A Taste of Authentic French Country Living
My language immersion with Marion and Mélie was more than just a taste of French; it was a taste of authentic French Country Living.
Situated among farms and pastures, and surrounded by vineyards of the famous Beaujolais region, I experienced the quiet joy of life in the French countryside, all the while being immersed in the French language (with Marion as my guide) and in the world of French Country Cooking and wine tasting (with Mélie pointing the way.)
No words that I could write will ever do justice to the joy and power of the experience.
Marion, in addition to being an excellent French teacher, is as passionate, cheerful, and warm a human being as you could hope to meet. She's the kind of person who gives me hope for the human race. Mélie’s gastronomy is about home cooking using simple techniques and delicious ingredients (often directly from the nearby garden). Her approach to wine is informed but playful. Mélie is quite the character actually. She is intelligent and witty and has the most expressive face. It’s funny but I found myself unconsciously imitating her facial expressions by the end of the week.
What I learned did not come from lists of vocabulary or rules of grammar. It came from
breathing in the culture, savoring the taste of good food and wine, and rejoicing in the peace of the countryside. What I learned from the immersion, more than anything else, was the courage to speak and the patience to listen.
At the beginning of the week, Marion and Mélie were my teachers. By the end of the week,
they were family.