So, this week was weird. I only had classes for one day which was Friday. I was supposed to go back on Thursday, but it turns out that Maria Fernanda and I had to go to Clermont-Ferrand for our medical visits that are required by the French government because we are not members of the European Union...I think...well something like that. Anyway, I was pretty stressed about going because I've never really been to Clermont-Ferrand and it's a pretty big city. You have to take a tram to get anywhere really and that had me worried, but somehow we were able to navigate the city pretty well. We made it to both of our medical visits on time, but not to the OFII office (immigration office) because their hours of operation are shit. Anyway, Clermont-Ferrand is a very nice city...the church that's in the middle of town looks beautiful, but I haven't gone in yet...need to go one day and do some site-seeing instead of having my lungs examined etc. In order to let off some steam because I was dissapointed that we didn't make it to the OFFI office (oh yeah and I have to go back next week because we didn't make it...so happy...not), I decided that we should indulge in some retail therapy because I had been paid recently and I like shopping. There is a lot of shopping to be done in Clermont-Ferrand which is wonderful and dangerous for me. There is a pretty big shopping center in the middle of town which we had no trouble finding, and when we were inside of it for the first time I really felt like we were in the United States. It was just like any American mall only everyone speaks French and the prices are all in Euros....but that's ok because I have Euros now! Well...needless to say some damage was done to my bank account by the end of the day, but I bought at least one Christmas present, and I came out with a cool watch...that I love. Didn't take any pictures in Clermont-Ferrand because...well I don't know why I didn't...but I didn't...sorry.
Friday morning was glorious...absolutely wonderful. I had a new class that I didn't really have to prepare for because it was my first time with them. Granted I had to wake up early because the class is at 8, but I had so much fun! I really felt like I was just hanging out with some people at what just so happened to be an ungodly hour. Everything went really naturally, the students had no trouble understanding me, they laughed at my dumb jokes, they even liked me. Well, they probably thought I was crazy, but if it gets them to talk I don't mind...plus I am crazy.
Friday afternoon...not so great. I had another class...that wasn't new to me...which really has trouble with English. That would be fine if it were the only problem, but the trouble is that they don't really want to improve or learn English at all for that matter. They've told me this. With that class, sometimes I just feel like my efforts are for nothing...especially when one of the students is sleeping all the time. The experience with that class on Friday really got me down...was feeling pretty depressed...plus my vitamin D tank is on empty...we haven't had sunshine in a long time.
Luckily, I have some good friends. Bob forced me to get out of bed and fed me my favorite pasta...then we had drinks with our friend Billy (American assistant who never left). He is always funny, and by the end of the night we were all practicing our French with some other people we met while we were out...anyway it was a lot of fun and I felt much better afterwards.
Yesterday, was awfully boring for the most part because I was washing clothes from sun up to sun down...my fault...I let them pile up. However, Maria Fernanda and I were invited to dinner by my friend and Curtis' colleague, Alexis. Alexis is the guy who drove Curtis and I to Spain. He is American, but his parents were French or something so he speaks really good French, and his wife, Selene, is Mexican and so sweet...love her...and their little boy Daniel is super cute and he speaks a mixture of French, English, and Spanish...and he's obsessed with Carrefour Market. Anyway, I think we were invited to dinner because Alexis and his wife were hosting a Spanish Assistant from Nicaragua at their house for the week-end and they wanted to include Maria Fernanda in this night of speaking Spanish and eating Mexican/Nicaraguan food. Maria Fernanda doesn't know them, but I told them that I lived with an assistant from Bolivia and they were just dying to meet her so...we both went. The food was sooooo good and it was spicy...lots of flavor which is something I miss about home (and there aren't many things that I miss). They hadn't started cooking by the time we got there so we helped and it was fun. I learned some more Spanish words over dinner...and I'm kind of proud of my pronunciation. We chatted in French because it was the common language which is always good practice for me, and for the other girls too, but every now and then Selene, Maria Fernanda, and Ascencion (girl from Nicaragua...spelling is probably wrong) would burst out in Spanish, but I didn't mind :)
I guess that brings me to today...pretty uneventful, but I think I needed it to be. I finished tidying up my room, got my papers in order so that they're not in a big mountainous pile on my desk. Planned lessons for Monday and Tuesday of this week...picked a person that inspires me and why (for one of my classes)...performed a healthy amount of facebook stalking...did some youtubing... made some stir fry...had some tea...listened to classical music and rap, but not simultaneously...changed my desktop background...etc. If you've ever lived with me, you know that these are all simple pleasures that I enjoy on a boring, rainy Sunday, therefore I can honestly say that today I am perfectly content except for the fact that I am freezing my ass off right now, but I've managed to trap some body heat under my covers (it took like an hour though). Also the clothes that I washed yesterday won't dry...dammit.
Well until next time my friends...