All That Matters

Firstly, for those of you who have STILL not become dedicated readers of my blog, do so now! Just click the “follow this blog” button on the left side of my blog. I think that because this is such an eventful week, I’m going to have to do two posts for this week. I’m just going to completely skip over Monday because it’s a day that I would rather not remember but I can sum it up as my worst day here. On Tuesday morning, I took the train to Paris and decided I would spend most of the day outside. I stopped at the Louvre, this time actually going into the grounds. Then I walked through the Jardin des Tuileries, which is a statue garden about the size of two football fields. I’ve read my tourist books almost from cover to cover so therefore, I literally know all the pick pocketing tricks and scams in the book. I was actually kind of excited when one person tried one on me because I remembered Rick Steves’ advice about the “lost ring” scam. A lady came up to me asking if I dropped a ring and I said no, but then she stated, “But it’s made of pure gold!” just as the book said she would. So I just walked away and continued on my walk while she kept yelling, “Wait, wait!” At the end of the garden, there was the Luxor Obelisk, which was a gift from Egypt. I then walked down the Seine (a very long walk) until I came to the Flame of Liberty, the memorial site for Princess Diana. After that I walked to the Passy Cemetery, which not only seemed like hours from the Louvre but WAS hours from the Louvre. It could be because the street sign pointed me in the wrong direction and I ended up walking all the way around the cemetery plus more. With very sore feet and my temper slowly getting shorter, I finally ended up finding the entry to the cemetery (this cemetery being A LOT smaller than the other ones I’ve been in) and I visited Debussy’s grave. I thought I should because if it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have performed at variety night. After that, I was literally hardly able to walk so I took the metro to St. Michel, walked a tiny bit more, and found what I’ve been waiting for: The Great Canadian Pub. It was cute, with maple leaves and jerseys and such and I FINALLY got to have a much-needed Tim Horton’s coffee. Oh but wait…I’m in Paris, remember? So MY Tim Horton’s coffee cost me 4 Euro (aka 6 dollars). It was still worth it even if I don’t like coffee, but that’s the closest to Tim Horton’s I could get. I loved the music they played too: a lot of really old songs as well as lots of Barenaked Ladies. The bartender seemed to be from England or something, as she didn’t have a Canadian accent. After my rest, I took the metro to a shop called Chercheminippes – one of the many Value Village-like stores of Paris. However, it’s Paris so the chance that you’d find something here for 2 bucks is very unlikely; I think the cheapest thing I saw was between 30 and 45 Euro. After deciding that I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on second-hand clothing, I took the metro to a shop called Ken Claude, which is closer to resembling Value Village. The prices are more reasonable so I made sure I bought something I normally wouldn’t buy. I then went home and relaxed my feet and legs before having supper with the family.

Wednesday, I had to go shoe shopping and as most of you know, shoe shopping is one thing I can easily live without. It’s probably also kind of obvious with my three-year-old Vans but I needed a change because those Vans were actually carving a hole into my foot. I decided my best bet would be the Galeries Lafayette, a huge department store. And when I say huge, I mean seven levels (and that’s not counting level 0 and level -1). When I got there, I was so overwhelmed because each level was really big and I had no idea where anything was. Once I figured out the shoes were on the first level, I made my way to the 3100 m2 shoe department. I tried spending the smallest amount of time possible there and I got a pair of Converse sneakers since that’s all that everyone else seems to have (they’re CHOCOLATE coloured ☺). I then went to the Islands of Paris and got a large majority of my Christmas shopping finished. I know it’s the end of October but shops aren’t usually open on my day off so I thought I should just get most of it over with now. On my way home, I had my eyes closed while listening to August Rush and as it came to the climax of the song, I opened my eyes and it was white everywhere! It had snowed just in the one town we were passing through and I loved seeing it; it was really quite magical. When I got back to the house, I found out that I got a big package in the mail! The rest of the night I relaxed since I’d be working for the next two days.

Yesterday morning, Alexia and I dropped Julien off at a friend’s house and then we walked to the train station to go to Saint Quentin. Once we got there, we got tickets for the movie that we were going to and then we went to McDonald’s. With this being the second time that I’ve been to McDonald’s in the past seven years (the only other time being a week before I left), I was kind of scared what the outcome would be since last time, more of my food ended up in the toilet before even seeing my stomach. However, we stood in line for over a half hour to get our food and once we finally got it, I sucked it up and just ate it. It wasn’t that bad, and it definitely wasn’t as greasy as Canadian McDonald’s is. We had to eat in a hurry so that we could make it to the movie in time but because they show a half hour of previews when the movie’s supposed to start, we had plenty of time left. I got to spend the next hour and a half watching the French version of Highschool Musical 3, yay! It wasn’t even that bad, maybe cause it was in French so it didn’t seem as corny to me as the other two did. Afterwards, we went to the Carrefour to buy some food and then we went back to the house. Julien and I played PlayStation and I got pwned real bad. After, I taught him English while he taught me French until Catherine came home from work.

Today whether you are trick-or-treating, dressing up and partying, celebrating a birthday, or doing nothing, I hope you all have a fun Halloween that will start off a good weekend. There will still be another post on Monday, as usual. And one more thing: Happy Birthday, Mom! xoxo
All That Matters – Addison Road

Across the Universe

Well first of all, for those of you who haven’t: become a “dedicated reader” of my blog! There’s no need to read it in secret so just press the “follow this blog” button on the left side of the page. It’s nice to know who’s reading! Secondly, I’d like to mention that today marks the official 100 day countdown until LOST and even though I’m counting down, I won’t be watching any new episodes until I come back to Canada so don’t ever say anything about it!

Here in France, Halloween definitely isn’t as obvious as it is in Canada. I know that by now, there would be decorations everywhere at home: in the stores, on the windows, outside houses… but here, you would have to take a wild guess to know it’s Halloween. Of course, with Halloween actually officially becoming a “thing” only about ten years ago, I guess the French are still getting into the hang of things. I’m excited to see how many kids participate and what the costumes are like.

On Tuesday, Catherine had a meeting so I was in charge of the kids and supper (yay for pizza!). After supper, Julien and I played Monopoly and then I talked with Alexia. On Wednesday, Julien and I played Monopoly yet again and then played soccer on the PlayStation. Surprisingly, we each won a game. After lunch, Alexia and I played many games of Speed and then the kids had their activities that they had to go to. During that time, I got a phone call from Camille White (one of the Hillsong ministers) who asked me questions and said she could introduce me to some people my age who attend the church. It was great already feeling so welcome in a church after only going once. But then again, it IS Hillsong so I shouldn’t be surprised.

On Thursday, I was in charge of supper again but this time, I put a bit more time into it. Alexia had guitar so we had to wait until she was done which wasn’t until about eight. While the kids were eating the entrée and I was still in the kitchen working on the main course, Alexia’s guitar teacher surprisingly came into the kitchen and started talking to me – in English! We talked for a while, which was nice and after he left, I was in such a good mood, like when you get an unexpected letter in the mail or you find much-needed chocolate. Being able to have an unexpected normal conversation in English after listening to French all week does that to you. On Friday, I had class again. The girls and I went to a café for lunch and then we had laboratory.

The next morning, I got a message on my cell phone from some very special people and I was so disappointed I missed the phone call cause I was eating breakfast. I listened to the message three times that morning, then recorded it onto my computer where it’ll soon be transferred to my iPod ☺ The family and I left at 9:30 to go to Arras – a city in the very northern part of France. On the way there, we stopped at Catherine’s grandparents’ house. Her grandma is pretty sick so she didn’t say a lot, but she was really cute and the grandpa was just like a grandfather you’d see in the movies. They had a piano so Catherine asked me to play a song and I chose to play a very out-of-tune Clair de Lune. After visiting them, we continued on our way to Arras to Catherine’s mom’s house. The house was so nice and even though her mom didn’t speak any English, she tried her best to make me feel at home. The man that Catherine’s mom is living with was also very nice and he spoke a little bit of English. For lunch, we had lots of quiche and a chicken and for dessert, a homemade apple pie! Everything I ate there was homemade and everything tasted absolutely amazing! That afternoon, they took me downtown and we window-shopped as well as went into a few stores. When leaving the house, Catherine’s mom said to Catherine, “Doesn’t she need something to cover her neck?” (Because they’re all wearing scarves now) and Catherine explained, “No, she’s from Canada. It’s not cold for her.” For supper, we had raclette, which is a bunch of food (potatoes, meat, bread, pickles) and then a big heated device in the centre of the table, which melts your cheese and then you put the melted cheese on the other food. It was really good! The napkins they had said “Our Lovely Blind Date. Name: ___ Number: ___ Call me?? (And with check boxes) Yes, Maybe, and No Way!” Catherine’s mom saw them on sale so she bought them but didn’t know what they said so everyone thought they were pretty amusing. That night, I slept in the same room as the kids so we watched half of She’s the Man. That night was also the night that Daylight Saving Time ended so we went back an hour.

Sunday morning for breakfast, I had a croissant (my first one in France) and it was incredible. Even if you think that the croissants you get from your local bakery at home are delicious, the croissants here probably beat yours times ten (but Curtis, yours follow very close behind). I couldn’t help but take another. After breakfast, the family went to visit Catherine’s aunt and when they came back, we had lunch. We then went to a museum but the next tour wasn’t for an hour so we went back to the house. Alexia and I watched the rest of She’s The Man and then we went back home.

This week, the kids don’t have school so I get today, tomorrow, and Wednesday off. Unfortunately, I still have workshop today so I’ll have to go to that and then hopefully I’ll be able to go to Paris afterwards. I have quite a big list of stuff that I have to see so I’m going to try my hardest to see as much of it as I can. I hope everyone has a great Halloween this week and gets lots of candy; this year will sadly be my first year not trick-or-treating. Hopefully I’ll still be able to somehow get chocolate though…
Across the Universe – Rufus Wainwright

Les Feuilles Mort

I guess many changes are bound to happen when living in a different country and culture, whether they are small changes or large changes. I’ve mentioned quite a few throughout my blog, and there are still so many more that haven’t been talked about or are so small that they hardly seem noticeable. A few changes that have happened to me as well: eating breakfast everyday (never used to eat breakfast), having oranges as part of my breakfast (never ever ate oranges), I’ve only went to bed past midnight probably four times (yeah, this is me we’re talking about), and I’ve woken up after nine twice since I’ve come (during my first week here). And yet, I seem to have enough energy to carry out my day since I go to bed at around 10:30 every night. Surprised? I sure am, but it’s still me.

On Tuesday, I played Monopoly with Julien and then Alexia and I watched the French version of Grease. She seemed to really like it, and Julien even came in and started dancing to some of the songs. That night, I watched Edward Scissorhands, thinking it would be a movie that I wouldn’t enjoy at all. However, I fell in love with every character and I thought it was such a cute movie except for the end, which could have been left out. But I did end up crying many times throughout the movie, and not just getting teary-eyed but actually balling my eyes out, which is probably one of the first times I’ve ever done that for a movie.

Wednesday, I taught Julien how to do a card trick and he was so excited to show his family. We watched more of Horton Hears a Who but we still haven’t had enough time to finish it. On Thursday, I went into Saint Quentin to try to find jeans. Did I find jeans? No. Did I find everything else? Yes. So I spent more money on stuff I don’t NEED, just WANT…not a good thing to start doing. That night, Alexia and I talked for an hour and a half and I realized I have so many things that I have to do with them (they’ve never heard of painting Easter eggs!). On Friday, I had school again. The class was good and afterwards, the girls and I went out for lunch downtown. I played two games of Monopoly with Julien and Alexia that afternoon and later that night, Alexia came running excitedly into my room saying that this year, they’re getting a real Christmas tree (she told me the night before that they always only have a plastic one)! So that’s one thing I can look forward to that will remind me of home.

Saturday was a great day! In the morning, I played the Wii and Guess Who with Alexia and then after lunch, Catherine surprisingly said that I could have the rest of the day off until the evening so I quickly caught the next train to Paris. Once I got there, I went back to the Islands, looked at the Notre-Dame a bit more, and saw plenty of performers along the streets. I loved being able to watch and hear the familiar songs. Once I got to the bridge to go back to the main land, there was a huge crowd of people with a man saying we’d have to wait for 15 minutes to cross the bridge. So while I’m waiting, I’m just looking around, and I see all these really old looking cars parked on the bridge. So then I think, “It must be a car show or something”. I’m waiting, waiting; finally they let us go across. I walk past another group of people, with a man holding a camera and I think “Oh something must have happened, they’re doing the news..”. Then I walk past this lady who’s dressed up really old-fashioned and I think, “She’s dressed a bit over-the-top just to tell the news..” Then this lady starts handing out pictures of herself and if finally hits me. I’m in Paris, and I’m in the middle of a movie set. Yes, I know..If anyone wants to send me a pack of blonder hair dye in the mail, I won’t be offended. I don’t know what movie it was or who the lady was, but it was neat to be able to see everything. All the old cars, the old train, the outfits, so cool! I kept looking around and I must look like I’m feeling at home now cause quite a few people came up to me and asked me for directions. I then made my way to the Cimetière du Père Lachaise. First, I visited the grave of Frédéric Chopin (thanks to my piano teacher), and it was absolutely gorgeous – so many flowers. Afterwards, I went to the grave of Georges Bizet (the composer of Carmen), whose grave was quite a lot less popular than Chopin’s. Then, I went to the grave of Edith Piaf (a French singer. Songs you may recognize: La Vie en Rose or Dream a Little Dream of Me. My personal favourite: Milord). Her grave was really nice as well. Just to see those three graves and walk from one to the other took me a bit longer than one hour. Last weekend, Adriana, Helena, and I were talking about how interesting it would be to get a pedometer and I have to admit, I’m really curious how much I walk in one day spent in Paris. I came back to the house and we had supper, and then I talked with Alexia.

On Sunday, I left the house at 8:55 and took the train with Adriana to Paris. I then went to Hillsong Paris, yay! I was SO excited when I found out there was a Hillsong here because I’ve been listening to their music since I started going to camp. I remember wanting to move to Australia JUST so I could go to the church. Everyone was so friendly there, and it seemed like many people spoke both English and French. As soon as I walked in, one girl came up to me and started informing me about the different activities the Hillsong Community had to offer. Then the service started and I was so happy when I knew the first song! Other than that, I was screwed because the rest of the songs were from the new CD or in French. It was so cool being there though; there were people jumping in the pews and you could just FEEL the energy and spirit. The sermon was said in French and in English so I got to improve my French, and I was also able to understand what was being said. After church, I bought the new CD (I just had to) and then I had a quick lunch at a nearby restaurant and ruined my “one fry in France” record. I didn’t even eat all the fries though cause I started to feel sick. After lunch, I went to the Théâtre de Châtelet and I went to the Edward Scissorhands show! In this case, it was called Edward aux Mains D’Argent, which made me very confused cause it translates into Edward with hands of money, but I guess argent also means metal. My seat was decent, except for the big pole in front of me, blocking some of the stage. I guess that’s what I get for buying a middle-class 52€ ($80) ticket – Paris is way too expensive for me. However, they let us fill in the empty spaces once everyone got seated. There were no words, just dancing and acting. And yes, I ended up crying in the theatre.. it was really beautifully done. Also, with Danny Elfman being my second-favourite movie composer (next to Michael Giacchino), it was hard not to enjoy the music. After the play, I walked along the Seine for a while and then went back to Le Perray. This past week, there’s been a circus going on so when the train came up to Le Perray, there were two camels just hanging out close to the track.

Today, I went to school to do a workshop. This time, I went to a vocabulary workshop and we learnt the vocab of a house. I get a lot of free time for the rest of the day because Julien has juggling after school and Alexia doesn’t finish school until five. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Also for all of you readers, make sure you become a “dedicated reader” of my blog. Just click the “follow this blog” button on the left-hand side of the page. It’s nice to know who’s reading, and it adds a lot of support while being here. I love getting little text messages or comments every once in a while, just letting me know how everything’s going so thanks for those!
Les Feuilles Mort – Edith Piaf

Sunday Best

Now we can officially say that I’ve been here for longer than a month. Actually, tomorrow it’ll be the same amount of time I was away when I went to Quebec. During the time that I’ve been here, I haven’t went a day without making my bed, I haven’t worn a shirt more than once, I haven’t had a sip of pop, I’ve had about six chips, and I’ve had one fry. Literally. Everyone knows that my one weakness is chocolate, but it’s recommended to have chocolate once a day so I’m completely fine. Anyway, I think that no matter how much bread and cheese I eat here, it’s safe to say I’m eating a lot better than I was in Quebec (chocolate filled croissants everyday for breakfast, poutine once a day, pop every meal, etc.). On Tuesday, I went shopping with Adriana and her friend that she met at church, Alena. We went to Saint Quentin, which had quite a lot of stores compared to all the other little towns close by. I ended up making a few purchases at H&M and now every time I shop for clothes, I make sure I buy something that I normally wouldn’t buy so that’s exactly what I did. We also went to Sephora and there’s a hand wash with a scent that I absolutely love, called Ananas Grenadine so I think I’m going to have to go back and buy some soon.

The rest of the week was just as every week is: look after the kids, school, housework, sleep, and eat. On Thursday, Adriana and I went into Saint Quentin again but because neither of us was in the mood to actually buy anything, we just spent most of our time wandering around. Friday was school, with a new addition to our class. Not the male au pair, but another girl named Alice, from Oxford, England and she’s 18. The mom that Helena’s staying with had a baby Monday morning (six weeks early!) so she’s been playing “mom” all week. After school, I picked up Julien and looked after him until about 8:30. We even started to watch Horton Hears A Who and I’m so proud that he’s able to understand what’s happening, considering he didn’t know a word of English when I first came. He and I are a good team; I teach him a little bit of English, he teaches me a little bit of French, it works out well. And Alexia’s really been improving as well; I remember the first day I came, I asked her how school was and she had no idea what I said and now, she can just talk and talk. I’m supposed to read to Julien every night but Alexia asked her mom if she could get two nights just to visit with me for fifteen minutes. Well on Wednesday, fifteen minutes ended up turning into an hour and fifteen minutes and Laurent had to come in and tell Alexia it was time for bed. I love being with the kids, even though it can be hectic at times.

On Saturday morning, I showed Alexia how to play Speed but it makes it a lot harder to try to win when the cards are V, D, and R instead of the usual J, Q, and K. We had tacos for lunch and it was the first time the family’s had them. Therefore, I had to show them how to put them together. It was kind of funny seeing them try to eat the tacos without making a mess; clean plates definitely didn’t exist by the end of the meal. In the afternoon, Julien and I ended up making an apple cake, which was fun. We took it to their friends’ dinner party (at Baptiste’s house). We sat down at 7:15 and didn’t finish dessert until 9:45. For supper, we had regular meat lasagna, and then because I was feeling adventurous, I tried the salmon lasagna. It wasn’t even that bad, quite good actually. Also, I had salad for the first time since I’ve come here. For dessert, I didn’t even have the cake cause there were so many other choices. I ended up having to leave at 11:15 so that I could get a good night’s rest for the next day. And wow, sitting through French dinner parties can definitely tire you out. By 10:20, I stopped trying to understand everything because sitting through three hours of nonstop French makes it hard for me to think anymore.

Sunday morning, I left the house at 8:45 and met Adriana on the train. I got to the Châtelet stop at around 10:15 and then tried to find my way to the Théâtre du Châtelet. I finally found it, bought a ticket for 12€ and found a seat to watch the Concert du Dimanche Matin which in this case was Jean-Guihen Queyras playing the cello (or violencelle) and Alexandre Tharaud playing the piano. It was so nice to be able to go to a concert and listen to some classical music. Also, I love how the French use the Do, Ré, Mi system; it makes me feel so Sound of Music! I really enjoyed the Sonate by Debussy, but my favourite was the first movement of Johannes Brahms’ Sonate pour vioncelle et piano n°1 en mi mineur opus 38; they played it beautifully. After the concert, I was planning to go to church but it was so nice outside so I ended up walking along the Seine instead. I then made my way to the Islands and started my Island tour, where Paris was founded. I stopped by the Conciergerie (to the left), a prison where Marie Antoinette was held and then I went to the Marché aux Fleurs, which was really neat. It was basically an outdoor flower store and pet shop. There were so many birds, fish, hamsters, chipmunks, everything. It was so nice! Afterwards, I went to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame (to the right), but I didn’t get to go inside because Adriana called and asked to meet up with her and Helena. The three of us went to the Moulin Rouge (just for you, Laura), and then we were going to try to go to the Sacré Coeur. However, things didn’t go as planned. We ended up going into a HUGE cemetery and getting lost, thanks to my book and me. We were probably in the cemetery for about 30-45 minutes and by the time we got out, we were too tired to keep walking. We stopped for much-needed drinks (guess how much my milkshake cost.. 6.50€!! That’s $9.75!!), and then tried to find a crêperie, but we were unsuccessful. We then took the train home (Helena lives in Rambouillet so she’s one stop after Adriana and me), got talking to some guys who live close by (Oh, you’re from Canada?? So do you live really close to Alaska?), and I finally got home at 9.

Today, I went to the atelier, which was independent grammar study, and it was très très boring. Now, I’m back at home but I have lots of stuff that I need to get done. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend, with lots of family time and yummy food! Don’t forget to stop at the Christmas Craft Fair this week if you have nothing to do! Love always

Sunday Best – Augustana

La Confession

This has definitely been the hardest week for me. I’ve found myself breaking down really easily and trying to distance myself from home. Deleting my facebook for the rest of the week seemed to help me get things back on track, and now everything seems to be back to normal. I think that it was normal for me to be going through rough times at that point of my trip though. Tuesday, I biked with Julien to school. I guess I have never mentioned before that the kids are locked outside the school grounds except for between 8:15 and 8:30. If you’re late, there’s no getting into the school, and if you’re early, you’re going to have to wait outside in the cold until the gates are opened. We’re always early, because Julien always has to get to school and make some good Pokemon trades before class begins. Most of the boys have their Pokemon cards, and most of the girls have their skipping ropes, reminding me of my grade 3 and 4 years. Also, pretty much all of the kids have suitcase-like backpacks, with the wheels and handles and everything. After dropping Julien off, the rest of Tuesday was my stay-at-home day. I definitely just spent the whole day doing nothing because I didn’t feel like going out.

Wednesday, Julien and I played Monopoly, then I Spy, and then Alexia and I played the Sims, and we all played another game of Monopoly afterwards. Thursday was by far the worst day of my trip; so many things happened and my mind was flying everywhere. I had to escape from the house cause I realized staying there, I was just letting my mind take over. I went to Rambouillet and walked around to clear my head, and things seemed to get better from there. Once I got back, Julien and Alexia were ready to play yet another game of (three guesses) Monopoly!

Friday, I had class so it was nice to be around English-speaking people again. There are two more additions to our class: Monika and Helena. Monika is 19 and she’s from Germany, and Helena is 18 and she’s from England. We’re all a pretty good group, and apparently next week, we’re getting one MORE person: this time, a male au pair. The labs were really boring so Adriana and I left early to go back to Le Perray. Alexia was already at home so her and I watched a show called Incredible Talent, which I believe we have in Canada. It was really long, but it was also good, and I found myself easily understanding what was being said (yay!).

On Saturday morning, Catherine, Alexia and I went into Rambouillet to go shopping for clothes. I didn’t end up buying anything cause my money is limited, but I enjoyed looking at all of the clothes. When we got back, we had lunch and then in the afternoon, Laurent and I went to the bank to open my bank account. I didn’t understand anything during the entire meeting; I just sat there and waited for Laurent to tell me what was going on. Afterwards, Laurent and I went to the store to buy some ingredients to make cookies. What we bought: brown sugar (they don’t have any at home), and a chocolate bar (I don’t think chocolate chips exist here, and if they do, they’re really hard to find). We got back to the house and Alexia and I started to make cookies. I don’t think baking is a huge thing in this household because Alexia pulled out a scale that we had to weigh everything on. That was just the beginning of new things I tried today. We started to make the cookies and the first thing we needed was butter, so we just took the butter dish that we use for dinners and weighed all the butter on the scale. Next was the sugar. Now of course, today was the day we ran out of sugar so what did we do? We took sugar cubes and squished them into sugar, which took so much time because they were super hard. Next was the egg, easy enough. Next was the vanilla, but they don’t have liquid vanilla, they have vanilla sugar so that’s just what we used. Everything else was pretty straightforward, except for the chocolate, which we had to break into little pieces. And today after supper, the cookies were the dessert. And Catherine took a picture haha, I was so shocked at how excited the family was to eat cookies. I’m thinking maybe I’ll try to make a different kind every two weeks or something.

Sunday was my day off so I woke up extra early (six am) and left the house by 7:20 to make it to the Louvre just before it opened. I got there at 8:55 and there was a HUGE line. Yes, security had to come move half of us because we were going through the entire mall, heading upstairs to the metro, blocking everyone and anyone who needed to get through. Luckily I came right when it opened though; I got in really quickly and for the first two hours, it was super quiet. I pretty much got the entire room to myself every time I went into a different room. However, by 11 it was already super crowded. It was neat to see everything but I definitely didn’t explore the entire thing. To walk through the entire Louvre is the length of many football fields put together so you can only imagine the toll it took on my legs, shoulder, and feet. It’s also divided into 3 sections; I explored one of the sections the entire morning and thought I finished it so I stopped for lunch. After lunch, I started to explore one of the other sections and I realized I miss an entire floor of the other section so I went back and looked at it (there are three floors so it’s hard to see everything). I think I got lost way too many times to count, and I’m pretty sure I saw some parts more than once and missed other parts. My favourite part of the Louvre was the Egyptian section, as well as all of the African artifacts. There was also some stuff from Canada too. Well, by 2 o clock, I was already tired out so I left without even seeing the last section and I went to the flea market. There was some really neat stuff that people were selling, but I only spent my time looking at everything. First day in Paris and I have three new phone numbers haha, I don’t think I’ll be calling them though. After the flea market, I went to Montparnasse and looked at some of the cinemas and other surrounding stores before going back home. Julien and Alexia asked to play with me when I got back and even though it was my day off, I still spent some time with them, even though Catherine told me I didn’t have to. I taught the kids how to play Go Fish and they seemed to like it. And last night, I slept very easily from my day of constant walking.

Today I had workshops at the school, and then I came home and just relaxed. The weather’s not nice enough to spend time outside but tomorrow, Adriana, one of her friends, and I might go shopping at a mall about 20 minutes from here. Today is the 6th – 9 months from when I come back home on July 6th. And tomorrow, it’s been 4 weeks since I left. It’s crazy to think that I’m already 10 % done my trip! I’m enjoying it so much though, and I have a lot more planned for the upcoming weekends.

Christmas is one of my favourite seasons and I’ve just been waiting for some things that remind me of Christmas to appear. I know that one of the things that lets me know Christmas is coming are all the fairs, and next week on the 17th and 18th, there’s a Christmas Craft Fair at the WDM in Saskatoon so I’m thinking that everyone that can go should definitely try to make an appearance, even if you’re not planning on buying anything. I hope everyone had a great weekend, and make sure you all keep me updated on what’s going on! Love always

La Confession – Manau