Park School France 2023
May 19-20, 2023
We had a wonderful first day after a long flight, and after meeting Jorge and Eirann at the airport we had a snack, settled into our hotel, and made our way to the goat farm. At the goat farm, we met the baby goats and got to try the fresh cheese. Students asked excellent questions in French and learned a lot about the local farm. Everyone is exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep after a delicious meal. (They’ve all asked to go back to the same restaurant tomorrow!)
May 21, 2023
We woke up to a delicious french breakfast of croissants, fruit and baguette. Around 9 am, we went to an open air market and completed a scavenger hunt where groups of three went searching for statues, new french words, and smiling vendors. After the scavenger hunt, each group was in charge of a different food category: fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and bread. It was raining, so we ate inside, but the food was just as good. After an hour of downtime, we walked to Cezanne’s studio for an authentic tour of his studio, lessons about him and his magnificent art, one being a beautiful mountainscape which we had the pleasure of viewing. On our walk back to the hotel we stopped at a gelato/crepe store, which was splendid. For dinner we had some wonderful Moroccan cuisine. By the end of the day, we were practically falling asleep because of all the new things we had experienced. We are so excited, and ready, for tomorrow, and our travels to Carcassonne.
By: Sari and Kaylee
May 22, 2023
Although we spent a lot of the day on the bus, it was still one to remember. We woke up early and had a 2 hour bus ride to Pont du Gard – a giant Roman aqueduct. We had a picnic along the river and explored the area. Afterwards, we went back on the bus to Carcassonne. The city of Carcassonne was named after a princess called Dame Carcas and the bells that she rang (sonne) to celebrate the victory of her city. In Carcassonne, we were introduced to our host families whom we will be spending our evenings with for the next 2 days. We ate dinner with the families and got to know each other in our small groups and learned about what activities we will be doing for the next 2 days. After we settled in our new hotel and went to sleep.
By Mia, Sophie, Talia, Lucy
May 23, 2023
Today when we woke up, we were able to enjoy a buffet breakfast before the beginning of our day. To start our adventurous day off, we went to visit the walled city of Carcassonne. During our time there, we took a tour of the Chateau, shopped, and got lunch (and some ice cream). We then got ready for some service time with Bernard, where we worked to help clean the path for those taking the pilgrimage “Chemin de Saint Jacques” (more commonly known as the Camino de Santiago, which actually has routes in France as well as Spain. After approximately 2 hours of work we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner with our host families. Each host family took their groups on different types of dinners. Some included: ballet dancing, game night and foosball cooking together, and a relaxing home cooked meal. To end our day, we had some free time as the other groups were arriving back at the hotel.
A note from the chaperones: Without exception the students returned from their host families grinning ear to ear because of delicious food, fun activities, and pride in their French communication. We wish we could bottle up that joy to send home to you right now, and can’t wait for you to hear about it when we return.
May 24, 2023
Today we woke up at about 6:40 to eat another amazing breakfast and start the day. We visited a French Middle School and we were a little nervous to speak to native French speakers our age, but we ended up making so many friends and learning so much! The best part was the scavenger hunt. We also played a bilingual Kahoot – the questions in English were about France and the questions in French were about the U.S. We had to work together to answer all the questions. We went right to our service site and did some community work by clearing a path near the pilgrimage. Then we spend the afternoon with our host families and went bowling. Next we had dinner at our host families house and in our experience, we ate the most delicious food and had the time of our lives. Today was really really fun and I know I will not forget the experiences I’ve had today for the rest of my life.
By: Elliz and Tatum
May 25, 2023
This morning, we left Carcassonne at 9:30 and we drove to the paper mill, where we learned about how artisanal paper is made. At this family business, it was made with cotton. The tour was completely in French! We also had the chance to make paper that we will bring home. Afterwards, we had a sleepy bus ride to Toulouse, la Ville Rose (the pink city, because of all the brick buildings.)
We played foosball in the lobby of the hotel while we waited for our rooms to be ready.
After we got situated, we headed out on a walking tour. We saw many sights and learned about the city. We also ate macarons from the best bakery in Toulouse. We had a long (very French!) dinner at the Bistrot de l’Etoile. We will get up very early for our flight and we look forward to seeing you at Logan.
By: Parker and Nathaniel