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Guest Blogger Erin O'Rielly - Fumel Trip - A Day in Fumel

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Today we spent the day in Fumel. We met at school this morning for the 9am start. 9am seems so luxurious in the morning... But later, when it is 4:45pm and the bell for the end of the day is just ringing, it doesn't seem as great.

We were hosted by two classes: one of all 5th graders and another with both 4th and 5th combined. We gathered as a group to respond to questions that the students in Fumel had prepared in English about life in Palo Alto. We compared a day at ISTP to a day at l'Ecole Jean Jaurès. One of the funniest moments was when our students were asked about hot lunch. One of them explained that a truck comes to school with food for us. This sounded very strange to the French students who have a cafeteria at school that makes a hot meal for the students every day. Our students got to experience this "cantine française" today at lunch, and they were all thrilled that ravioli was served. The French students also asked several questions about Thanksgiving, and our students explained what we eat on Thanksgiving and why it is celebrated.

In the afternoon, we went on a walking tour of the town. We saw a maison à colombage and many other beautiful things. The visit finished at the Château de Fumel which is now used as town hall. We were greeted by the Mayor of Fumel in the Salle de Conseil. He was nice enough to answer several questions from the students. After a snack provided by the mayor, we went to take a look at the beautiful Salle de Mariages.

Unfortunately, while we were there, it started pouring. We tried to wait it out, but eventually, we had to run back to school in the rain. We spent the last bit of time at school in class playing a game kind of like Scattergories but with categories chosen by the students. When the bell rang at 4:45, everyone left with his/ her host sibling.

A few hours later, we all met back at school with some of the other students from the class and their parents for a potluck dinner. There was tons of food to eat, and all of the children were playing in e courtyard and the sports room. Once it started to get cold, they all came in to get a drink and have more food before settling down to play some American board games that we had brought as gifts. Our students served as translators of the instructions in order to insure that everyone knew how to play. Candyland was a big hit! Around 9:30 things began to wind down, and everyone headed home.

Tomorrow we will go to the Château de Bonaguil. Since rain is predicted, we'll be figuring out activities based on the weather...

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