I've been sick and busy with orientation, so here's an update from last week. I promise I'll post photos from les chateaux soon!
Yesterday I got to my apartment. It's on the fourth floor right around the corner from IES. We all waited at the center for our host families to pick us up. They have a room full of computers, a library, wifi, and a piano at the center so that's good!
My host mom came with her granddaughter to get me and we walked my stuff around the corner. Her hrarnddaughter is cute, but very hyper and hard to understand between being 3 1/2 and having a lisp. She insisted on dragging me around the aprtment for a tour. It's a beautiful apartment and pretty big. There's a dining room and living room with lots of windows and high ceilings. A veryyyy nice cat lives here, who is super friendly. Sorry, Blindcat, you've been replaced for a bit! My room is a great size and actually has a double bed! I have a desk and some dresser drawers, and then there's a big wall unit across from my bed filled with books. There's also a cute black and white bulletin board so I put my pictures up on there. Good news, there's wi-fi! Then there's a separate toilet and a bathroom, which sadly had one of those short showers.
Her granddaughter insisted on 'helping' when I was unpacking, which basically consisted of her yanking my stuff out of the suitcase and putting it wherever she felt like. This happened quite a few times so I had to close the door until I finished unpacking. We had dinner, with soup and pasta and a little cheese for dessert. My host mom likes to have soup a lot, which sounds great to me. The kitchen is a decent size, and it seems like I have pretty good access to it. I can eat what I want in the fridge as long as it isn't on the other student's shelf.
I slept in this morning, but apparently most Thursdays a cleaning lady comes at 8:30am, so I'll have to make sure I'm up. My host mom was teaching an English class for retirees this morning so when I finally woke up, I found the other girl who lives here and her friend in the dining room. They were having tea and croissants so I joined them. They wanted to speak in English, so that was fine with me! She gave me a map of Nantes and they talked about some things to do.
They left to go shopping because the soldes (month long sale once a year) started yesterday. Madame came back and we had lunch. She had a sandwich and a microwaved burger but I was still tired and out of it so I only had a salad and some bread, which I am regretting now. She showed me how to use all 3 keys to get in and out of the building and then I went to IES with my backpack to meet for our orientation in Tours. We're on two coach buses headed there now. We get to pick who we stay with in the hotel so I picked Emily from yesterday. I'm trying to prepare for the inevitable flood of info we'll be getting soon, and the horrifying prospect of the grammar placement test. I hope we get phones soon!
Later that night
When we got to Tours, Emily and I put our stuff in our room. Apparently all of the rooms on this floor have random lofts with an extra bed in it, so we don't even have to share! Emily likes the loft so she has the honor of climbing up the ladder every night. Then we had a short meeting where we met the IES faculty and all of the students introduced themselves. There's a girl from Wooster that knows Amy! We have two days of touring les chateaux and then Sunday morning is a whole mess of French placement tests: listening, dictation, grammar, and reading.
Dinner was fun! I sat at a table with Kathryn, Emmi, Andrew, boy Alex, and Laura, who just got back from Quito! We had a good time and spoke francais for all of dinner. The meal was a veggie salad thing, then white fish with a side of veggies, some really good dessert, and white wine.
Things I should eventually write about: too much fish, les chateaux, being sick, and returning to/exploring Nantes!