Monday, February 11, 2013

Inbound Meeting #2

Once again, the inbounds of District 1750 got together for another fun weekend!  This time, it took place in Sainte-Marie-la-Blanche: a very small village next to Beaune, the famous wine village of Burgundy that I visited back in November.  We stayed in a really cozy cabin-style yet modern gite(cottage) the generous Rotary district rented for the weekend... it was a huge difference from our last stay in Londrevilles with the nasty spiderwebs hanging across ceilings, poor heating and outdoor toilets.

And WOW.  Everyone's French has improved a lot compared to the last time we met!  It has been about four months ago, and it's evident that now everyone can speak French decently but still with a bit of a touristy accent.  Despite that we have only three meetings during our year, I love how we can get to see each other's growth a lot more dramatically (in a good way of course)!  The moment we saw each other till we gave huge goodbye hugs and kisses the next day, we were exploding into sharing stories about our exchange lives so far... the ups and downs, the most daring things we ever did, life with new friends and families, funny anecdotes, our future plans... you get it.  We all spoke more French than a confusing mix of our natal languages, yet we learned how to say some simple phrases in other languages, and tried (... not necessarily succeeded) to sing in other languages.  We all screamed and shouted, took lots of pictures, played games, and had a blast overall.

Although we didn't go touring outside of the village we stayed at, we were always keeping each other's company at the gite and never got bored despite that there weren't many special events other than meeting the district governor Mme. Chantal Lutz and eating.  For me and including everyone else, being together as exchange students was just enough.  Enough to make us not want to end the weekend.  This extraordinary weekend went by too quickly and I wish I could experience it again.  But the fact that it happened makes me feel so warm inside... it's hard to explain, but it's that special awareness that makes us remember we're never alone no matter how far separated we are.  We all face difficult situations yet we find our ways to overcome it.  We understand each other unlike the others.  We are family.

Anyways, here are some photos taken at the meeting!  I hope you enjoy them!

We played an intense outdoor game: Capture the flag (we used our real flags!)
(And there's me far in the back with my hands up for surrender...)


Helping the Japanese exchange student to do her math homework written in English,
but explained in Japanese.  So weird to speak the two languages now!

Mmm... ♥ ♥ ♥  Apéritifs Français!!

Playing games past midnight

Exchange students of D1750 (missing 2 American girls) plus our district exchange officer (very left)
and Mme. Chantal Lutz, the district governor (fourth right in back)

Merci beaucoup pour le week-end incroyable, et a bientôt à tout le monde en mai!
Thank you very much for the incredible weekend, and see you soon everyone in May!

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