Bonjour Senlis!

The Cathedral in Senlis is one of the smallest ones in France.
The Cathedral in Senlis is one of the smallest ones in France.
Becca Jolly

On March 13, we arrived in Senlis, to meet our host families! The whole bus ride I was shaking with excitement and nerves. The thought of living with a random family for ten days was very frightening. 

 What if they didn’t like me? 

The second I got off the bus and met my host Astrid, all my fears disappeared. We had spoken through text for the past couple of weeks, but finally meeting her in person was a whole different feeling. Her whole family was very welcoming.  

Senlis, Day 1 

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For our first day in Senlis, we went to school with our hosts.  

A school day in France is very difference than in America. For one, school doesn’t end until 5:30. 

The school even had a designated smoking spot for their students! 

I spent my day meeting my host’s friends, who were all amazing and super welcoming. I got to learn about Silicon Valley (In French), and read through a play with a group of students in English Class.  

Senlis, Day 2 

To start day two, we went on a VERY long and quick paced walk through the town. We ended up walking in a huge circle.  

We then took a tour of the Archeological Museum. Most of the tour was in French, so I had a hard time picking up what the guide was saying, though I did learn some new words.  

My favorite part of this museum was learning about Seraphine Louis, a very famous French painter.  

After the museum, we met up with our hosts and ate lunch, then we walked to another ancient battle arena. 

In my opinion, this one was not as interesting as the one in Paris because it was all covered in grass. We then split up for a scavenger hunt around the town and my team ended up winning. Our reward was a huge chest full of French candies.  

After we went home, I tagged along with my host to go to scouts. I’m still not sure what exactly they were doing, but I had a lot of fun. I got asked so many questions about life in America and made lots of new friends. 

Senlis, Day 3 and 4 

My weekend in Senlis was so much fun! We had a sleepover with my Host’s friend and her exchange student from Cassady. We all became super great friends! 

I tried my favorite food yet, Raclette, which is kind of like fondue in a way. Instead of dipping food into the melted cheese, you pour it over. I had a lot of fun doing this.  

The next day my host family took me shopping at a mall! I found my new favorite clothing store, called Pull & Bear. Their clothes were so cute and affordable, and I wish we had one in the States.  

They also took me to go see “Bob Marley One Love”. I did not understand a single thing happening in this movie. Every five minutes or so, I could pick up a word, but I was struggling.  

Senlis, Day 5 

To start day five, we went on a nice long bus ride to a World War 1 museum.  

I am not a war buff in any way possible, but this museum was so amazing. We spent so long learning about this war this year in French class. Going to this museum helped expand my knowledge about it. 

My favorite part was the artwork from retired soldiers; the disturbing images they painted helped you understand how badly the war affected people.  

I also enjoyed having a sword fight in the gifts shop with my friends.  

Next, we drove to a mining museum. This was the biggest disappointment of the whole trip! 

We walked up a big flight of stairs just to get in an elevator to go down to the “mine”. The elevator was very loud and made crashing sounds; apparently that’s what they sounded like long ago.  

We got to the mine, and it was very interesting. The guide taught us about the different tools people used in the mines. 

They even had horses live down there! 

 We kept walking and suddenly went out a big metal door. Turns out the mine wasn’t even real! 

Senlis, Day 6 

This was my least favorite day.  

I thought we were taking a stroll along the beach. Turns out we would spend three hours trudging through the wet muddy Baie du Somme! 

Walking through the mud truly healed my inner child, but I was exhausted by the time we reached the other side of the bay.  

We then drove to a ghost town to take a walk along an actual beach. I was super disappointed because absolutely nothing was open in the town, so I missed out on some fun beach souvenirs.  

It’s okay though because I got to watch a bunch of our group run through the freezing cold water.  

Senlis, Day 7 

Our day in Amiens was my favorite. We started the day by going through the Jules Verne Museum. His personal library was very intriguing. He had so many books, in all kinds of different languages.  

We then got harassed by a bunch of French children who were begging for our food through a window.  

After the museum, we went shopping! I went a little crazy this day and ended up buying a pair of Nikes, perfume, a candle, socks, and jewelry.  

We met up with our group and walked through Cathedral Notre-Dame d’Amiens.  

This cathedral is twice as big as Notre-Dame in Paris. The inside was beautiful. The floor was a big labyrinth, which is a symbol of life. The outside of the cathedral had giant statues of biblical beings, such as kings and queens.  

Later I tried some French candy called Vigolo. It was very strange and tasted like cardboard with a pixie Stix inside of it.  

Senlis, day 8 

On our last day in France, we went to the town of Chantilly. This is where whipped cream was invented! 

We spent the day at the big Chatau, where we saw an original Raphael painting. We also saw one of the only remaining monkey rooms left in Europe. 

After we walked through the Chatau, we went to an engraving workshop, where we learned how books and manuscripts were printed.  

This was a lot of fun and everyone’s engravings turned out good. 

Then we went to the stables. We met a bunch of different horses and walked through the small museum. This museum had so many things ranging from saddles, horseshoes, riding outfits, and lots of paintings.  

Then our teachers threw us on a very crowded bus and sent us back to our host families. On the bus ride we met a group of children who kept asking us a bunch of questions about American.  

After I got home tears began to flow. I was sad to leave the people that I now call my family.  

The next morning, I started sobbing in front of my whole host family. I did not want to leave them.  

Being able to go to France was such a truly amazing experience that I never would have gotten if I went to a different school. This trip helped me to get out of my comfort zone, expand my confidence, my taste pallet, and it caused me to make so many new friends.  

I cannot wait to further develop my French speaking skills. My host and I are already planning my next visit!  

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Becca Jolly
Becca Jolly, Editor-in-chief
Hi, I'm Becca! This is my second year on the staff, but my first year as an editor. I love writing music reviews. This year I am hoping to focus on more school related/serious topics. I can't wait to see what this year brings!
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