This Week in France...

Trip Start May 24, 2006
Trip End Jul 11, 2006

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Hi there!

So, I have just finished with my third week of classes and field trip...only two more weeks to go. I can't quite decide if I'm happy or sad about that yet. Anyway, the next two weeks should go by quickly, since next week I only have 2 days of class (Monday and Tuesday). Randy (the director) has decided to cancel class on Wednesday to go on an extra field trip and again on Thursday and Friday to give us ample time to travel next weekend (I'm going to Brussels). Then, I have exam reviews the following Monday, an exam on Tuesday, and a group project that last Wednesday and c'est tout! I'm planning on heading to Paris early that Friday morning to pick up Mom.

This was a fun week in Dijon...On Wednesday, Courtney and I went to the "beach" which is really a bunch of sand that has been hauled in to make a beach at the local lake. It works, though! We went once last week, too, but that trip was far less eventful. I didn't expect to see any nudity here in conservative Dijon, but we sure did! There were numerous women "qui ont fait de la monokini" (who went topless). Why is it always the old, wrinkly ones who decide that this is a good idea? Then, yesterday Courtney and I decided to go out for lunch, a special treat on our small budgets, and had croquet monsieurs, frites, salad, and ice cream. Then we went shopping, and I bought a new and very French outfit! I also started doing my interviews for my thesis this week...I've done three so far, and I have one more on Monday afternoon. They are going very, very well! The things that the students have told me so far align exactly with the ideas I had found in my research, so it is very encouraging.

Today, we visited a small town called Vezelay, where there is a very pretty medieval church. This church is famous because it is built on the relics of Mary Magdalene...since I'm not Catholic, this whole tradition of celebrating the relics of saints is kinda new to me. The crypt, where all of the relics are kept on an altar, was really creepy, especially since I just finished reading The Da Vinci Code. Not to ruin the story for anyone, but the whole point of that book is finding Mary Magdalene's relics and worshiping them....I sorta felt like I'd solved the big mystery when I was standing down there in the crypt this morning! The town itself was so cute....the church is built at the top of a large hill/small mountain and all the streets wind their way up to it.

Then we went to visit a monastery. It is also medieval, and it was unbelievably beautiful. A cute little English lady gave us a tour, which sorta dragged on, mostly because Randy insisted on asking very detailed questions and then argued with the lady whenever she would attempt to answer. It really appeared that he was flirting with her, but I guess he is married and has kids. (He doesn't wear a wedding ring though...)

After my interview tonight, I'll be packing up to leave for Strasbourg bright and early in the morning. I think it will be another great weekend!


P.S. For anyone who would like to complain about gas prices:

Gas in Dijon = 1.11 Euro/liter
SO, 1.11 X 1.3 (to change from Euros to Dollars)= 1.44
1.44X 4 (to go from liters to gallons)= $5.77

YES, that's right...a gallon of gas costs $5.77!!!!!!!!!!!!
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