Wednesday, March 25, 2009

David's Big Adventure

This young guy...

got on an airplane today...

and is now on his way to spend his spring break in...


FRANCE!

(I found this beautiful print of "things Parisian" on the design*sponge website--see my sidebar for a link)

David is with his French teacher, two other teachers, and a small group of students.
They are going to tour Paris first, and then travel to the south of France, where each student will stay with a family in a small village. David's teacher has been taking groups of students to visit this area for many years. (I believe that 56 families applied for the privilege of hosting the 15 students. That is hospitality, friends! It makes me think that these students are going to feel very WELCOME in the village.)
They will
*attend a French school,
*tour the countryside,
*learn more about France,
*partner with a French student for a scavenger hunt in Aix-en-Provence, and
*speak as much French as possible.

My mother's grandmother, Mathilde (Grandmere), came to the U.S. from France as a young woman, and her daughter, my grandmother (Nana Emilie), spoke French fluently all her life. Nana was still taking lessons (in order to stay fluent) in her 90s!
(This is a photo of my mother, her parents and her other grandmother, in the 1960s. We have no digital photos of Grandmere.)

Grandmere lived with my mother's family from the time Mom was about 7 years old, so my mom was bilingual, too.


Nana Emilie taught us grandchildren to speak French before we studied it in school. She used to read and translate French stories to us when we were little children. I'm quite "rusty" now, but David is in his second year of studying French, and he enjoys it very much. It's fun for me to practice speaking with him, just as it was fun for me to speak with my mother when I was studying French.

This trip is a wonderful opportunity for a 16-year old guy to enrich his learning and enjoyment of a language that has meaning and family history. I miss him already, but we are thrilled for him!

9 comments:

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a lucky guy!! But of course he deserves this, or else he would not have been chosen!!
Love all the pictures Karen and the family history is rich in FRENCH!!!
I hope he has a wonderful time.
Suz

Kay said...

Wow...how exciting! Did you try to hide in the luggage and tag along??? LOL I hope he has a wonderful time and the days pass quickly for you.

Hugs!
~kay

endswith8741 said...

Wishing him a wonderful time in France! That immersion will do wonders for his language and understanding of culture.

Jennifer said...

How awesome that David actually has a family connection to the language he's studying, as opposed to many students who simply choose a language to satisfy a requirement. Here's hoping that his trip to France will be an exciting prelude to spur him on to more international trips. Perhaps next time you both can go to France together and you can flex your own French-speaking muscles.

On a related note, it's inspiring to me that you and Gregg really hear and respect your children's desires (for example, you both respected Katie's wishes to have a "party!" at her Celebration -- to the point of overriding your own wishes to play Eva Cassidy's rendition of "Over the Rainbow") and that you give them so much encouragement to spread their wings and fly. It must be difficult to see David leave, and yet you encourage him to go, knowing it's best for him. I know quite a few parents -- my own included -- who were/are so desirous of keeping their children, even high school-aged children, close to them that they clip the wings of their children as much as they can.

Hope David has a wonderful time and that you do too!

Jennifer

karengberger said...

Jennifer, it's funny you mentioned "wings," because I have been thinking about that in relation to David's experience for about 3 days now.
I am blessed with parents who also encouraged me to do such things when I was young, so I learned from their example. I went to Europe with People to People for 5 weeks when I was 17, and it changed my life. I LOVED the experience, and both Gregg and I love traveling in Europe. I also spent a quarter in England while I was a college student; loved that, too. We have always wanted to share that love with our kids, and this opportunity was too good to pass up (even in these tight economic times). He's only going to be young once, and we want to do the best we can for him!

Dawn~^i^Brandon^i^, Jordan, and Seth's mom said...

So happy for him.....What an ADVENTURE!!!

Love,
Dawn

Jules said...

I hope he has a wonderful time

I adore the Parisian print but cant find it on the design sponge site. Do you know if it can be purchased?

karengberger said...

Jules,
Try going to the design*sponge website and typing "Paris: Part 1" in the search box. Try Part 2, 3 & 4, too. I think there is a different print for each part...I can't recall who the artist is, or I would have given credit. I hope this works for you.

The Engine of the Family said...

Wow! How exciting! You must miss him so much though. I held my breath the whole time my daughter was in Washington D.C. and that was only 4 days!