What a delight to talk after a week of no news! This time I was totally prepared. I had a list of 30 questions or things to tell her. If you know me very well you won't be laughing too hard. 'List Maker' is one of my major roles around this house. First of all, she was in the shower when we called so we had a nice chat with M.,her host sister. M. is hoping to return to the U.S. or Canada to go to a university next year. So, the travel bug most likely stays with these exchange students even after they return to their home. Anna Rae was in the shower because she had been out for a run! I am glad she is taking charge of getting exercise! The first thing we asked about was how the field trip to Switzerland went. "It was wonderful, just fabulous!" she enthused. Just as I suspected she used time on the bus and in traffic jams to connect and make friends. She had taken along her mini photo album of family and Seattle pictures so that she had more than language to rely on for communication. She told us that the school starts each year with a field trip as a bonding experience for each 'premiere' (grade?). And in her case it was just that. She said the scenery was breathtaking the roads were VERY curvy and they went WAY, WAY up (that part I could've done without visualizing)! They went to a very impressive dam on an Alpine lake (Hey, there it really IS Alpine!). They even toured inside the dam. She took pictures for her dad to add to his collection and I am sure he is thinking that we should fit a sidetrip for us to see it in person when we visit next spring. Chris collects postcards of dams and paints dam pictures. Anyway, after that they went to a picnic area on this Alpine lake and ate lunch. She said they had a great view of Mount Blanc. They went to this town called Martigny and went to a the Pierre Gionada museum and saw the Phillips Collection that was on loan from WA D.C.! It had works by Renoir ("You know mom, that one where people are at a picnic table?")and Monet as well as the Da Vinci notebooks of his scientific studies of the human body and they had a sculpture garden too.
School is very hard but going good. She has found a proctor to give her the test she needs to take for the BYU correspondence course but she had a heck of a time explaining the word 'proctor' to the teacher. She has a library card. It cost her 12 euros. The library has 2 bookcases of books in English. She and M were alone this weekend as her host parents were out of town. The grandparents checked in on them frequently and made them dinners. The grandpa cuts the lawn for the host family every week! Chris is envious of that set up. The grandparents live close to the school and the girls sometimes go there for lunch.
Anna Rae is going to join a choir. I think she called it a gospel choir. She said it has only 5 young girls, the other members are middle aged women. The directions are all in French but they are singing Godspell in English! The director is a neighbor.
One of the other young girls is Zara, an Australian exchange student with whom Anna Rae feels very comfortable. She went to a Rotary dinner last Tuesday night and met many other students; her district apparently takes in a great number of students. She thinks her counselor is a British woman named Pam but she is not sure.
Whew! Without Anna Rae being online-able, I tried my best to fill in any of her blog readers who might link onto me. Let's hope her computer access is up and running soon.