Cell phones and châteaux

This past week was really busy as everyone adjusted to life in Saumur, life with host families, and days spent in class and doing activities at the Institution Saint-Louis. We met with the host families and students together this past Wednesday night and everything went really well. Your students are in great hands with these families who genuinely seem so kind and generous toward everyone in our group. They were very complimentary of the students as well, remarking how much progress they have already made in their language learning.

The students also received their cellphones this week! It was quite a blast from the past for me personally as the cellphones they received look not unlike one of my first phones when I was their age! They had a time trying to figure out how to send text messages and put in phone numbers. Here are some pictures of some of their reactions to such “advanced” technology, haha.

Lexi and her intense concentration

Lexi and her intense concentration

Andrew doesn't quite know what to do with his new phone. :)

Andrew doesn’t quite know what to do with his new phone. 🙂

Julia and Alex are clearly very excited.

Julia and Alex are clearly very excited.

Rachel's got it covered while Roxie and Etura figure things out together.

Rachel’s got it covered while Roxie and Etura figure things out together.

Once we got the communication under control, Friday was free for our first excursion!! We spent a lovely day touring the Château de Chambord and the Château de Chenonceau with a quick stop in Blois to look at, but not tour, the Château de Blois and to eat lunch. It was a long day with lots of driving, but the instructors were prepared with music for the bus ride. The students said they enjoyed visiting these grand palaces and their gardens and most seemed to prefer the Château de Chenonceau because of the beautiful flowers and the water. Here are some pictures so you can see what you think:

Here is the front of the Château de Chambord

One group of students inside the outer walls of Chambord

One group of students inside the outer walls of Chambord

A shot of the towers on top of Chambord

A shot of the towers on top of Chambord

A group shot in front of the Château de Blois - we didn't go in, but we had lunch in the gardens around the château.

A group shot in front of the Château de Blois – we didn’t go in, but we had lunch in the gardens around the château.

Next we arrived at the Château de Chenonceau

Next we arrived at the Château de Chenonceau

Another of the smaller groups in the "Allée des anes" (donkey alley) just in front of the donkey pen.

Another of the smaller groups in the “Allée des anes” (donkey alley) just in front of the donkey pen.

Another group on the tree-lined path that leads to the Château de Chenonceau itself

Another group on the tree-lined path that leads to the Château de Chenonceau itself

It was quite a day! The weather was just perfect and I think the students had a really good time. They said it was a nice break from classes. This week is going to be full as well. Coming up Monday we have an optional activity swimming at the local indoor pool. Before I get too far behind on posting pictures, I would also like to post one from the photo hike that I forgot the other day. In keeping with the château theme, here is the group in front of the Château de Saumur – our home! 🙂

IMG_0234

I hope you all have had a great week-end. I will post more pictures soon of our activities coming up this week, so stay tuned!

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