It was such a wonderful thing to have them here. I don't know how to describe the feeling of what it's like when family is here. Seeing where I live, meeting my friends, and experiencing all kinds of stuff that is my "everyday" but foreign to them, is just really special. And even more than seeing my life here in France, for them to see what it is like in sub-sahara, francophone Africa, meant so much to me. I love France, and glad they got to see it, but Africa is home, and they were able to finally see a glimpse of what their "African cousins" have talked about all these years!
But back to their time in France. The scarves. I gave the boys each a Stade Rennais scarf with a three-fold intent:
1. I wanted to see my Kansas farmer cousins wear a scarf
2. They needed some Stade Rennais gear for the game
3. It was really cold at the game, and I wanted them to be warm!
They were so pleased and happy to get them! Troy right away said, "wow! This is great! I won't ever take it off!" Matthew actually stuck to that, and wore it everyday and even on the airplane ride back home. Troy took his off right away, but he did wear it all day on game day!
They needed a bit of help to know how to wear them. This is what they looked like when I asked them how they would wear them. Hmmm. Not baaaaad, just...a bit plain jane.
I gave them a few pointers and showed them several ways to wear them. They were loving the photo shoot at this point.
It got a bit better.
It was so fun to walk around downtown with them. People were so friendly and were constantly commenting on their scarves and the game that evening.
At one point, we were in the market at the jelly section, and Troy found the samples. He sampled one that he loved, so sheepishly (or not) looked around to see if anyone was watching, and took another little spoon to continue eating. The young lady (a very cute French girl!) who was manning the table came over and I thought she was going to say something about needing to buy the jelly he was devouring, but instead she goes, "today you can only sample red jelly! No blue jelly!" I didn't understand what she was saying at first, but then realized the soccer team we were playing that night had blue and white as their colors. She was pro-Rennes! Or, pro- "good looking American boy who loved her jelly and had a stade rennais scarf". :)
(oh, and the cute French girl I'm referring to is not the lady in the back of this picture...)
Troy needed a bit of help adjusting his scarf at different times throughout the day. Matthew snapped all of these without our knowing. Haha.
(on campus too!)
Matthew was a natural. He put it on once in the morning, and it stayed good the whole rest of the day! Are you still wearing it, Matthew? :)
This was at the game. I had the scarf wrapped tightly around my neck as I was cooooooold!
Speaking of the game, it was awesome. For me, it was definitely one of the highlights of their short time here. We walked from my place to the stadium (about 40 minutes) and Troy was waving the flag the whole way! I said, "it looks like you're leading a charge into battle!" and without skipping a beat, Matthew goes, "yeah, but it looks like no one is following you!"
The boys behind them were enjoying the picture taking as well!
As you know, after the game, we all came back to my house for pancakes. We were joined by a bunch of others, ate a lot, and played some fun games. I was so proud of the guys participating and playing, even though there was so much French being spoken. Thank you to my French friends for making them feel so welcomed!
The time went by way too fast! It was such a special treat to have them! Hope these pictures and stories are encouraging other cousins to come! Mel, Jenny and Tracie? You're next, right? :)
I'm currently in Rome, where I'm taking a theology class on Jesus, Humanity, and Salvation. It's SUPER SUPER interesting and I feel like I'm learning a ton! There are 24 of us (staff from various countries) taking the class and Sunday we have a final exam! It's the first time I've been to Rome, and yesterday I got to see the Sistine Chapel, and wow. Incredible.
The pizza is also REALLY good, and I've had quite a bit of that too! :)