Our journey went smoothly and lots of husbands/fathers from the other student families greeted us last Saturday when we pulled up to help unload the car. There are about 15 Christian families living here and they have been wonderfully warm and helpful, making our delayed arrival go much easier. Most of them are heading to northern Africa – brave souls! Our children quickly made friends as all the school-age children are American. There is a lovely spirit of camaraderie here that is keeping us afloat during our adjustment time.
Our apartment is rather Spartan – no dressers, no bathtub, no small kitchen appliances, no carpeting. But we do have 3 showers and 2 toilets! We’re waiting on our phone hook-up this week and then our internet activity will be more normal. Now we’re going to another building to do our emailing.
The views out our windows and around the school are like looking at postcards! We seem surrounded by tall mountains covered with trees peaking with autumn colors, and dotted with chalets. There are some nice places in the town (about 20,000 people) but the really incredible beauty is all God-made.
Our long school days have been tiring for us as home-schoolers. The two younger children have finished their first week in a regular classroom, being pulled out for an hour each day for French. The teachers are strict, and not very welcoming, but the children seem to be holding up well. We are glad they come back to us for lunch so that we can touch base during the day! Our six yr. old Olivia can already read several French words with a perfect accent! 8 yr. Old Noah enjoyed helping teach English to the French kids today – a welcome about-face! They will take part in lots of other activities during school like clowning, skiing, ice skating, mountain hikes and climbs, attending films, and exploring the arts.
Our 13 yr. Old Rachel has the easiest schedule and studies only French with an hour of math per week. She is being challenged socially, rather than intellectually at the moment. David is enjoying his class immensely and can tell a big difference in his speaking ability already. Angela is being challenged to change ingrained patterns of speaking French as she takes on more complex grammar rules. It is hard to find time to study with school ending at 4:30 and then giving all the children quality time, homework time, tea time, and bedtime!! We are already grateful for the French school schedule that gives you Wednesdays off!
We will attend church on Sunday for the first time here, and have several good choices…relatively a lot for a French town but some of the other Americans here can’t believe how few there are. Most of our spare time this week has been spent filling out forms, and we are eager to start exploring this beautiful town!
Blessings to all of you,
Angela and David