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Immersion homestay at Elisabeth’s near Versailles, by Jo Ann at SL Immersion

Published Bernice on Thursday, October 12, 2023 5:13 PM

Immersion homestay at Elisabeth’s near Versailles, by Jo Ann at SLImmersion

Jo Ann, an SL Immersion student, recently wrapped up a week-long immersion experience in France, where she resided in Noisy-le-Roi, a quaint village near Versailles, at the home of Elisabeth and Roland. Her journey was filled with unforgettable episodes:

Upon her arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport, Jo Ann embarked on a solo adventure to Versailles, albeit a tad anxious due to jetlag. However, the journey went smoothly. As planned, Elisabeth and Roland welcomed her on a Sunday morning in Versailles, taking her to the bustling open-air market at Place Notre-Dame.

This historic market, dating back to the seventeenth century, teemed with life. Jo Ann received a fresh date from one of the vendors, delighting in its sweet, chewy flavor. After purchasing a variety of fresh, regional produce, they retreated to a nearby café, relishing pastries, coffee, and hot chocolate. The warmth and enthusiasm with which Elisabeth and Roland welcomed Jo Ann put her at ease despite the initial nervousness of living with a French-speaking couple she had never met.

Jo Ann, accompanied by Elisabeth and Roland, explored Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, where the famous water lilies were yet to bloom. However, the beauty of tulips, daffodils, azaleas, pansies, and other vibrant flowers left her awestruck. Strolling alongside the pond, she marveled at the reflection of the scenery in the water, providing her a glimpse into Monet's inspiration. While standing on the Japanese bridge for a photo, an unexpected mishap occurred as Jo Ann accidentally dropped her eyeglasses into the pond. Fortunately, the kind gardeners retrieved her glasses, turning an unfortunate incident into a cherished memory.

Jo Ann had the privilege of attending a concert at the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles. A choir from the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles (CMBV) performed sacred music from the reign of Louis XIII. The remarkable acoustics of the Chapel, considering its age, coupled with the soaring voices of the young singers, left her with goosebumps. Among the audience, she noticed a group of young students, seemingly from a modest neighborhood. Their captivation by the Chapel's grandeur and the music's beauty was heartwarming. In a world dominated by screen technology, witnessing these 21st-century children engrossed in music from seven centuries ago left a lasting impression on Jo Ann.


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