This year, I was lucky enough to get to celebrate TWO Thanksgivings. Another of the assistants had a small Thanksgiving party Saturday. Her host mom and one of her host mom’s friends, the same I went with to Uzès, joined Briana and two other assistants and I. This second Thanksgiving was much more French, and thus I feel this little photo from the Ruche blog quite aptly sums it up. Pumpkin pie and wine. Marie, Briana’s host mom, made a bunch of different entrees for us, accompanied by white wine. There were stewed mushrooms, olives, tapenade, rosette, jambon cru, and some sort of sausage in a pastry with the seal of Nîmes on top. I regret not having taken a picture of it, but here’s a photo of it from the Nîmes tourism site. After that, we ate the great Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Briana, accompanied by wine, including a cheese course before dessert and an aperitif with dessert grâce à Marie. See what I mean by the whole French thing? Marie and her friend Hélène are adorable, so it was nice to see them again.
I have now met my neighbors across the street! Remember the ones that called me and then I had a conversation with them through my window? They were very nice, though a bit older than I was expecting. I was expecting students, but they all seemed late twenties, early thirties, older for the owners, who’d called me. This
morning, I went out with the owners and one of the guys who doesn’t live with them but that they know and I met at their apartment. We went to a bar to listen to the brass band les Peillasses. They’re very talented and spirited! I do enjoy brass bands. They apparently won an international competition for street bands (les fanfares, but not really a marching band as they’re stationary) two years ago. You can listen to my favorite song they played (J’veux du soleil) here. The owners of the apartments across the street are really nice. They bought me a fougasse to eat for breakfast and it was really nice of them to invite me to go out with them. It was really interesting to hear about all the bands that have played in Nîmes, such as Daft Punk, Radiohead, Metallica, and MIKA. Apparently the acoustics in the arena are fantastic. Les Jardins de la Fontaine and the Pont du Gard (not in Nîmes, but really nearby) are the sites of summer music festivals. How awesome a setting must that be??? I mean, really, “Yeah, I’m going to see Radiohead in a 2,000 year old arena this weekend, no big deal.”
Perhaps one of the best parts of my week was working at the food drive with the Rotaract Club. It was cool being involved in something Carrefour sent out an email about. Every year in France during the same weekend, different volunteer groups get together to collect food at different supermarkets. Saturday, Laure, Adrien and I were on duty with several members of their Rotary parrain (the Rotary that’s sort of their advisor) at the Carrefour on the Route d’Arles. Laure and I handed out bags with the banque alimentaire logo on them to encourage people to make a donation. Yes, this means I missed the official “illumination” of the Christmas lights with little concerts and such in Nîmes, but I LOVE this club and I’m glad I went. I really like what they do and what they stand for. They’re becoming like a second family here in France.