Angers, March 4

It’s our first day in France! Angers is so beautiful and so different from a bustling American city. In the morning, as Albane, my host, drove with her parents and me going to school, we passed by so many beautiful houses, their bricks worn and mossy with age. The small, winding brick roads were nearly empty, except for a few students and cars trying to get by. We stopped in the middle of a plaza, surrounded with small shops and cafés, to walk down the remaining road to her high school, or, in French, son lycée.
Here, we spent the remainder of the day, going from English, to the gym for a “PE” class called, simply, le sport, to French. Each class lasted for an hour, which is a long time for us Groton students! Albane and her friends spoke French at a rapid-fire pace, but because of it I could feel my French getting better. In the middle of the day, after le sport, we ate lunch at the “self,” a café in the school which was separate from the cafeteria. The lunch break lasted for an hour, and then it was time to go to a two-hour French class. Although the teacher enunciated every syllable, the two hours were very much longer than my attention span. After French, we met up with other Groton students, leaving our hosts behind, and headed out to explore the city with Madame Stanton and Monsieur Koffi. Brief periods of rain and even hail bewildered us, but when they disappeared, they left behind a beautiful, clear, blue sky. We walked to a supermarket, and then a patisserie, or pastry shop, and with our goods in hand, went into a bookstore. We explored gleefully the shelves upon shelves of movies, books, gadgets, which all stood neatly in the store. Time flew by, until we returned to the school to meet all the hosts. We drank Coca-Cola and orange juice and there were cookies as we talked and laughed with our French correspondents. Then my host and I returned home with her parents, tired but happy from the day.