly when she came and visited she got some fun pictures of me!)