Sunday, October 31, 2010


Anne is gone now... :( My apartment is very empty feeling.

Our last day together (yesterday) was spent in Paris. We were in Paris together 6 years ago, when we were coming back from a 3 week trip to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Those 3 days in Paris after Burkina weren't the greatest days of our lives (though now we think back on them with much laughter). We were eager (and hopeful!) that this Parisian experience (2010) would be better, and it definitely was. It was such a fun day!

Here is a snapshot of our fun: (this first picture is us getting excited for Parrreeeeee!)

Haha. it looks like I photo-shopped Anne into the picture. Was she really there!?!

It's hard to believe our week is already over! It was such a fabulous time together, lots of new memories, and tons of pictures! I'm so thankful Anne was able to come out here and see what my life is like here in France.

You are ALL welcome to come and do the same! Aunt Terry and Joan?? You're next? :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

thanks Mr. and Mrs. Bev!!!

Yesterday we went to Nantes. We arrived at 8h24 in the morning before anything was open, so we walked around the city, through dense fog. It was so fun to show Anne the city that I lived in when I first came to France 4 years ago. Lots of memories! We got to see sooooo many of my old friends!

One of the highlights was seeing Cecile's baby girl -- Sarah (Melissa) Elizabeth. She's sooooooo cute! Her middle name is not really Melissa...

One of Anne's favorite times of the day (though she's reluctant to admit it) was the big strike that we "participated" in. No violence, just people walking and walking and walking. There were TONS of people! They were blocking the entire road (the one we were supposed to be walking on) and after about 2 minutes of trying to push through people, we realized it was a hopeless cause, and found an alternate route. But what a great French experience to see lots of strikers in action! :)

I'd like to take this moment to tell Matthias thank you for FINALLY commenting on my blog!!! And look, now you get mentioned by name! Sehr krass, eh? Bist du stolz auf mich?? YES, Anne is drinking coffee in every blog post, and here I am too!

One of the greatest things of the whole day was visiting the mechanical elephant! Look at our pictures! This is how cool it was!

Thanks Don and Kathy for a great trip to Nantes!

Today is our last day together in Rennes. :(

Then Paris tomorrow and then we're both going home... Anne to Kansas and Melissa back to Rennes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

adventures in Fougeres

Today we explored the city of Fougères. We took an hour and 15 minute bus ride early this morning to get there and spent the whole day exploring this cool city. It was fun to meet up with Sophie and Samuel and hang out with them too. They're hilarious!!!

Fougeres has a really cool medieval castle (that's in ruins) and lots of beautiful picturesque streets.

Anne really digs the short trees.

Making her list of things to buy at ikea whilst sipping on some "not-the-best-i've-ever-had" coffee.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

there are no words.

Let me just leave you with a few, very random pictures of the day. :)

this picture (lovely isn't it!?) cracks me up for hours.

Our experiences in France continue to be great and hilarious. Tomorrow we're going to visit a cool city that has ruins of an old medieval castle in it. It's about an hour north of Rennes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

the excitment continues!

Yesterday and today have been so great! The time is going by so quickly! Here's a little update of what we've been up to.

We went to my church yesterday, and Anne learned how to say "wisdom", "sin", "man" and "God" in French. She's quickly becoming fluent.

We rode the metro to downtown after church, and Anne is figuring out how long her ticket is valid for.

We thought we were pretty cool taking pictures of our reflections... we are far too easily entertained!

We ate at my favorite-EVER creperie to celebrate her birthday! She LOVED real crepes! :)

After a big lunch, we walked all around town, taking a few pictures here and there, talking talking talking, and having a wonderful time!

Today we went to IKEA and then met up with a couple of people for coffee and hanging out. It was great fun.

I'm so thankful she can be here for this time, and I love showing her all around my city.

Thank you to the 3 people who commented on the last post. It encourages us SO much. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

she is here.

The moment has come to blog about Anne E. Kurtz.

She has safely arrived in France and we have already had a million laughs and taken fun (or strange?) pictures. Here is a glimpse of the first 8 hours of our being in the same country. Just remember, she is jet lagged and going off of no sleep for the past 36 hours, and I slept about 4 hours last night...

In the train from Paris to Rennes

We're practicing our "no smile pictures" for French administrative documents. Obviously, we need more practice.

We got some cool hair!

Anne's first French coffee. Verdict? "Delish" says Anne

She confirms that the ugly green apartment building right by my house is indeed ugly.

Check back often this week for continued adventures of Dorsch and Bev!!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

top 10 reasons why it's still safe to travel to france

My dearest friend Anne E. Kurtz is coming to visit me on Saturday (eeeeeeek!!!!!!) I'm soooooo pumped to see her and we're going to have a great great week together! I have been looking forward to this week for a long time! Here she is with our favoritest ever Noah Jordan Stucky.

At this particular time in life, France may not seem like the safest place to live or visit. But let me reassure you with all reassurance that's in me, that it's actually the PERFECT time to visit. It's not dangerous or violent, life in France at this time just demands a bit more creativity and flexibility when for instance your bus or train gets cancelled, or stops working all together... but it's an exciting life we live over here!

Tonight Joanna, Anne, Sophie and Palmyre all came over for Bible Study, and VERY WILLINGLY (muahaha) helped me put together the top 10 reasons why it's still safe to travel to France. Note the details... these girls are creative! :)

10. Are you really safer in Kansas than in France?

9. Striking in France is the national sport!

8. Striking is an opportunity to show French team spirit

7. What is striking, really? That is the question...

6. There are no strikes during vacation (the week Anne will be here)

5. No need to run after buses, we can walk or ride a bike!

4. What you see on TV is less serious than it appears

3. Being in France NOW is history in the making

2. You get to meet awesome people like us!

1. Visiting Melissa is so totally worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In all seriousness, it really is safe to travel here and spend a week in France at this point in time. And it really is true that strikers don't continue striking during the week of vacation that falls exactly when you're here, because well... strikers need a vacation too.

I'll be there at 9:30 Saturday morning (france time) to pick you up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Have you heard about all of the strikes that are happening in my current country of residence? I don't know what has come up on the news in the states, but France is quite an exciting place to live these days.

I went on campus this past week-end for the AG (general assembly of students) where students talk about whether or not they're going to go on strike and "block" the campus, meaning preventing people from going to class. If they vote yes, the doors to buildings on campus are literally blocked (with dumpsters, chairs, desks, and whatever they can find) and students physically cannot go to class.

Just this morning, they had another AG and they voted to block the whole campus from now until Friday.

Here are some photos:

This isn't where the dumpsters normally are... this is the entrance to one of the buildings.

As is this...

Then, this week-end, we had a student retreat in a town about 2 hours southwest of Rennes, and on Saturday afternoon when we went into town, there was another protest going on. The police are in the front, to keep the peace.

It's quite a "striking" thing. (eh shorty?? you love those clever play on words)

We of course, took the opportunity to have our picture taken! :)

The striking can get a little old...

Over 1000 gas stations have closed down in the country, and no one can fill up with gas. The gas truck drivers are on strike, as are the workers of the gas stations, so people can't find any place to fill up.

The train system (which is normally SUPER efficient and effective) cancels and delays trains a lot.

My dear little bus transportation system here in Rennes stops running it's buses at 8:30 at night (instead of 1 in the morning), and they come around much less frequently.

So..."if you can't beat 'em, join 'em", right? :)