Monday, October 22, 2012

Inbound Meeting #1

Yesterday, I came back from my first Rotary Youth Exchange inbound meeting held in a small village called Landreville in the region of Champagne, and I had a wonderful time meeting the other exchange students and enjoying the area!

From Louhans, Landreville is located north which takes about a 3 hour drive, so the landscape and even the traditional buildings looked a little different from Louhans.  Like I have mentioned before in one of my posts, the region of Champagne is famous for producing the French sparkling wine, champagne.  We got a tour of a winery, and I learned that the three main types of grapes used to make champagne are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.  I also learned that at this winery, they don't use chemical fertilizers, the bottles take 3-9 years of rest and peace (aka: fermentation), and about 40% of their production of champagne are exported around the world.  It was really unique to see where the creation of champagne starts from!

Some machines requires physical labour, maybe like this one above.

Tulip glasses for champagne (Noticed their inward curving rims?)

Cute cork statues!! ♥

These grapes tasted really sour... obviously not the ones found in grocery stores,
so they're just perfect for champagne!

My new Brazilian friend and I ♥

There were in total one Canadian (me!), one Thai, one Brazilian, two Mexicans, one Japanese, and six Americans plus a French rebound at the orientation.  Unfortunately, there were a few other students in our district who were not able to come, but I look forward to meet them in our next one in December.  It was neat to speak to the students at Landreville and share our personal experiences so far during our exchange.  I think we talked a confusing mix of French, English (and even Japanese and Spanish), but I believe we all understood each other anyways!

We're proud ambassadors!

Oh yeah, Canada made USA and Mexico turn their heads!

Rotary Youth Exchange students of D1750

Thank you so much for the fun weekend everyone!
Merci beaucoup pour le week-end amusant tout le monde!

Also, thank you SO MUCH for those who follow my blog and ask how I am doing in France!  To me, it means so much when I receive messages from my friends, Rotarians and family!  I swear it's so difficult to explain to my new friends why I haven't had a slight feeling of homesickness, but I would like to clarify why!  (You need to see their surprised expressions!)  No, it's not because my life here in France is better than Canada.  I actually love living in both countries!  It's because the tremendous support I get from everyone makes me feel happy, grateful and to be ready for anything.  To me, the warm words of advice, love and encouragement creates the backbone that keeps me standing tall with strength and motivation.   Thus every time I feel down, my emotions immediately bounce back up because I remind myself of the people who care for me.  Besides, who doesn't want to do a foreign exchange?!

Merci, Thank you and ありがとう,


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