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The Hills Are Alive…

June 18, 2015

After we enjoyed a lovely dinner with Levi’s teacher, Julien, a few weeks ago, he invited over to his house for dinner yesterday.  He thought we could also do a short walk before dinner, if we could come in the afternoon.  We enlisted the lovely Charity to watch Axel at home and borrowed a car from friends and headed to a little town up in the mountains.  The “short walk” turned out to be a genuinely magical trek over an Alp (because “over a mountain” is not fair, I think).

If you’re like me, you picture the Alps as being either like the Matterhorn or with little Julie Andrews singing and twirling.  And both are correct.  The French Alps are no different.  Matthew took some lovely photos of his recent hike up to the top of a local peak that we can see from our living room.  But this little walk offered some really great views, and we were fortunate enough to have an excellent host.  Levi and Amelia kept up really well and for the short time we walked down one side, through those picturesque Alpine grasses, Levi took a tumble and rolled once, Amelia took several adorable landings on her derrière (yes, the same word in French…because it is French), and I only slid once.

Not only were the views completely amazing, but the silence was just as impressive.  At one point, though, we heard the distinct sound of music (ha! the hills really ARE alive!).  Except it sounded like steel drums.  Kind of.  We asked Julien and he, after laughing at us, told us it was the cows.  Alpine cows are well-known for their huge bells around their necks.  In this case, the sounds of the bells were echoing off of the dam wall in the valley below and right up to us.  Again, completely amazing.

The walk was excellent for our brains, because we started exams today, and we spoke in enough French to count as studying, but not so much that it hurt.  (The headaches are real, people.)  We were even joined by Levi’s French teacher for a brief period.  They both assured us that Levi’s French is great, but he doesn’t use it much at home (the same with Amelia).  Maybe in time.

We didn’t leave until 10:30pm.  I was a little stressed that we hadn’t spent the night before cramming last minute information into our tired brains for the test, especially since I had my grammar test this morning (three hours…three. hours. of grammar!).  Matthew thought about it for a second and said that if we look back in five years, would we regret skipping out on such a fun adventure and great time with Julien, or would we wish that we had spent the evening studying to get a few more points on the exam?  Excellent point…so, dear friends and supporters, I hope you can agree that people are almost always a better investment of time than night-before studying.  And I feel like my test went very well.

And since he mentioned he has read our blog, thank you, Julien for the memorable evening.  We hope to see you in Congo sometime!

The other side of the Alp looked very much like our home in Western Washington

The first side of the Alp looked very much like our home in Western Washington

Don't mind the clouds, it was actually really pleasant outside.

Don’t mind the clouds, it was actually really pleasant outside.  Also, Amelia.

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

IMG_1767

When channeling your inner Julie Andrews, please note is does appear as graceful as it does in your head.

We walked down this hill and then drove over that dam wall

We walked down this side of the mountain and then drove over that dam wall

About to drive over the dam!

About to drive over the dam!

Alpine cows = cheese

Alpine cows = cheese (never mind the creepy lady taking the photo in the rearview mirror!)

A ray of sunshine!

A ray of sunshine!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Deborah Spann permalink
    June 18, 2015 0829

    Were you standing in edelweiss while you were playing Julie Andrews?

    Besides – does it REALLY matter what grade you make on the test? You will still go to Kinshasa won’t you?

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