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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Les fleur-de-lis

Dans l’appartement de notre mère d’accueil, j’ai remarqué que le papier toilette a un motif intéressant. C’est un peu comme le fleur-de-lis. Après regarder beaucoup de choses historiques, j’ai commencé à voir les fleur-de-lis partout. De Plus, je ne pense pas qu’il est accidentel. Le fleur-de-lis est un symbole très important dans la civilisation française. Il était significatif dans le temps ancien et aussi aujourd’hui. Pour la France, le passé n’est pas seulement quelque chose qui a influence aujourd’hui. Le passé est quelque chose qui continue englué avec la tempe moderne. Les entreprises veulent les gens pensent qu’ils sont très bons, même royal. Donc, ils utilisent un symbole qui a ressemblance au fleur-de-lis. Ils ne veulent pas être royal, mais juste fraisent une allusion du roi.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

France: Week Two

Okay, week two coming right up. This week was full of castles, rain, and missing lots of people aux Etats-Unis. Monday we took a small bite out of the Louvre. Right now they are doing something interesting with modern art, and every once in a while some old clothes would be thrown into the mix. The most interesting was a pile of clothes under a statue of a woman bending over. It looked like she was resting a huge mound of laundry. I am un peu mad that I didn't take a picture.

Other highlights include trying muscles (the food). They were actually way good. Here's a picture of my meal and the crepe I had afterward. And eating this seriously good pastry at a morning market under a bridge. We saw Napoleon's tomb which was pretty cool. It has it's own room and is surrounded my angles. Also, even though Napoleon purposefully broke the state of France away from the Catholic church, the place where he was buried used to be a church. And of course, there are still relics of such. So many buildings in France are just history build upon history.

We went to Sacre Coeur which is a catholic basilica, which I learned via internet is kind of like a cathedral with a badge of honor. That was way cool. We got to walk up all these steps before reaching the actually building, and then once we got inside, there was no talking and a lot of people were actually praying. It was a lot less touristy than the Notre Dame and other cathedrals I have been to.

Thursday, we caught a train to Loire Valley which was the center of France during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. After the renaissance started in Italy, Loire Valley was the first place it started in France. We visited lots of castles, but my favs where the gardens at Le Chateau a Villandry and Le Chateau de Chambord. The former probably had about seven different gardens and a wood for the King to hunt in. They were amazing as you can see. Before Louis the 14th and Versailles, the King had to contend a bit with all the nobles for his power, so he would travel around France staying in different castles. At Chambord, you can explore tones of rooms and floors and stair cases. I feel like CJ would have loved this place. Le Chateau de Chenoneau was also pretty cool because the entire thing is a bridge and the tour included the kitchens. Also, the main big room that was usually used as a ballroom was converted into a hospital for soldiers during WWII which is so crazy amazing.

I cut my hand on a blade of grass when I was trying to sit down to look
at some swans. #hardlyfe
This bed is actually one of the beds we slept on.
Oh I almost forgot. We slept overnight in a for real actual castle. It has been converted into a museum by day and a hotel by night. It was pretty sweet, and the couple who own it were very nice. Can you imagine? Hey honey, let's buy a castle. We can live in it and make it a hotel to make some money. Some people are just living the dream. (Like me, only I am living my own dream.)

Back in Paris we went to a Brocant on Saturday. A Brocant is basically an antique flea market, and it was way awesome. There were so many, like so many old things. My parents would have absolutely loved it. So in memory of them, I bartered in French and got some really great gifts for people, especially for my mom. She is going to be loving her life come Christmas time. The Brocant was definitely one of my favorite things yet, but it also made me really miss my family. There are so many things here that I just wish they could experience with me. Things I know they would love.

That night was the night of the museums where all the museums in all of Europe are free. Since we go to museums all the time for class, we decided to go the the science museum, which is supposed to be the biggest science museum in all Europe. It was cool, but it would have been out of the planet cool if I was in elementary school. I could have written some of these panels. There were a few exhibits for for adults, but I am just going to say, I think the science museum in San Diego might have this one beat.

Now today, is Sunday. We went to church, were I understood a bit more than last week, especially the lesson on the plan of salvation. And we stopped by another cathedral and made some really good tuna sandwiches, which also reminded me of home and made me miss the people there, especially this one kid I know. Tonight we will have dinner with our host mom, and get ready for another week of Frenchy France. Goals for this coming up week: Speak more French, get better at speaking French, talk to more French people, and buy a pastry from the patisserie by our apartment.

Napoleon's Tomb

The wood's of the King aka my wood because we have that genealogy
trail right?

My poor shoes are taking a beating, they are
tearing themselves into pieces. Going to last
four more weeks?

Some real stagecoaches that were never used. They were part of an

Saturday, May 18, 2013

La Sculpture en Bois

Dans le château de Chenonceau il y avait une porte avec deux symboles découpés. Un était pour l’ancienne loi et l’autre était pour la nouvelle loi. L’homme dans la première sculpture en bois, pour l’ancienne loi, avait les yeux bandés. L’autre, pour la nouvelle loi, tenait une lumière. La porte a représenté la bible, mais c’est intéressant aussi pour l’amélioration entre le moyen âge et la renaissance. Dans l’Évangile de Jésus Christ, nous croyons à l’apostasie et la restauration de l’Évangile. C’est quand la vérité est revenue dans la terre.  Les apostasies et les restaurations sont un motif dans l’histoire. Bien que l’Évangile ait commencé aux Etats-Unis, l’histoire est ici, en France, aussi. Quelquefois, je pensais que la France comme une place séparée parce que l’Évangile est très petit. Mais, nous avons beaucoup de histoire partagée.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Stratifié avec l'histoire

Tout le Val de Loire a au beaucoup de l’ancienne et le moderne. C’est un endroit très historique, mais parce que les gens l’utilisent aujourd’hui, on fait l’histoire encore. Chaque château était stratifié avec l’histoire de chaque époque. Par exemple, le jardin au château de Villandry est utilisée aujourd’hui cultiver les légumes. Le château que nous avons passé la nuit est utilisé encore pour quelque chose de pratique. C’est un hôtel. Dans le livre Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t be Wrong, les auteurs parlent du mélange entre l’ancienne et le moderne, les vieilles choses et les choses nouvelles. Ce n’est pas la même chose du Français, mais ils n’ont pas deux choses différentes. Le mélange de l’ancienne et le moderne que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant était la galerie de l’art moderne dans le château de Chambord. Un jour, ce là pourrait être dans le livre d’histoire.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Les Voitures

Le périmer jour quand je suis arrivé au Neuilly Sur Seine et j’ai rencontré ma mère d’accueil, ce soir, nous avons conduit à Paris ensemble. Il y a les différences entre les Etats-Unis et la France qui sont évident ou simple. Par exemple, après que j’ai voyagé en France, j’ai su des petites voitures en Europe. C’est une différence simple. Mais, quand nous avons conduite ce soir-là, j’ai remarqué qu’il n’y a pas les lignes dans la rue dans le rond-point. Les voitures conduisent partout. Par mes yeux, il n’y a pas d’ordre. Mais aussi, dans une rue, souvent, les voitures conduisent partout ou. C’est fou à mon avis. Les règles de la rue sont une différence culturelle. Mais aussi, les voitures sont très prudentes des gens. Aux Etats-Unis, si une personne marchait devant d’une voiture, il écraserait. Mais, aujourd’hui, j’ai vu une voiture s’arrêter pour une personne quand c’était la tour de la voiture.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

L'art dans le Louvre

Dans le Louvre quand nous regardions les sculptures du 17em et 18em siècle, je pensais que les œuvres de Puget étaient très intéressants. Souvent, il y a les sculptures de Alexandre Vainqueur écrasait beaucoup de gens et il jouissait de sa gloire. C’est intéressant parce que je pense qu’écraser les gens est un truc horrible. Mais, dans la sculpture, la scène donne toute la gloire à Alexandre Vainqueur. La même mentalité est exprimée avec l’histoire de Louis XIV. Bien que, aujourd’hui, au 21em siècle, le peuple ne sont pas opprimés, mais je pense qu’un gouvernement fort est évalué. L’état de France veut tous les citoyens sont unifiés et parlent la même langue (français). Ce n’est pas une mauvaise chose, mais les trucs comme l’académie française et les lois de contrôler les aliments régionaux sont très différents dans la démarche américaine.  Ce n’est pas la même du 17em, mais aussi ce n’est pas la même aux Etats-Unis, un pays avec une loi différente et avec l’histoire différent.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

France Week One

Okay so I have been in France for a week now. Sorry about the blogging in French, it is for class. Here goes the English part. So far, I have loved my time here, but I am also realizing how much I love the United States.  I loved smiling at strangers and talking loud, buying cheap food and watching people be themselves in public. These types of things don't really happen in France. I do love the food here though, and the metro is so convenient.
This is me after two days on a plane. #firstfewhouseinparis

My host family consists of one person: our host mom. She is Brazilian, divorced (she was married in Vegas actually), and has two daughters that are studying abroad). She is very nice and speaks slow French, which I am so grateful for. I understand basically everything she says, or I did until I had been here for a week and started to not know how to speak in any language. After speaking and listening to French for a week, my brain is so tired! I think my French is getting worse, or at least it will get worse before it gets better. I need to build up some metal endurance.

Spending time with the members of the church is my favorite. Yesterday we spent the day with the JA (YSA). We had a devotional, ate lunch, and then went around Paris taking a picture in every district (there are 20). It was really cool to talk with them and get to know them. They have such strong testimonies and there are so few of them! Their strength definitely strengthened me. My directors told us to look for the differences in the church between home and here, but really the church is exactly the same. I love it because it feels very much like home. I talked to one girl who is eighteen, and she was very excited to turn nineteen and put in her mission papers. Everyone is going on missions here too; this mission craze isn't just happening in Utah.

Cultural differences that I love: I love how they greet people. They touch each cheek and make a kissing noise. Maybe I like it because it made us feel very welcome, or maybe because it is a good difference between hugging and and shaking hands. BYU culture has made hugging hands into something strange: It gets associated with return missionaries acting weird before they break into normal society again.

I also love how they eat dinner. This is probably my favorite French tradition. Dinners are very long and slow and lots of time is spent just sitting around and talking. First they bring out the salad. The first few times they did this, I thought that was what we were having for dinner and I was worried that I was going to starve. Then, after the salad, they bring out the main course, then dessert, then coffee or tea. We drink herbal tea of course. I love ending dinner just sitting around the table talking and drinking tea. I think I am going to try to implement this tradition in my future family for Sunday dinners. There is no way this would work on every day of the week in the United States. People are too rushed and too busy.

Commercialism and advertisements are interesting. There are so many American flags hanging around and so many English words everywhere. It reminds me of Anthropology (and other stores) where there are lots of French words embroidered on notebooks or shirts.

When we first got here, we got up the next day and took a bus to Normandy and Brittany. It was really cool to see the different regions in France. Each region is very proud of their food and whatever makes them unique. France is a very unified country politically (and culturally even), but it is a compilation of a bunch of different regions that revel in their uniqueness. We spent some times on the Normandy beaches learning about World War II, and in some little towns to experience their regionalisms. One thing I noticed was that people are extremely friendly in Brittany. They just come up and talk to you and are all so nice. My favorite Normandy beach was Pointe du Hoc, which was where the US soldiers had to climb up the cliffs. There were all these huge craters left from bombs and there were old abandoned bunkers you could walk through. In Brittany, we stayed in a beautiful walled town called Saint-Malo. I can't even imagine how much fun a hot summer day would be in Saint-Malo especially is you have a hotel there because all the tourists leave and the city is so peaceful.

A bombed bunker

In Paris, we have visited le Notre Dame and the Cluny Museum which is a museum of the middle ages. It was cool to see their combs and toys, bowls and art. We also went to Versailles  which is so ridiculously gaudy that it kind of makes me sick that Louis the 14th would build such a place. It was interesting though because he forced all the nobles to move there so he could try to unify France. So basically it was a prison for the nobles right? But it is also such a place of political peace. At the end, I watched a quick video that showed a bunch of different presidents from other countries visiting Versailles, and it showed the signings of the treaty of Versailles as well.

Trying to get back home from Versailles was not the easiest thing in the world. My roommate and I live in Neuilly sur Seine, which is a suburb right outside of Paris. We just take the metro everyday, but our Versaille is out of metro bounds, so we have to take the RER, which is basically a bigger underground train system. So we had to jumble in with everyone else in the world speaking French who wanted to come back from their day at Versailles. We were all at the train station trying to buy tickets from these machines that half the time don't work. No one was happy, and neither were we. We were there for about three hours trying to figure it out, just my roommate and I. Finally, we were able to buy tickets, but them mine wouldn't work! I was so frustrated. Then, I think I got it to work without realizing it, but wasn't able to go through, which used up the ticket. Now my roommate, Lauren, was on one side, and I was stuck on the other. There was no one to help us and we didn't know what to do. In a split second, I just squeezed up right behind someone and slipped through when the doors opened for them. They didn't even notice, and I don't even feel bad because I payed for the ticket at this crazy station. It was quite an adventure.

That was week one. Today we went to church, and I just want all foreign speaking missionaries out there to know that I have a new respect for you. Learning a language is so hard! At church, I always knew what we were talking about, but I would miss phrases or explanations or comments, which was so frustrating because I wanted to know what people were talking about! They actually have all of church translated into English, but I am trying to learn French here!

I am learning a lot of French! Like seriously a lot. But I am also realizing there is so much I don't know. Sometimes, I love the experience I am having, and sometimes I miss my family, friends, all the people I love back home, and being able to actually communicate with people. France is pretty great, but then again, I also really love the USA.

So mimes have grammar? I seriously love seeing mimes!
so interesting!

A comb from the Middle Ages.

Statues without heads from the Middle Ages.

The beach around Pont-Sant-Michel was so muddy.
There was actually sinking sand everywhere too!

Candles at Notre Dame

Our group!

Hidden staircase between two shops.

The water is so blue and clear!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Notre Dame

Le Notre Dame est peut-être ma cathédrale préférée parce que c’est très très beau. Mais, sa beauté n’est pas le même sort de vue spectaculaire que la plage dans Saint-Malo. (De plus, je pense que la plage de Saint-Malo est la plus belle plage à jamais.) La beauté à Notre Dame est une beauté symbolique. Beaucoup de gens ont sacrifié beaucoup construire cette cathédrale. De plus, il y a beaucoup de détails dans les fenêtres et avec toute l’architecture.  Je pense que le sacrifice est une partie importante de la conversion au Christ. J’ai pensé que les bougies étaient très belles aussi. J’ai lu en ligne que la bougie est un symbole de la continuation de la prière après qu’on a dit.

Summer en France

J’étais très surpris par toutes les choses américaines en France. Il y a beaucoup et plus que j’ai pensé. J’ai vu une fille qui porte une écharpe qui était le drapeau américain. De plus, je voyais beaucoup d’affiches avec les mots anglais. Parfois, il y a un astérisque et  les mots sont traduits en français. Aux États-Unis, beaucoup de gens ont les mots français dans leurs maisons, comme un paillasson qui dit « Bienvenue. » Mais, ma mère d’accueil a un paillasson qui dit « Welcome. » Je pense qu’il est plus intéressant quand il y a un mot anglais dans une phrase française. Il se peut que ce soit pour mettre l’accent sur ce mot. C’est une technique de publicité. Aux États-Unis,  beaucoup de filles aiment acheter les vêtements avec les mots français ou même avec une marque les mots français même si la marque n’est pas une marque de France. Il y a le même ici dans cette photo. Le français aime les vêtements avec les mots anglais.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Beurre en Bretagne

Madame Sprenger a dit qu’en Bretagne, il y a beaucoup de sorts du beurre.  Alors, j’ai acheté une tarte de la pomme à Saint-Malo. Elle est très délicieuse ! Mais, parce que le beurre est très différent du beurre aux États-Unis, beaucoup de temps, je confonds le beurre pour du formage. Pendant petit-déjeuner, j’ai mangé beaucoup de beurre dans mon pain, parce que je pensais qu’il y a du formage.  Pour me défendre, le beurre en Bretagne n’est pas le même du beurre aux États-Unis.  De plus, j’ai remarqué que Bretagne aime beaucoup leurs régionalismes. C’est probablement le même avec toutes les régions. J’ai vu cette carte postale qui parle du temps. Tout le monde parle de la pluie parce qu’ils sont fiers de Bretagne et ils sont aussi fiers du temps de Bretagne.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

BYU Running

This uniform has carried me through many a cross country and track race where everything hurt and I wanted to step off the course or catch that girl in front of me, then the next one, or I was passed over and over and over again; or I glided past the finish line insisting I could do it faster; or finished struggling to even make it off the track. So cliche, but blood, sweat, tears - all went into this uniform. There was the time I ran the entire race with my teammate, Darbs. We attacked each rolling hill and pushed each other forward. And there was when I was spiked on lap one and finished out my mile with blood dripping down my shin (happened many times actually). There was breaking the 4 X 800 record that one time freshman year. There was going out way too fast and running backward on the last 100 meters. There was turning the corner on cross country nationals, wondering if I was in last place, and hearing my teammate come up behind me and give me a push, telling me to run with her. I finished that race and turned around to see if I had been dead last. I wasn't, but that fact that I even wondered. And this is why I am so happy to hold my uniform and remember how wonderful, how horrible, how defining that time was for me in my life.