Category Archives: France

Can’t stay away from airports

The title says it all.

So, there you go, this is my Airport timeline, I definitely don’t have pictures of every single time I said goodbye to a family member or greeted a friend at the Airport, but I will always have those memories.

Only if I got a nickel for every time I went to an Airport.

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Je ne peux pas vivre par ces commandements

LES 10 COMMANDEMENTS

Ce sont les 10 commandements et plus afin d’avoir une année couronnée de succès, ou non!

– Tu sortiras tous les soirs

– Tu ne parleras pas anglais quand les professeures t’ecouteront

– Tu piqueniqueras tous les Dimanche

– Tu boiras du Bordeaux

– Tu n’iras pas en cours trop ivre

– Tu manqueras les cours et tu diras que tu étais malade

– Tu feras tes devoirs le soir au dernier moment

– Tu adoreras les Google Translators comme un dieu

– Tu ne reviseras rien aprés le cours

– Tu oublieras toujours les jous des examens

– Tu passeras les examen à la fin du semestre

– Tu partiras en vacances le soir aprés le dernier cours

  • Photo: Piqui-nique
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Je ne peux pas gérer la gueule de bois

Cher docteur,

J’ai la gueule de bois. Que puis-je faire pour calmer mon mal de tête?

Merci pour votre réponse.

Marcos (Hillevi et Jenny aussi)

Bonjour,

Pour calmer votre gueule de bois, restez tranquille et buvez plus.

Ne vomissez pas et ne dormez pas. Pour calmer votre mal de tête simplement oubliez-le!

Courage.

  • Post’s photo: April’s house-warming party, February 2012.
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Couldn’t wait for another District Conference

Yes! Another successful Rotary Weekend.

This last saturday Rotary had its 1690 District Conference in the southern French city of Pau. And thanks to Rotarian Christine Shieber I was able to attend it.

We left Bordeaux early saturday and arrived in Pau 2 hours later. Once we arrived there, I was able to see all the other inbounds again, and meet the new ones. The best part of it is that I got to practice my Spanish and even my French, which I barely ever do. And I oughta say; I am pretty happy and proud of what I have learned so far. I know I’m nowhere near ready to teach it yet. But if someone leaves me stranded in a random French city, or Québec. I’m sure I will find my way back home!

At night we walked around the city and ended up going to a bar to dance a little, which can be awkward when done, latin style, in a small city that probably doesn’t see many tourists. After an intense evening in Pau we headed back to the Best Western, the local hotel we were staying at.

Sunday morning we left Pau and headed to Lourdes, city that also lies in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. Lourdes is know for its remote Grotto of Massabielle. Where 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous claimed seing “the Immaculate Conception” who she believed to be the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Since the apparitions in 1958, Lourdes has become one of the world’s leading Catholic Marian shrines and the number of visitors grows each year. And like I learned as a kid, it is a really important place within the Roman Catholic church, and the grotto’s spring water is believed by some to possess healing properties. So I had to bring some home for my family.

So, cheers to the french Rotarians, they pulled off a great District Conference. But honestly, this was nothing compared to the ones Minnesota’s District 5950 does each year. Every time I just get so excited I just wanna puke by the time we are leaving.

  • Post’s photo: A break from the 1690 District Conference, walking around Pau on May 24th, 2012
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Je ne peux pas écrire des poèmes

Je voudrais aimer mon père

mais mes souvenirs sont amers

je n’ sais pas comment on gère

la douleur qu’ils génèrent

Je voudrais manquer mon père

les moments son lacérés

je ne connais la colère

la doleur qu’il génère

So this is my writing production for this week’s french class, it is called Mon père, and it is a Kyrielle, a French form of rhyming poetry written in quatrains (a stanza consisting of 4 lines).

  • Post’s photo: Quito’s TeleferiQo at 4.050 meters of altitude, August 1st, 2011.
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Can’t believe this weather °F

Every morning, while eating my scrambled eggs and toast, I check what the weather is going to be like. I check not only the forecast for Bordeaux, France but also for Minneapolis, USA and Pirapora, Brazil. What I could not  this morning, is that once again is actually warmer in Minnesota right now, than it is in Bordeaux.

The Weather Forecast for Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA °F

I guess this is what people mean when they say:

You can run, but you can’t hide!

I say that because what motivated me the most to study abroad, specifficaly during the spring semester, was Minnesota’s last year’s winter; the harshest one in years. So I just assumed, and feared, that this year’s winter would be a repeat of that, and after that I just wanted to go somewhere warmer.

The Weather Forecast for Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France °F

Well, today’s weather forecast defeated the whole purpose of it. If it doesn’t get any warmer here I might as well just sell my mini-fridge and get some more wine.

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Couldn’t stay home during my first break


Even though I had almost 10 days off of school last week I didn’t travel much. I stayed in Bordeaux most of the time and walked around, discovered the city, the pubs, the public gardens.

But during the weekend, Rotex Emilie Gravelle drove me, two other Rotex and Inbound Sarah-Jane Fish to Arcachon; a small, charming city in the southwestern coast of France, about 80KM away from Bordeaux. I was very excited to not only see the city, but touch the Atlantic, 10.000 Km away from home.

We walked around the bay for hours, the day started out gorgeous. For lunch, we stopped at this great local restaurant-creperie called L’Ilot, and for the first time I had Moules marinière (mussels), something I had never seen or heard of before. I still don’t know how I feel about it though, it is good, interesting to say the least, but I definitely wouldn’t order an entire bucket for myself.

I had a great time playing with it though, we all had fun there, and before we finished lunch we even got a Complementary Jar of Sangria, typical wine punch from Portugal and Spain. We must be really cool or something, or not. Still, that was a good ending for my tasting experience, since I had never had it like that before either.

As it started to get colder, we decided to hear back home and visit the Dune du Pyla next time, so now we have an excuse to go back!

  • Post’s photo: Arcachon’s entrance sign, February 26th, 2012
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Je ne peux pas me présenter

Je m’appelle Marcos Carvalho, je suis célibataire. Je suis brésilien, mon signe du zodiaque c’est Lion parce que je suis né le 09 Août 1991 à Pirapora au Brésil.
J’ai habité aux Etats-Unis pendant 2 ans et 6 mois où j’ai étudié la Science Politique à Normandale College à Minneapolis. Mais maintenant j’habite au Village 3, 5 avenue Maine de Biran, Domaine Universitaire à Pessac.

J’habite à Pessac parce que je voudrais apprendre le français à l’Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3 – DEFLE. J’aime les langues latines et je parle portugais, anglais et espagnol couramment et un peu français.

Je suis très heureux d’apprendre une autre langue ici en France.

Jusqu’ici j’aime beaucoup la culture française, j’adore la cuisine française : le pain, le vin et le fromage. Ce soir je vais manger du pain avec du camembert pour le dîner parce que c’est ce que je préfère. Le week-end je vais dans un bar avec mes amis. Mon passe-temps favori c’est regarder des séries américaines et écouter de la musique brésilienne. Comme loisir j’aime le volley, je fais aussi du jogging et j’aime faire des origamis : des tsuru (oiseaux). Ma couleur préférée c’est la couleur verte.

Ma plus grande angoisse est d’arrêter d’apprendre et devenir stupide, bête. Je pense que si je lis et si j’apprends quelque chose tous les jours, je serai bien et satisfait.

J’ai travaillé dans un restaurant à Minneapolis, le Sunstreet Breads, très près de ma maison. j’ai été serveur pendant 6 mois et j’ai travaillé aussi dans mon université. J’ai été “leader multiculturel” pendant 1 an. Dans mon travail, je pratique le portugais et l’espagnol avec les autre étudiants étrangers. J’ai aussi été stagiaire dans le département de marketing de l’université. J’aidais à créer des affiches et des enseignes pour l’Université.

Mon plus beau souvenir c’est quand j’ai voyagé seul pendant 2 mois. J’ai visité plusieurs pays comme l’Argentine, le Chili, le Pérou, l’Equateur et la Colombie. Et ce voyage m’a aidé à parler couramment l’espagnol. Tous les lieux et les gens que j’ai rencontrés étaient supers.

Et ce voyage me rappelle mon principal défaut : je fais trop confiance et ce n’est pas toujours bon. Dans un pays où la culture est différente, je devrais être plus perspicace.

Quand j’aurai fini l’université, je rêve d’habiter un peu en Argentine, de voyager en Asie et aussi en Afrique, en particulier dans les pays de langue portugaise comme l’Angola, le Cap-Vert, la Guinée-Bissau, le Mozambique et Sao Tomé-et-Principe. Je rêve aussi de travailler pour le gouvernement brésilien comme diplomate.

  • Post’s photo: At Cerro Campanario, in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, named by National Geographic one of the “Top 10 Views in the World.”
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Can’t believe what I just saw!

So, here is the thing;

In July of 2010, at the end of my exchange year, thanks to the Apple Valley Rotary Club, I did a bus trip throughout the United State’s East Coast.

On the ECT (East Coast Trip) I went from Minnesota all the way to New York, traveled south, going through states like North and South Carolina and Georgia, stayed a few days in Florida, and worked my way up through Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana.

I spent 17 days on a bus with 26 other Rotary Youth Exchange Students from all over the world. In a situation like that you are kind of expected to go crazy, right?

Right!

What I didn’t expect was to find this Post Card in a small Souvenir shop in Arcachon, France, 2 years later.

Before you ask; No! It is not me and my friends! It is the Atlantic though. 🙂

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Can’t live without a fridge

45 days in and I finally managed to buy a fridge. Going without a fridge for that long wasn’t hard, but it sure didn’t make my life any easier.

What definitely helped was this very cold winter that has sat upon Europe this season. Not that I am complaining, this is nothing compared to Eastern Europe right now or Minnesota’s last winter. Thanks to unusual temperatures such as -10, -15 °(unusual for Bordeaux, of course) I was able to use my window as my fancy glass door mini fridge. Keeping ones food fresh has never been more fun.

That worked for a month, then it was just picnic weather and I was left with no place to put my food. So, I was fridgeless.

So I saw it as a time for desperate measures. I had to buy a fridge. Not expensive, but like everything here, I measure the amount of money spent on that as how much wine I could have gotten.

Nowadays; ONE USED MINI FRIDGE = 20 LITTERS OF WHITE WINE.

Not bad, at least I’ll keep my cheese fresh.

  • Photo’s post: My old, fancy and energy free, window fridge, and the one I just got.
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