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Things I’ve Learned

February 24, 2015

This week I’ve learned a few interesting things I thought would be fun to share.  We recommenced school after our two week February break.  It was much-needed, but it is hard to go back full swing.  The kids were excited to back to school, so it helped us feel a little more enthusiastic.  Actually, the lack of enthusiasm is probably more due to the fact that our next batch of exams is in two weeks – they will determine whether we move up to the next level or should hang back and review this level.  Either option is really quite valid (…I tell myself, in a state of panic).

Doing the math (…that I totally stole from another language student’s blog, thanks Konroy), we have nearly pushed through the equivalent of two years of high school French and, once we are done, we will have completed three years!  That is crazy!  And it also helps me relax a little that I’m not actually GOING crazy.  French is hard.  And we are cramming it all in AND trying to do normal life with three young kids and a little apartment to keep clean and lives to lead.  Congo is actually starting to sound relaxing…something about the grass being greener in the jungle?  Wasn’t that it?

I also learned an interesting cultural fact.  I love little snippets of cultural differences that make me really think of my own cultural norms and how they are not “normal” but are “specific” to my own culture.  In France, there is a love of bread and it is eaten with most meals.  However, you will rarely find a bread plate anywhere.  Why?  Because you are expected to put it on the table.  In my own culture, putting food on the table is a no-no – it makes a mess and there is the question of the table’s own cleanliness!  But here, especially if you are at the home of a French person, if you put your bread on your plate, they will think that you think their table is not clean!  Whoops – faux pas all around.  So, if you’re like me, you’ll chew on that (ha ha, pun) for a few days and what does it mean?  Who’s manners are better?  Is that a fair question?  (No.)

So, if you find us hiding under a rock for the next few weeks, it’s because exams are around the corner and we are hiding from, errrr, preparing for them!

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