ah bonjour mes amis!

je suis en france and i have to use this french keyboard::: pardon si it is hard to understand and short because it takes longer to type.

there is so much to tell but paris is absolutely wonderful and i have learned ,ore french in the past few days than in my whole life. mme cartier-bresson is lovely and she is related to the famous photographer; Henri Cartier-Bresson… i have yet to figure out how to ask her directly about this.

my first night in paris i got lost late at night because i took the metro from the eiffel to the wrong arondissement so i walked about2 hours to my arondissement. i could not find my street because of all the roundabouts and i felt so alone – even though about 7 people gave me directions i still couldnt find it::: i had to call the residence director from a payphone to give me directions. i will never get lost again.
every day my train goes by the eiffel tower and the panthéon::::::::: my metro ride is about an hour but i am going to start trying different routes to make less tranfers:::: i think i transfer about five times right now.
on my street and in the roundabout closeby there is everything i need – the next building has a tabac where i buy stamps and phone cards:::: there is a boulangerie where i can get really good croissants and cafés and a grocery store and a vegetable stand like in the movies! i will try to post pictures of all of these things but i dont want to look like too much of a tourist in my own neighborhood::::::: i have managed to convince most people i talk to that i know french by nodding my head and saying only phrases i know: mme cb only knows a little bit of english so every day is a challenge in my own apartment which is small and beautiful!

i have a cell phone you can call but it will be very expensive::::: 06 98 79 68 06
i would love to hear from you!

i can get in free to the louvre with my student card and i found a really cute latino café for dancing in the quartier latin. oh thats another thing:::: the men here are very sensitive to body language and if you even look at someone it means you might be interested in them and if you smile that means you definitely want to go for coffee or for une verre if it is evening:::: it took me about 10 minutes to figure that out! i will have to give up my smiling habit. too bad. i dont know what happens if you dance with some one:::: i think i will watch one night before i try to get involved to see how the women do it.

there are many homeless people here and the government hands out tents that they pitch under the bridge by the seine. they also sleep in the metro station:::: i dont know how to react to this because they dont ask for anything but i want to help them.

in a few weekends we are all going to normandy and i want to read up on the history to make it worth it.

the program directors call me their renaissance woman because i am the only one taking such a variety of courses that have nothing to do with my degree:::: i have to dance 2 hours a week to get one credit of dance and i signed up for 3 credits so i think i am going to downsize to 1 credit:::: i am getting tickets to a huge flanenco concert coming up so i can see what i want to learn.

please pray for my safety as i travel home alone in the dark every night and as i get used to the culture here and begin to lessen the language barrier:::: i am representing canada to the people in the program and to the parisiens i come in contact with – i am also religious as they say and there are many stereotypes surrounding that::: all these things need prayer:::: thankyou so much

i start classes sporadically this week and next so i will try to keep you posted – i have 4 hours of french per day every day so the learning curve will be intense and i am trying to think in french as often as possible:::

i love and miss you all and i hope you are surviving the cold :::::::: well some of you anyway

a toute a l’heure or something like that:::::