Sunday, April 29, 2012


Bonjour tout le monde !

Time for an update!

Yesterday, as you all will remember, was our very first official meeting together. Although much of the day was spent on official business and question and answer sessions, the instructor team and the stagiaires had the chance to work together and enjoy several fun activities.

One of the activities we did involved a display of the stagiaires artistic skills. In groups of two or three, each stagiaire was asked to draw a picture of what their partner looks like, one interesting thing about them, and their goal for the program. After they finished, we all toured the gallery, having each partner explain what they drew so that we could all learn a little more about them. Here are a few pictures from the process:

Another activity was the very treacherous crossing of a large river of molten Nutella with the help of a few magical crêpes. The main goal of this activity, aside from preparing the stagiaires for the high number of treacherous Nutella rivers and magical crêpes that they will undoubtedly encounter in St. Brieuc, was to underline the importance of teamwork and stress the fact that, while abroad, everyone will be, at one time or another, either in need of or in the position to give support to someone else. Some pictures from the activity can be seen below:

Lucy and Reba lead the way for their group!
Aaron takes a risky step!
JZ safely leads his group across the river
After the teams got to a certain point, they were stricken with Nutella-related illnesses:

Anne-Therese temporarily loses her eyesight
and is helped along by Lucy and Rachel 

Sarah and Jessica, now joined at the wrist,
try to help the blind-stricken Reba across
a dangerous section of the Nutella river
After our activities, the stagiaires had some time to use their French skills (with which all of the instructors were quite impressed!). In four groups, we discussed many things such as, "si j'étais un animal, je serais..." (if I were an animal, I would be...), the importance of circumlocution (basically, trying to describe something using vocabulary you know instead of resorting to the English word for it), etc.

Following our French time, we discussed some more official business, such as how to deal with host family problems and how to best maximize the time spent in France, and also heard from two program alumni. At the very end, we had some time to brainstorm a slogan that we will when we're in St. Brieuc to help us remember that, even if things aren't always going well, we are all in France and part of an amazing and unique program - something that we need to take full-advantage of during the short time we have. After some great suggestions, such as "Utilisons les crêpes magiques" (let's use magical crêpes), etc., we decided on one, wrote it on a sheet of paper, and had everyone sign it to show their support for the slogan and the program in general:

The instructor team holding the "contract" with our slogan:
Tout va mieux à Saint-Brieuc
(Everything is better in Saint-Brieuc)

Well, that's all for now. Only a little over a month left before our departure! We look forward to seeing everyone again soon and starting our amazing journey!

À bientôt !

-Team St. Brieuc

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