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Poly Prep Country Day France 2016

March 20, 2016


Today was our first day in France, and we saw so much. After landing in Paris at 5:30, we collected our baggage, met our Global Works leader, and sleepily boarded a bus to our hostel. When we got there we dropped off our bags, grabbed some breakfast and headed out into the streets of Paris. It was cold, and we were bundled up in lots of layers. With the guidance of some of our fellow students, we made our way towards Notre Dame. Next we walked to the Latin Quartier, where we saw some cute stores and did a little shopping. All this walking made us very hungry, and next we stopped at a restaurant for some falafel. Il etait delicieux! Our day was still far from over, and next we took le Metro and visited Sacre Coeur. The stairs were endless, but the view from the top was worth it. Finally we made a stop at a market where we saw some amazing artwork and ate some amazing crepes. It was time to return to our hostel, where we had a quick dinner and then collapsed in our beds. We had to rest up for another full day tomorrow!


March 21, 2016


Today we took a trip to the Louvre. To get there, we walked along La Seine and crossed the Lock Bridge. Unfortunately the locks had been removed because of their weight, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Once we arrived, we saw the L’Arc de Triumphe and the famous three glass pyramids of the Louvre. We waited in line for two hours to get in, but it was worth it once we saw the Mona Lisa and all the other amazing works of art. Afterwards, we went to the art supply store that manufactured the first pastels used by Pablo Picasso. Finally, we went to La Tour d’Eiffel. We took the stairs to the halfway point and then used the elevator to get to the very top. The view from the observation deck at the top was amazing, and since we went at night, the tower was lit. Every hour there was a light show where LED lights would flash on and off around the tower. We had a great time.

– Nicole & Nyla

March 22, 2016

Notes from each one of us to our families from Avignon, where we have just arrived!

Privet! Everything is amazing! I have decided 100% that I am going to live in Paris one day. My french speaking has gotten better in two days! Tsioms.

– Anastasiya

Hi Mom, Dad, and Charlotte, France is great, everything is as good as I remembered. I miss you all, send my love to Lola. -Olivia

Hi Mom and Laurence I’m having a lot of fun in France. I love it here and can’t wait to show you all the photos I took. Love you guys! -Nyla

Hi everyone! I miss you all so much, I have so many pictures and stories to tell you (and a little surprise for the groupme for Faith, Simone, and Glorie). I love you Mommy and can’t wait to see you again!!! XOXO -Blossom

Hi Mom and Dad! We are having a great time in France. We just arrived in Avignon. Can’t wait to see you guys again!!  -Liam

Hi Ellen and Patrick, I assume Sid wont be reading this so tell him I said hi. We are out of Paris and we are going to the home stay soon. See you soon and I have a bunch of photos to show you. -Cameron

Greetings from Avignon, I’m having a great time in France! I can’t wait to show you pictures. See you soon. -Nicole

Hi Mom, Granny, and Grandpa. France is cool and I am having fun. I have visited so many places and taking many photos. I miss you guys so much and can not wait to see you. Love you!!!! -Zene


Today we sadly said goodbye to Paris. We left our hostel and took the metro for the last time to Gare de Lyon. From the train station at Gare de Lyon, we boarded on a high speed train to Avignon where we welcomed warmer weather and a quaint city. There we got settled into our new hostel, POP, and ate lunch on a sunny café patio on the main square of Avignon. After a lunch, some exploration of the shops in the nearby area we went to the park of the Palais du Papes to prepare for our homestays and become a bit closer to our already tight knit group.  We also learned the song Sur le pont d’Avignon and took lots of pictures. For dinner we had amazing Moroccan food and then went back to our hostel to rest up for the next day.

March 23, 2016

We started our day at the Avignon Market for a scavenger hunt! That involved asking merchants questions, identifying specialty foods, and asking locals to sing French songs with us. It was fun! We also bought food for our lunch picnic including different local dishes such as ratatouille, pesto, and various cheese. Then we boarded the bus to the Roman acqueduc of Pont du Gard, where we had a lovely picnic under an olive tree  and prepared some more for our upcoming homestay. We continued onto Carcassonne where our French families were waiting for us. We had a welcoming reception at the local high school with home made food that the families brought. When meeting our families, we were both scared and excited. We are motivated and well prepared for the experience, and they are patient and very happy to have us, so it will be great. We went home with our families and enjoyed our first real French evening. L’aventure commence!

March 24, 2016

Bonjour! Today was our community service day. We worked alongside youth in need to rehabilitate part of a path leading to Santiago de Compostella in Carcassonne’s countryside.  We built a bridge crossing a ditch. This bridge will enable hikers to reach Santiago de Compostella through this region again, and by doing so, to bring new energy to the now almost abandoned town nearby. Working on this bridge with so many different local groups – from all ages and walks of life- made beautiful connections possible.  We got the opportunity to meet two different local elementary schools, the local Mayor, and even the local Baron and Baroness whose family tree took us back 600 years ago. Everyone was really excited to meet us, and was very appreciative of the fact that we came from far away to help, and that we dedicated a full day of our trip to contribute to this project so important to the local community.
March 25, 2016

Today we spent the day at the high school. We participated in 9th grade social studies, chemistry and English classes. We made new friends and we went to the Medieval Cite with them around lunch time. We watched them do parcours on the 12th century walls of the fortress! We also got a tour of the school cafeteria by the Chef himself, and learned how food is important to the French, even in their schools. This was a very full day with lots of fun and a much deeper understanding of the way French people live!