Our Schedule:

Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Les Jardins

I couldn't go to sleep until 4:15 this morning and ended up sleeping until 12:15pm. sigh. I thought I had this jet lag licked. We wanted to be out and about by 1pm. That didn't happen.

After a time of trying to fully wake up we did a devotional this morning. Russell and I read part of Psalm 141 in French and English. I have been doing this for a while now at home and take my French Bible to church and read from it while the pastor or teacher are reading in English. Tomorrow we'll go by bus to the "all French worship" service of one of our church plants. This will be the main church we'll be working in while here. I usually take notes during the sermon to see how much I'm understanding and look up some of the words I miss. It helps me stay awake. Listening to another language when you are trying to "get it" can be very tiring after a while. Usually we have someone I can lean into if I really want to know what that person is saying and I'm missing it.

Since it's Saturday and we are still trying to find our way around our neighborhood. Russell's wearing his Aussie cowboy hat to keep warm and has his long coat with cowboy boots. You can imagine the looks. He towers over most people. Hey, at least he's wearing gray and black, the color of most clothing here. we took a walk to the Palace grounds 15 min. away from our apartment - along with 100s of others and really enjoyed it. These are King Louis XVI Les Jardins and it's free to walk around.

It was a pleasant 50 degrees, since the wind wasn't biting today. The government has been painting the entrance gate "gold leaf" and also small sections of the Palace along the roof. It's very bright gold and looks new, which is garish to me. I will try to include pictures soon.

We walked around back to see what the gardens look like in winter. Most of the large statues are covered with dark green canvas to protect them. There are very sculptured evergreens. I'll include some pics of those trees. (think of the Disney World or Disney Land sculptural trees but these are shapes, not animals.) One large, incredible fountain with statues around it was very bizarre. Most sculptures represent something. There's a story to tell. We will try to find out what this story is. There are turtles and alligators at the bottom of this great sculpture going all around it in a circle, the next level has people who have frog heads and webbed hands who look like they are either scared or trying to reach the mother and children at the top of the fountain. The mother and children at the top are beautiful. This is a fountain that was probably made in the 1780s. I thought maybe the mother represented the queen and her children and the animals all around represented either protection for her to warn her or they were the evil trying to get to her. If anyone knows what I"m talking about please enlighten us. It's directly behind the palace on the lower level. I can probably look it up online to get my answer.

On the way back, not far from Hotel d'Ville, we stopped at a very contemporary McDonalds. I know we should be stopping at a French bistro. This was very handy and it's the largest one I've ever been in with an "easy order" ATM like machine in 5 languages. You push your language and place your order. The order goes up front, they make it and you pick it up. The other order lines were long with high school and college kids waiting to order and we were the only ones doing the Easy thing. So we got our food right away. They probably were using cash. Also in this McD's they have a Latte/Espresso area. I did not get a coffee though. Fancy/Schmancy.

My real reason for going was I knew they'd have a free bathroom and maybe a sink in each one - which they did. French restrooms are unique. There are usually individual stalls with no sink or maybe a tiny one. The sink is in the hallway outside for men and women to use. This has felt uncomfortable to me at times or at least strange.

Now we must get our bus directions to find l'eglise por demain. (the church for tomorrow)

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