by Ella Russell, Greenheart Travel high school student in France
I decided take the three months study abroad option, so now I only have three weeks left! (Counting this week). I can hardly believe it; it seems like the trip passed by so quickly.
Because of this, while I have been erratic with my posting beforehand, only writing for certain special occasions, I have decided now I am going to write a blog for every week until I leave, either writing it near the end of the specified week, or early the next one (as I am doing now).
It was fun to return to school, and I was pleased to find that I could understand a lot more of the teachers lectures. When I listen to these lectures, or French speakers in general, I understand a few words here and there, but for stretches of comprehension, my mind has to be completely blank, which is surprisingly difficult.
The BAC Blanc was for Literature and Science. The science one would be handed out the next week, but on Thursday, my classmates received their grades for literature. They were alright, although no one got a twenty, the maximum score. On a side note, twenty appears to be the maximum for everything, from tests, to homework, to overall grades. There are no percentages or letters.
Also in Literature, we started looking at medieval French writing, which put me on a more even playing field with my classmates, as it was hard for them to understand it as well.
I continued playing volleyball, something I started around a week before the vacation. It is every Wednesday and Friday, although because of sickness, vacation, or the gym being closed, I have never actually gone to volleyball on Friday. The program allows three practices before requiring a medical release form and payment. This was my last free practice.
Another little difference between France and the US: milk is held in containers like these.
I finished off the week with a visit to Euro Disney! It is actually rather close to where I am staying, about a thirty minute drive. My host family had a pass that lowered the admission price to 35 euros, instead of the 90 euros, and it extended to whoever came with them, so I invited two friends from school. My host dad dropped us off. He and Nahel would go to the rides that three year olds could go on, and then leave early. My friends had visited Euro Disney several times before, so I basically let them lead me around.
Despite living in Florida, this was my first Disney theme park, and I must say it was rather nice. There were more rides geared towards children (and therefore less exciting), but there were also several exciting ones, like the Space Mountain, and the Hollywood Tower, which basically went up and sharply dropped several times. Also, there was a Star Wars ride, although it was just a simulation.
But enough about that. From what I understand, the rides are pretty much exactly the same as what you would find in any other Disney park. The difference was that everything was translated into both French and English. There would be subtitles, or on the loudspeaker it would just repeat in English, but sometimes, the writing or the voice would say something in French, and then say something different in English, but in a way that the speakers of either languages would understand what was going on. It’s fun being able to understand more than one language, especially in cases like this.
In a gift shop, there were mini glass sculptures of animals and Disney figures, and behind the counter, a woman was actually glass blowing! I bought some as a souvenir.
We were going to see the fireworks, but Alexei had to go home early, and we went with him. Oh well. I wasn’t too disappointed.