30 Mars: "we all speak better french with a little champagne"
Open house today! The monastery was swimming with people all afternoon, locals and some from church, a few from Albi and even a reporter. And of course, the one hundred and one year old woman from down the road also managed to come up and check out the place. Yesterday, we cleaned, mostly just leftover messes from the construction workers, but the place looked pretty impressive, I think. At least the completed renovated spots of course. We had Mass this morning first and we sang the prayer of St. Francis and it was very well received from the townspeople. Then, during the open house, we each had our turn of attempting the tour "en francais." We could get the basics across, and it also helped that there were more than a few people in town who are English or Irish who spend their Spring or Summer here in southwestern France. I met one woman in particular, an English woman who had just returned from traveling in the states. She also likes to participate in home exchanges with people in the US. She's been all over the place, except for the Northwest. She's was very interesting and we talked for a while about all sorts of things: the terrible exchange rate for Americans, binge drinking problems in the states and in England, and the accessibility of guns in the US. It made for some pretty good conversation. As for the French conversation, I was able to do some decent small talk, and everyone seemed thrilled for us to be there. There was this one adorable older lady who kept grabbing my arm and winking at me. It sounds a little creepy but I swear it was cute. They made us feel incredibly welcome and I hope we made a good impression as well.
Posted by hhannahh