First of all, yes this is a new blog. I could no longer access the other one to make background changes, and that just simply will NOT do. So since I'd rather not waste hours and precious sanity over something I can't change, instead you get something new and fresh. Something worthy of a college graduate.
That's right, a matter of weeks ago I graduated BYU with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration. I am taking a year off school at the moment, and what better way to do that than with a COMPLETELY NEW LIFE?
Yep, on Tuesday, I picked up everything, got on a few planes, and moved into a beautiful contemporary home in the medieval town of Elven, France- Brittany region.
Elven is beautiful. Its buildings are rustic and made of stone. An incredible gothic church (I always want to say Cathedral, but apparently it's just a cute church. I'm too American for all this goodness!) dominates the town center that we live about 3 minutes from, walking. As far as the rest of town- the castle nearby, the old mill, the famous little stream.... I haven't had a chance to really explore yet, but I will!
I'm living here as an au pair for a wonderful family. François, the father, is an orthodontist. Aurelié, the mom, occasionally does paper work for his office and is also incredibly busy as their school's equivalent to a PTA president. She's so involved that she's in the staff photo!
They have three children; Victoria, the oldest, "chose" me as their au pair. She is smart but shy, but incredibly sweet and fond of me already. We draw together a lot, and luckily for me, she's already figured out how best to talk to me in French so I understand. She's excited to learn English, so we do that when we can, too. Gregoire, the middle child, is rambunctious to say the least. He's got a LOT more energy than a little sir should, but he's also got the cutest smile. And he does like me, just not minding me. And Edouard, the little baby, is just an angel.
My flight was long and tiresome, but when I arrived in the Nantes airport, the Omnes family was right there to greet me and take me home. We had a nice celebratory dinner, I settled into my wonderful room, and the next day we began normal life.
Of course, I'm still missing some paper work (after the crazy process to get the okay to work and live in France, I now have to get reapproved while IN France, but it's really more a "check in"...that takes...three months... Also, my drivers license is still in process.) and have to get tested to see which French Class I'm going to take- a requirement of all non-natives living here more than 3 months- (this language won't die on the French's watch!), but besides that, we're all getting adjusted to each other quickly.
Friday, I went to my first French Supermarket. There are a few differences that are mostly improvements- the vegetable scales print a price tag when you're weighing them so the cashier doesn't have to look it up, the carts are all outfitted to hold a bag and also have a separator in the front for wine or anything else (Aurelié used it to hold all the food and used the main section to hold the new vaccuum), etc. Their stamp system is more efficient too. But besides a few differences, it's very very similar to the culture I know.
oh, and a LOT more kisses here.
Saturday, we went out on the family's boat to the Golfe de Morbihan (and a little into the ocean, though that's technically still a bay. In fact, it's a bay INSIDE the larger Bay of Biscay, but I'm counting it as
I'm skipping a few tiny things (including a childrens' play, which I guess isn't tiny nor now is it skipped.) to get to today- Sunday! I was able to get to church in Nantes, which is a decent trip away, but had some members to take me. :) Church was great. Much like what I'm used to, but in a little business building outfitted to suit the branch's needs. I could understand Relief Society just fine. The longer the day went on, the harder it got for me- but the missionaries are just a few of the English speakers in the ward! There's also a woman from Sandy, who has her vacation home here, two women from England, and a few people who randomly know English and like trying to talk to me. I feel quite welcome, even if I'm a little shy at jumping to befriend people here.
Sunday is my day off, so I have time to blog. And sleep, when it gets a bit later. And visit friends, when I do eventually have them- whether from French class, church, or Aurelié's friends, who are also getting an Au Pair this summer (from Seattle. She is VERY excited to introduce us.)
It's a lovely life here in Brittany, and I can't wait to share it with you. :)