by Joy Mason Greenheart Travel’s Language School program participant
Today I went to school again (surprise!), and then I went to the Fort Carré. Carré means square. The fort isn’t actually square—it’s more of a four-pointed star, and the four points make a perfect square. It was pretty cool, and I took some fun pictures. This is what I realized while at the fort: the Mediterranean Sea is so blue, so gorgeous, that all pictures become good. When the ocean is behind something, it becomes picturesque and lovely. A boat on the Mediterranean? Beautiful. A green tree contrasting with its blueness? Gorgeous. A piece of trash on the beach? Is there blue ocean behind it? It’s picturesque. Seriously, I took so many photos where I was like “that’s so awesome!”, and it was really just awesome because the sea is such a wonderful, wonderful blue.
I had my last day of school today. I got my certificate of completion, and I got six hours of credit, which is quite excellent. There are four areas on the certificate: oral comprehension, oral production, written comprehension, written production. For some reason, I got B1.2 in oral production and B1.1 in all the others, which is exactly the opposite of what I think it should be. It’s all good, though, I’m not too worried about it. I feel like I did a good job, moving up a class each week, and I’m now really confident in my writing and grammar abilities and more confident and knowledgeable in my speaking abilities.
Tonight the family had a barbecue for me. Sadly, Anthony was working, but everyone else was there! It was good, although the first two types of meat weren’t really identifiable. Chicken and pork, maybe? They were fine. And then, the third meat proved that I was at a French barbecue and not an American one: we had duck. Seriously, duck at a barbecue. And man, it was good. They served it with this honey-vinegar sauce, which tastes better than it sounds. I really appreciated the trouble they went to for me, especially since Pierre had just gotten back from his business trip and was clearly very tired. Everyone enjoyed themselves, though. Then we watched Les Experts: Manhattan, also known as the dubbed version of CSI: NY.
And then, sadly, I chose to watch Secret Story with the two boys after Anthony came back. While I am not addicted to that show, I did want to know what happened to Romain. When you watch a TV show nearly every day for three weeks, you’ll probably get a little attached.
I went down to Antibes and walked around—it truly is a beautiful city. When I came back, Isabelle and Pierre and I Skyped with Mom and Dad. Dad read a thank-you note in French, which was awesome, and I know Isabelle and Pierre really appreciated it. Isabelle had to leave for work pretty soon after that, so I told her goodbye. I was sad, but it was just part of being there for only three weeks.
Then, later, I had to say goodbye to the two boys, and that was much harder. I had spent most of my at-home time with them, and I really like them and they really liked me. And saying good-bye to them made me realize that, while I didn’t wish I was staying longer, I did wish that I could have gotten to know the whole family better. When I said good-bye to the boys, we did bisous and then I hugged them, telling them that this was what we did in the U.S. But what was hilarious was that, as I walked away, they both blew me kisses and went “muah.” They’d seen me do that at the end of every Skype session with my family, and they just thought it was the funniest thing, and so they did it to say goodbye to me. It was so cute.
And then I said good-bye to Pierre at the airport. I told him thank you very much, that I didn’t have the words in French to say what I wanted to say, but thank you for everything. He said it was their pleasure, not to worry about it. And then I got on the plane!