Trip Start Aug 17, 2008
33Trip End Feb 09, 2009
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Let's move on to Sunday the 22nd:
I got up in the morning and wandered
downstairs, still undecided about whether or not I wanted to go to
church. I was very tired still from the night before. I had told Meredith that I would like to go
with her, and while she was anticipating that I would be too tired, I decided
to go. I made the decision a little
late, so ended up leaving at 10:05, with the service starting at 10:30am, and
it takes 40 minutes to walk without rushing. So I ran.
And I got there before Meredith did, and she
had a bicycle.
The first hymn was beautiful.
"Ils ont marché au pas
That hymn made me glad
I had come.
If you want to hear
the music, without words I'm afraid, you can find it and download it on this
And the words, for
those who are really keen, can be found here: http://mapage.noos.fr/paris-productions/A%20cappella.htm
interesting. We all had to get up out
of our pews and form a circle around the edges of the room, the bread and the
wine was then passed around the circle, and as you passed it to the next person
you had to say something like "Jesus t'aime" or "Jesus a venu pour toi". The oddest thing about it, besides feeling
like an idiot as I said it, hoping desperately that I had understood the
instructions correctly and wasn't just making a fool of myself, was addressing
a complete stranger, a fair bit senior to me, as "tu", which it the familiar
form of "you". When addressing someone
older than you, especially if you don't know them, the rule is that you are
meant to say "vous". But... I didn't know
whether it was all "tu" here because it was a church "family", so I didn't want
to offend anyone by calling them "vous" either. Lucky Meredith only had to say
it to me. Awkward. I was quite glad
when it was over, even though it was all quite lovely.
So back we went to our
pews and I breathed a sign of relief.
But oh no. Little did I know
what was coming next.
"Nous avons, parmi
nous, quelques étudiants. Je voudrais
les demander à venir ici. Les chinois,
les espangoles, les australiens"
The WHATS? The AUSTRALIANS? Did he just
say AUSTRALIANS? Are we meant to go up
the front? What? What?
So, up we got,
Meredith and I, and slid tentatively from our pew, as were doing a number of
other, slightly bolder-looking, youth.
Up the front we went, into the sanctuary.
he said. Tell us a bit about yourselves
and why you are here:
nous. Dites à nous de vous et pourquoi
vous êtes ici".
Gemma. Je viens de l'Australie, et je
suis ici pour apprendre la langue et étudier la litterature."
And that was me. Done.
The congregation, staring at me, murmered the word "litterature"
back at me, in a unified kind of wave, (as, for anyone who has seen the film
Galaxy Quest, the Thermians (sp?) murmer "Tech Sergent Chen"). I wondered whether I had said it incorrectly
and they were all correcting me? I
asked Meredith, but she assured me that I had said it correctly, and they all
just found it interesting... odd French.
So, that was my lovely
Glad I went
though. Very worthwhile experience.
I can't remember what
else happened on Sunday. Possibly not a
lot. I will inform you immediately if I
think of anything.
I have yet to tell you
of the weekend of the 27th-28th, but that will come. I have written a fair bit today and tomorrow
I have class at 9am. Eww.
So, I'll finish with a
shout out to a very special woman:
I hope you are keeping
well without me there. I miss you very
much and have a photo of you on my wall here.
Think of you so much. Hope you
received my letter (finally, after I got up the courage to buy stamps in
Keep taking care of
yourself. I am already looking forward
to seeing you when I get back.
Lots of love,