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My week with Marion was excellent.

When I arrived at her house, her mother, Nicole, had guests visiting.  They made me feel very welcome, but of course, were speaking rapid French.  Marion didn’t let me get too lost, so after a few minutes she showed me around, and explained her methods.Unfortunately, the first few days we had rainy, cold weather and we spent our time in front of the fire rather than walking through the vineyards.  However, the fire was warm and inviting and it was not a hardship to be inside.

The activities and games we played were great to get me relaxed and speaking without too much trouble.I had been speaking French the week before in another immersion home, so I was not as timid about speaking.  However, Marion is so easy to be with that she would have made me feel comfortable quickly, even if I had just arrived in a French speaking country.The activities helped break the ice and learn about each other a bit.  The game “taboo” was lots of fun, especially when the words were “false friends.”  Some I quickly figured out did not mean in French what they mean in English, because of the list of forbidden words.  Others just turned out to be very humorous as I explained something totally different, yet somehow Marion was able to come up with the word.

Our first excursions was to the Medieval walled village of Pérouges.  It was amazing with it’s tree planted before the French Revolution and old buildings.  We stopped in for a drink and dessert, both “creations” of the establishment, at the hostellerie.

The 2nd outing was to the Church of Notre Dame in Avenas.  It was built in the 1200s and was in amazing shape.  We happened to arrive at the same time that a history professor was talking about the limestone altar to a group of fellow hikers.  The altar still had incredible detail and it was hard to believe it was so ancient!  Afterwards, a hike and an amazing view of the valley where most all the Beaujolais vineyards are located.

The meals with Marion and her family were so delicious.  Marion is an excellent cook, as is her mother.  I really enjoyed mealtimes and the lively discussions.  I was able to follow some of the conversations and at least knew the topic of conversation as well as several points that had been made.  Marion did a great job catching me up on the information when it was obvious that I was lost.  Her brother, mother and all their friends were so gracious and welcoming.  I learned to play a card game with them, but the dice game I’m not sure that I would understand even if it was explained in English!

The apartment was very large and I could have brought my whole family to stay with me   When the sun arrived, I loved walking in the yard.

I was very sorry to leave when my week was over.  I felt that I had made good progress, but there is so much more to learn!

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