First Day in France: Celebrating New Traditions and Adventures

First Day in France: Celebrating New Traditions and Adventures

by Ella Russell, Greenheart Travel high school student in France

After an overnight flight of around 8 hours, I finally made it to Paris! My host family couldn’t pick me up so I was picked up by the Greenheart Travel coordinator when I arrived. As we headed out into the suburbs where I would be staying during my study abroad program in France, I noticed that the house, and the other houses in the neighborhood were all tall, narrow, and old looking, an interesting contrast from the buildings I often see in the US.

My host mom Linda greeted me when I arrived and showed me around the house. My three year old host brother Nahel was playing with toy cars, my host dad was fixing up my room, and Alycia, my baby sister, was sleeping upstairs.

After I took a nap, sleeping longer than intended, my host family and I went to the house next door and had a galette de rois with the neighbors. From what I understand, the galette de rois is a cake that is traditionally eaten on the sixth of January, a Christian holiday celebrating Jesus being presented to the three magi; Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, who came from Asia, Africa, and Europe respectively to visit him. 

The youngest children (in this case Nahel and one of the neighbor’s sons) went under the table and called out the names of the guests, who would then be served a slice of the cake. A small ceramic figurine called a feve was baked inside the cake, and whoever got it was the “queen or king” of the child who went under the table.

After the party, we had a small dinner, and after watching French television, I went to bed. On Monday I will be able to sleep in and I will be on my own for the day, on Tuesday we will go to the school to choose my schedule, and on Wednesday, I will start school. I can’t wait!


3 thoughts on "First Day in France: Celebrating New Traditions and Adventures"

  1. ctmcmullen says:

    That’s great to hear about the beginning of your adventure in France. I’m looking forward to a post about school. (So who got the *feve*?)

    1. Ella Russell says:

      We had two; my host brother got one, and another one of the neighbors sons got the other.

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