Settled into Saumur!

Dear parents, guardians, friends, and family,

Thanks for all the support this blog has seen so far—I’ve even had students mentioning how much you’ve enjoyed reading about their experience last week! I am going to tell you all about your sons and daughter’s experience during the second week in Saumur in today’s post!

It’s been a busy week, so to help you to get a broad idea of what’s occurred here is an overview that I will follow up with details and photos for each section:

Week 2 (Monday June 22nd – Sunday June 28th)

  • Saumur’s Weekend Music Festival (Last Friday-Sunday)
  • Classes started (Monday through Friday)
  • Official Reception at Saumur’s City Hall (Wednesday)
  • Visit to Val de Thouet, Saumur’s pool (Wednesday)
  • Visit to the Multimedia Library in Saumur (Friday)
  • Visit to Bowling de Saumur (Saturday)

Saumur’s Weekend Music Festival (Last Friday-Sunday)

We encouraged families to take students to Saumur’s annual music festival in our last weekly letter to the host families. I saw quite a few of them there and those who went said they really liked it the next day at school! Of course there were some bands that played songs in English (the French love some ‘Beach Boys’…), but not too many! If you get a chance, ask your student about all the different foods and song they got to try and hear during the festival! I wanted to post a video of some French people doing a square dance during this festival, but the file type wouldn’t upload alas…

 

Classes started (Monday through Friday)

Students have classes Monday through Thursday with classes occasionally on Friday when an excursion isn’t scheduled (Grammar & Communications/Linguistics & Phonetics/Culture/Literature). We have three classes in the morning, starting at 9:10 pm and ending at 12:10 when we take our daily walk through Saumur to go the cafeteria for lunch. After lunch we return to Saint-Louis, have a brief pause with announcements, and then have one more afternoon class scheduled before we start the afternoon activities (dance, theater, sports, and small groups). School ends at 3:50 in the afternoon and students head home.

Here’s students in class below!

1st class of the morning
1st class of the morning
1st class of the morning
1st class of the morning
2nd class of the morning!
2nd class of the morning!
2nd class of the morning!
2nd class of the morning!
Afternoon class!
Afternoon class!
Afternoon class!
Afternoon class!

Official Reception at Saumur’s City Hall (Wednesday)

On Wednesday we departed for Saumur’s City Hall at 10:00 (very well-dressed of course!) We were greeted at the Mairie by Amélie Gibouin, who has organized our annual visits for five years now, and took several group photos with Jackie Goulet, the deputy mayor of Saumur. We had the opportunity to see the Salle des Mariages (in France one marries at the City Hall first and then the church if one wishes to do so) and also the Salles des Conseils (where government officials meet). Alex (Sonja), Paige, and Christina gave thanks and gifts (an IU pin and book) to the city (I alas didn’t get my camera out in time for Alex’s presentation – my apologies!) After our visit we took a photo in the courtyard in front of a ‘Nous Sommes Charlie’ sign and then a few along the Loire!

Paige gives a prepared discourse to thank the city and talk about her experiences in Saumur.
Paige gives a prepared discourse to thank the city and talk about her experiences in Saumur.
Christina presents her experience and thanks the city as well with her prepared discourse!
Christina presents her experience and thanks the city as well with her prepared discourse!
A group photo. Students held the American and French flags. Monsieur Goulet, the deputy mayor, is in the right of this photo.
A group photo. Students held the American and French flags. Monsieur Goulet, the deputy mayor, is in the right of this photo.
Madame Gibouin talks to students about the purpose of the Salle des Conseils
Madame Gibouin talks to students about the purpose of the Salle des Conseils
A bust of Marianne (a national symbol of France)
A bust of Marianne (a national symbol of France)
A group photo in front of 'Nous Sommes Charlie'
A group photo in front of ‘Nous Sommes Charlie’
Group photo outside the Marie; the Loire river is just right behind students!
Group photo outside the Marie; the Loire river is just right behind students!
A group photo in front of the Mairie
A group photo in front of the Mairie
Sarah and Megan give us a pose in front of the Loire!
Sarah and Megan give us a pose in front of the Loire!
Jacob, Matthew, Becca, & Lauren give us a pose too!
Jacob, Matthew, Becca, & Lauren give us a pose too!
Ian, Robin, & Camille resting outside the Mairie after our visit.
Ian, Robin, & Camille resting outside the Mairie after our visit.
Alex (John), Hannah, Cassidy, and Joe were dressed to impress!
Alex (John), Hannah, Cassidy, and Joe were dressed to impress!

 

Visit to Val de Thouet, Saumur’s pool (Wednesday)

We had an optional outing to Val de Thouet on Wednesday after our trip to the City Hall (and goodness was it delightful given the warm weather!) We had a large group of students (about 20) come along. The pool had a slide, a no-baggy-swim trunk rule, an outside sunbathing area, and two hot tubs! I wasn’t permitted to bring my camera into the swimming area, but here is the Courrier de l’Ouest’s photo to give you a general idea of what the pool looked like:

Val de Thouet swimming pool. Just past the window they had outdoor sunbathing and you get a glimpse of the slide (many students enjoyed that!)
Val de Thouet swimming pool. Just past the window they had outdoor sunbathing and you get a glimpse of the slide (many students enjoyed that!)

Visit to the Multimedia Library in Saumur (Friday)

On Friday after school we had a brief visit to Saumur’s library. We were greeting by a librarian who was very courteous (she spoke French slowly for the students and offered water to students who were thirsty after the walk). She showed us around the library, told students about how they could go about getting a library card through their host family’s address, and about the services the library offered.

 

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Saumur Multimedia Library
Just outside the Library of Saumur
Just outside the Library of Saumur
We tour through the library with the very nice library pointing out what might be useful to students!
We tour through the library with the very nice librarian pointing out what might be useful to students!
After our tour students had the chance to explore the library themselves!
After our tour students had the chance to explore the library themselves!

Visit to Bowling de Saumur (Saturday)

On Saturday we had an optional excursion to ‘Bowling de Saumur’, the local bowling alley:

Bowling
Bowling
Bowling
Bowling
Scoreboard
Scoreboard
Bowling
Bowling
Bowling
Bowling
Bowling
Bowling

This brings to a close the update about our second week in Saumur—it’s a pleasure to be able to share the wonderful experiences that France has to offer to students! I look forward to bringing you more posts (perhaps even a midweek post for next week if I can find an afternoon free period to do so!) Thanks for reading and enjoying hopefully!

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7 thoughts on “Settled into Saumur!

  1. Thanks so much for the updates and pictures. It’s so wonderful to know the kids are having a good time in Saumur. The excursions and activities sound like a lot of fun.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! The kids look like they’re settling in and having fun. My daughter, Hannah A., said she and Rachel spotted a pizzeria down the street from the school and that made them very very happy!

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  3. So glad to see that all of the kids are having such a great time as well as their studies. Thank you for posting these.

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  4. It is so great to see the kids all having an incredible experience with the French culture. Thank you for keeping us updated and able to share in their adventures.

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  5. Thanks for the regular blog updates. It’s like a little window into their world in France. It’s great to see our daughter looking so relaxed and happy.

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