Monday, June 2, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
May 19, 2008
So it has been some time since I have sat down to write here. I have been so busy this month that it is already the 19th of May and I’ve only got 11 days left in Grenoble and 23 in France. I’m not really sure how I feel about it. Sometimes I see it as too short and that I’ve got so much to see in a short time, and sometimes I see it as forever! Not that 23 days is much time at all, but I still miss my friends. I look forward to getting to Nantes and Paris and seeing my dad. I don’t know, I’m enjoying it, and that’s what’s important.
This month is much more difficult than last month, and I’m hoping that I can still pull off an A. I saw my grades today, and their not so good; probably a B. Whatever…
As far as May is concerned, I’ve done so much. I don’t know how to even explain it but here goes nothing.
Marseilles was a wonderful city, but anyone who has been there knows it’s very dirty. It gives France a bad image because between Marseilles and Paris, most people don’t see France. The old port was beautiful and walking around gave a good picture of life in the city.
We (my friends from Grenoble and I) went for a walk around the city after getting settled into our Hostel. We got to see a lot of different parts of the city, and eventually came back to the hostel to get ready for dinner. We went back to the old port to get dinner, and it was a very good meal. After that we went back to the hostel to rest. I decided I was in France to speak French, so I got a coke and sat down with the workers at the hostel and talked for an hour or so. It was nice to talk without having to worry about it. I’m kinda self-conscious about my French when I’m talking with people because I hate screwing up.
The next morning we all slept in pretty late, so we got a late start on the day. Two others and I went to a market and got some fruit and walked around eating it. It’s just one of the cool things about France that we could do it. Then we met up with the rest of the group and went to the beach. After the beach we walked through this beautiful park before getting to the famous piece of architecture. I really don’t know much about it but it was cool for the two architects in the group.
That evening we had an awful meal that I’d like to describe, but it’s better that I don’t. The service was terrible, the food wasn’t good, and it was kinda expensive. Oh well, it’s all part of the experience and I’m okay with it. After that three of us went to a bar and got coffee, a beer, and a glass of wine (each took one, not all three [the glass of wine was mine]).
The next day the two South Africans (also the Architects) and I went to the islands that were close to the coast. One of them was actually the Isle If. This probably means nothing to you so I will tell you that there is a Chateau there called the Chateau d’If. Still nothing? The prison from the Count of Monte Cristo. It was a cool museum and a cool experience. After that we went to the other island and had lunch. I had to take the next boat in order to catch my train back to Grenoble, but the others (we met people at the island) stayed because they were able to book the hostel that night and I wasn’t.
That was Thursday through Saturday. Then the following Thursday I went to Munich, Germany. It was a wonderful trip that itself was not without problems. I was able to catch my first two trains with no problem, and after traveling for about 7 hrs, I arrived in Strasbourg, France at 5:50PM. However, the train to Munich had left at 5:45! So I had a chance to walk around Strasbourg for about 2 hours and see the city close to the train station. I then caught the next train and made it to Munich about midnight. It was a long day so I went to bed fairly quickly.
The next day I got up at a reasonable hour and made it down to the Free walking tour of Munich, which was great. I got to see a lot of different places in Munich and hear the story behind the places. After this tour I got to drink my first beer ever. And let me tell you, starting with a Maß of beer is not a great idea. Oh, for you that don’t know, a Mass is a Liter of beer (see photo below). I wasn’t drunk, don’t worry, but it was still not a great idea.
After walking back to the train station, I met Scooter (a friend from UC and back home) and we went to get her settled into the hostel. Then we went to the Hofbräuhaus. We had some amazing food, and of course beer! Since I had a light lager for lunch, I had a dark (half) for dinner. After that we just walked around the city talking and enjoying each other’s company. I think I can speak for the both of us and say it was nice to see a familiar face. I kinda took her to places from the tour and told her what I could remember, which wasn’t always everything, but usually the jest of everything. We went to this park and in a gazebo there were all of these old people ballroom dancing, and I wanted to join in, but I didn’t know how. L
The next morning we again got up early so that we could get to Dachau. I would love to describe it, but it’s impossible. Honestly, there is not way to describe with words what it was like, and Dachau wasn’t even a Death Camp. It makes me wonder about camps like Auschwitz. I’m only going to post a picture or two from Dachau here, but when I stop being lazy, I’ll post them on facebook.
After Dachau we just wondered the city and eventually went to the Hofbräuhaus’ beer garden in the English gardens. They were beautiful and the food was amazing. I had another maß and this time it hit me hard. I wasn’t drunk, but I definitely felt the alcohol. It really wasn’t a pleasant feeling, but not bad either.
Scooter and I had some wonderful conversations during our two and a half days together, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I may have talked way too much in the time we had together, and for that I feel really bad. I need to be a better listener, and I am striving for that!
After coming back here, I’ve been in class and not done a lot. I went to Lyon with API on Saturday, and that was cool. Didn’t really do much, but I was able to comprehend about 97% of what the guide was saying in French. I’m happy with that.
Anyhow, I’ve got 11 days in Grenoble and 23 in France. I should go to bed soon so I can get up tomorrow and try to run a few miles.
See you all soon,
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sorry for the long absence, it’s been kinda busy here. I’ve finished my first month of class, which was good. I got an A+, which here is around an 18/20. Here 16-20 = A+ so 18 is really good. Apparently teachers never give 20s, and I got 2. I’m proud of that. Otherwise, nothing really new to add about last months class.
Last weekend I went to Avignon, which was actually not that great of a city. It’s pretty dirty and a lot of “bad-boys.” The Palais du Pape was quite nice, and I’m glad I went back to see it, but otherwise there wasn’t much to do. If I hadn’t known anyone who was there, I would not have been able to stand it there.
One thing I realized is that despite our faults as a nation, with racism and such, I think we are more open to foreigners. Not that I’ve had any problems, nor am I saying that the French are rude, I’m just saying I think we’re more open to foreigners. Of course they have to speak our language when coming to the US where as most French do speak enough English that foreigners will get by. I suppose that if English wasn’t the “world language” or whatever that we’d know the world language too. However, it is and we do.
I’m watching the Spring Game replay on www.GoBearcats.com and we are looking pretty good. I’m getting pretty excited for football to arrive. I’m looking forward to working with the guys this summer/ fall and I’m planning on going to all 14 games. I’ve got all but Uconn down for sure.
Yesterday night I went to the Grenoble soccer match. It was pretty sweet, a couple of Red cards, a fight, and a 0-0 score. This pleased me because it guaranteed that Nantes moves up to Ligue 1 next season.
So I’ve watched about 20 minutes of the game and the 1st team offense has turned it over twice, to the first team defense. Is it good that the defense is taking it away or bad that the offense is giving it away? Grutza looks good, as does Anderson. Jones hasn’t gotten is as of yet, but I think he’ll be good too! I like to see the competition for the QB role. Personally, I’d like to see Grutza as the starter. Nothing against Jones or Anderson, but I think the experience is important, and I’m not sure that Jones is at 100% yet. Hope remains that we’ll have Mauk, but I don’t know what his shoulder will look like either?
Anyway, I’ll be going to Marseilles on Thursday Morning and spending a couple days just relaxing there. I’m looking forward to the break that Avignon didn’t provide.
Well, it’s almost midnight and I’ll be up around 7 so I should really be heading to bed.
128 days! UC vs. EKU Thursday, August 28
Here are the awesome new Jerseys!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I swear that it is always raining here, because for the last week or so, everyday we’ve had rain. This constant bad weather, in addition to spending time with friends, has taken all the time I could go run. I’m gaining weight I think. Boo.
Alright, on to my weekend. Friday night my host dad’s mother came to visit for the weekend, so after my relaxing time I went downstairs and got to meet her. She’s a very nice old lady. ☺ So after some conversation time, we went and had dinner.
During this time my host family decided to go to Switzerland, as you may already have read. So that’s what we did.
On Saturday morning, we got into the car for a 2 hour drive to Geneva and got there around noon. After arriving in Geneva, we walked to the awesome fountain in the lake in Geneva. After this we went and had lunch, the up to the Huge Protestant church. After that we walked around Geneva and then came back to Grenoble. I was exhausted!
So today, I woke up at 8:30 and went to an English speaking church about 5 minutes on the bus from my house (probably a 10-15 minute walk)[Sorry Scooter, if you read this ☹]. It was pretty sweet and afterwards the pastor invited me to join him for lunch, if I stayed for the French church that followed. I did and it was good. I stayed at the pastor’s house until around 4, when I felt that I had no idea how long I should stay and decided to come back. I was able to talk about a lot of interesting things with him, and definitely learned a lot from him!
That’s really about it, other than that the Reds won in the bottom of the 10th on back to back jacks by Edwin (who made the costly error to give up 2 runs in the 10th) and Bako to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th. Gagne who didn’t record an out, left after a walk of Hatteberg. Then Freel came in to pinch run and got to second via a infield single by Brandon Phillips. Then Griffey singled to right field to win the game 4-3!
Well, I’ll talk at you all lata. If you want me to post more pictures on here (they’re all on Facebook) let me know.
Friday, April 18, 2008
So, I realized today that I only had 5 days of class this month (well 4 now since today is done) and then I’ll be done with my first class! Geez the time has flown by. But that’s good because it means that I’m not focusing too much on home and how long I still have, though I still have a long time here. I think it’s like 55 days, though only 43 or so here in Grenoble. I do have 2 days in April, the 29th and 30th, before a possible trip to Marseilles. The next week I’ll have 3 days before another long weekend and a trip to Munich and I’m hoping to go to Dachau!
Then 2 weeks of classes, though I’ll probably skip that last Friday to get to Rome a bit earlier, then a final week of classes. After that I go to Nantes and then Paris to meet my dad.
April 18, 2008
I kinda got sidetracked last night and could not finish my post, so here it is.
Week 3 down, 6 to go! And after I’ll be traveling with my Dad.
So while I was doing this yesterday I started looking into traveling and I think I’m going to go to Poland on April 30 and go to Auschwitz. There is another camp close to Warsaw, so I may go there too. I think that’d be something that wouldn’t necessarily be “cool” but interesting. I know it sounds awful, but there is a lot of history there, whether good or bad.
Tomorrow my family and I are going to Geneva! I’m pumped for the opportunity to go to Switzerland! Heck Yeah! Hopefully I’ll have time to go shopping and pick up a few souvenirs.
I’ll write more after tomorrow.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
April 13, 2008
So it’s been a few days since I’ve written, and I suppose it’s about time that I send out another update.
Another week of classes has finished and it really is getting more routine. However, my sleep schedule is still pretty crazy! It’s leaving me exhausted most of the time, and I slept through church today. ☹ I’m kinda upset about that because I could use the fellowship. The good news is that I was able to hook up with a Canadian who is here for ministry working with an organization called FEU which is an on campus ministry similar, but not the same as, CRU. It’ll be interesting to get involved. I’m having lunch with Rich, the Canadian, on Tuesday and I’m hoping that it will be a good time to get to know him, and see what we can to together. I’m hoping he’s down with some on-campus sharing when the students get back from vacation.
Some awesome news came in today. My dad is meeting me in Paris on June 5th for a week of traveling in Normandy, Paris, and potentially to Benelux (see the post about my trip I planned to take after April). So I’m pretty excited about that!
I’m also planning on going to the soccer game here on Tuesday night if I can get some friends to go with me.
Well, that’s all I’ve got today, I’ll try to update everyday with some shorter messages instead of longer messages once a week or so.