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First Days in Lacoste

I have been waiting to start summer classes in France since I found out I got accepted in January, so this weekend has been a long time coming! I cannot believe it is finally here!

This is a shot of the hill I get to walk down from my little abode at the top of the village. Yes, this means that I also have to walk back up to get to said abode. Everyday. Multiple times. I will have some solid glutes or a broken leg by the time I get done here, for sure.

The most notable things about the place so far, other than all the awesome crazy young people I've been meeting, are the smells and the sounds. Think lavender and bees.

Today we had to walk from the upper village down to the lower part of campus, called Maison-Basse. It is quite the hike over a rocky trail that takes about 20 minutes (well, probably longer for me...I like breaks for pics and breathing, ha!) In between the two there are vineyards, a cherry orchard and rows and rows of lavender. In the photo above we are heading for the buildings in the middle ground. The town up on the hill is on the opposite side of the valley from ours (and frankly, I don't know what it's called right now!)

You'll find lavender all over campus, so the smell is wonderful as soon as you open a window or walk out a door. Can you get over that view? Or that steep-ass pathway? Just outside the door of my little cottage there are plums and figs and grapes growing. All that sweetness and floral activity has the bees going crazy! Last night I sat outside to paint a bit last evening and all I could here were birds chatting and bees buzzing. It was completely magical.

This morning, after breakfast at Beauregard, our cafeteria and sort of central hub, we all set off on a little bus trip to nearby Apt for their Saturday market. A group of girls from my little cottage neighborhood, which is called Pitot (I'm in Pitot 4), navigated together. My prize purchases: a giant lavender meringue and a six-pack of Fanta.

And, last but not least, there is a place on campus called SCAD Fash that hosts exhibits and shows related to fashion. Today, the entire college celebrated the opening of an exhibit featuring the work of Azzedine Alaia, a couture designer who was born in Tunisia and was pivotal to the style evolutions of high fashion in the 80's and 90's. (All of which I just found out about today during a presentation since even though I have watched every season of Project Runway, I was not familiar with his work.)

Fast forward to my first opportunity to

work...five student employees, including me, got to act as docents/guides for the exhibit.

All I knew was that I had to wear black pants and would be given something white to wear on top. So, of course, I assumed I was going to be serving food or helping with the reception in some way. Alas, we suddenly had to become much more familiar with Alaia's work in case anyone had questions. Oh, and all the information we had at hand is in French. Ha! Frankly, it was a fun and rewarding evening actually trying out some French and heartily greeting anyone who came in who spoke English.

The lab jacket/smock was awesome. And, I'm thankful for Google Translate and the photo tool that Ben taught me how to use!

Long but lots to share.

A bientot!


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