Sunday, October 12, 2008

We're famous!

Famous? Not for the reason you
thought, although this colliseum
is noteworthy!

Short note tonight.

Day was mostly consumed with attempting to hang up our kitchen cabinet... (that's right folks - when in France apartments come unfurnished - REALLY unfurnished - including no cabinets in the kitchen) and with trying to bake some gluten free american cookies for our french friends as we were heading to their house for an afternoon visit. Zander was a big help!

Kids did some american homework (we are trying to keep them up to speed on US stuff so they won't be lost upon our eventual return) and spent some time playing outdoors with the other kids in the apartment complex. This is a great progress for our kids as they were too terrified of other children to play out for awhile. It is nice that they now are brave enough to go out and play. Callie was water fighting with some kids when a bigger boy dumped the water all over her head (fighting dirty - in France or USA!). Immediately all the other little kids attacked the bigger kid in defense of her honor - a geat sign they are accepting her as one of them! If only adults had water fights and rode in circles on bikes I might have an easier time socially. It is gorgeous weather here today - around 70 degrees (that's fahrenheit) and sunny. Helped our clothes dry faster and made water fighting possible. Picture is of wet Callie, and of Griffin with neighbors playing in the background.

Also had a lovely time at Olivier's (Andre's boss's) house. Olivier was the one who hired André and has helped us in an infinite variety of ways -including various attempts to socialize and immerse us in general Franceness. Today's treat was chocolate fondue with fruit - yummy in any country- and my american (but with a strong french accent) cookies... That's Zander and Claire on the swing set. Griffin is collecting 'wishes'.

But the big news is that we are now famous. That's right - we are featured on page 5 of the sunday edition of the local Besancon newspaper - L'est Republicain. Why? Well, because we are from far away. And (as I mentioned earlier) people 'from far away' don't settle in Besancon. But, we are not the usual people - we crave fame. If we had settled in Paris - we would have been only one of a myriad of Americans or other "far away' types - and we never would have made the paper. Here - we are unusual. When we meet Bisontins, they generally ask why we've settled away from our homeland. After explaining our reasons, they then usually ask, "But, why Besancon???" Well, the job was here - and we like small town living (that's why Philly over NYC, right?)

So here is the article....

... and the text is below:

Cinq Américains à Besac

Hier matin, ils ne sont pas passés inaperçus à l'occasion de la rencontre avec les nouveaux Bisontins.A tel point que Jean-Louis Fousseret leur a adressé un salut tout particulier.Andre et Rebecca Dhondt, et leur trois enfants Zender, 7 ans, Callie, 5 ans et Griffin, 3 ans, sont Bisontins depuis trois semaines.Ils viennent de Philadelphie au coeur de la côte Est des Etats-Unis.« Venir travailler en France, c'est un projet prévu depuis longtemps », explique Andre dans un bon français. « Je suis développeur informatique et je travaille dans une entreprise à Temis. »Un vrai choix de vie, une révolution voulue pour cette famille américaine.« On voulait vivre en France. Et je crois que Besançon c'est bien. Absolument joli. Différent. Ici tout est proche, à Philadelphie il faut faire 40 minutes de voiture pour n'importe quoi. »
Le linge qui sècheLes enfants qui ne parlent pas encore français sont inscrits à l'école de Saint-Claude où la petite famille a trouvé un logement.Avec ses premières surprises : « Ce qui m'étonne le plus c'est le linge qui sèche dehors sur des fils », commente Rebecca qui a déjà compris l'essentiel malgré son français encore sommaire : « Je l'aime le pain et le beure et le fromage et le croissant. »Et puis Andre précise : « Avant de venir ici, on nous a dit que les Français n'aimaient pas les Américains. Et depuis notre arrivée, on ne rencontre que des gens ouverts, gentils prêts à nous aider ».
Philippe SAUTER, Photo Ludovic LAUDE


So it's in French. Deal! Or if you can read French, we want you to know--the quotes were misattributed. My surprise was about how friendly people are and André's was about drying the laundry outside, although I did say I love the bread, butter and cheese!


HarvieFamily said...

Wow- I could actually read some of the newspaper article! That's pretty fun that they wrote about you!

The Grauke-Collins Experience said...

What a darling photo of all five of you! And Girffin looks so much bigger already. How is that possible?


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