Monday, July 6, 2015

1st week and I still have a broken wrist

Ok,.. so I said over a month ago that I would keep you updated on this blog once I got to France. Well, that didn't happen... don't get awkward about it :). But, now I am here to blog about my super awesome, cool, brilliant, extravagant, roller coaster of a time in France and I'm sure you want to hear every small detail of my times abroad (or, as I like to call it, in the wild)!  Wellllll........ you won't. I'm to lazy to write about everything and I'm sure you're not that interested. But, I will give you a fairly quick run down of events from now on for the next 3 or 4 weeks (1 time every week). You cool with that? No? I don't care. :)

Background Info!
1) I was in Toulouse, France for a month studying. Want to know more? Read my first post. :|
2) Now, I'm working in the region of Bordeaux (not the city) on a vineyard and I'm living with a host family (Famille Eynard) in the Côtes de Bourg appellation.

Look at the pic and then FREEZE. Everybody clap you hands...

Now that you caught up let's talk first week! And I know this is a little more than a week... shut up and read. :)

June 28th-Arrival
-Woooow. I'm getting off a train from Toulouse to Bordeaux to be an intern on a vineyard in Bordeaux. Someone pinch me because I must be dreaming! Look at all the people around me. They look just like me because they are human... weird. Look at the cement I'm standing on... it's so hard and rough like back home... weird. And there's this lady saying something to me that sounds French. Oh wait, that's my name... weird. I guess I'm pretty easy to pick out among everyone because of my broken arm (funny story for another time).
This women was Christine Eynard (Mother). She is just one of five people in the famille Eynard also including Jean (Father), Marie France(Christine's Mom), Anaïs (daughter)and the other daughter (don't know who she is yet, maybe I'll ask tonight). They all live on the vineyard except for the unknown other daughter.
So now Christine has caught my attention and I'm following her to le maïtre du stage (Master of the internship - Jean). We drove to the vineyard on the highway from the train station and everything was pretty nice. They don't speak English (except for Jean, but he has forgotten a lot if from when he studied it) so this internship is the perfect time for me to practice my French. We got to the vineyard and they show me around everywhere and then to my nice room with a bathroom and Wifi. I unpack and then ate dinner. They made this delicious tart with zuchini and bacon and we had some wine (wine for every dinner - to help put you to sleep they say... sure). Wow, I'm tired of typing already and I said I would keep this short. I'm a man of my word. LEGO

June 29th-Frist Day of Work
-Sucked and it was easy. Super hot! Food was delicious. I learned I really love cheese (all bleu and chevre). Went through the vineyard correcting how the vines grew (direction-up) and breaking off extra stems that don't contribute to the harvest.

June 30th-Second Day of Work
-Sucked and was fairly long. SUPER HOT! Food is always super healthy because they don't like consuming sugar (it's the devil and they believe it's the reason for American obesity and obesity in general) and they use ingredients from their garden.

July 1st-Third Day of Work
-Not so bad because they don't care when I get up. But I felt bad at the end of the day so I won't be taking advantage of the freedom they have given me.

July 2nd-Sooo...lazzzyyy-Work
-I pulled wired to create a trellising system for baby vines (this job is annoying with one hand). SUPER HAWT! Food is still great! Try all their food.

July 3rd-Work and Week End Vaca. to Atlantic
-Work ended at lunch. Thank baby jesus! I meet Julian and Baptiste (Cousins) and Jean's mother Michel. Dopest kids I have ever meet (not because they were high, but because they were cool... I mean, they could have been high... I have no idea). Went to the beach and made a pyramid from Giza and swam as much as a person living with a handicap can (always use person first language)!

July 4th-Arcachon Bay 1
-The boat wasn't working today so we fished off the dock, buried Julian in the sand, and I made an American meal for the Fourth of July. To be honest, I totally forgot it was Independence day. I made mac n cheese, hamburgers, hotdogs, and smores. Jean was very concerned when I cooked the meat for so long. He kept trying to flip them before they were done (he's a "my way or the highway" kinda guy sometimes so it was funny to see him deal with what I was doing). I kept telling him to cook the burgers until they were close to being burnt or a little burnt on both sides. He told me that cooking the meat for this long is toxic for the heath haha! The French don't like there meat cooked a lot. And of course the smores were a home run. We couldn't make a fire outside (the law, Smokey the Bear lives in France too) so we used what they called a "Plancha" (a grittle) to use as the fire (we took off the top and used the flames powered by gas). Lighting the smores on fire was a fun spectacle for them! Good ole granny Michel didn't eat most of the food. She asked me if my parents were as skinny as I was (in America it would be quite impolite to ask this, but I wasn't in America and I have to live with this women, so I politely told her my parents are as skinny as I am... she looked dumbfounded haha). Great meal and great times!

July 5th-Arcachon Bay 2, Return to Côtes de Bourg
-Went on the boat (Jean fixed it) and fished for 2 and a half hours altogether. Nobody caught any fish or got any nibbles (boring... check mark). Then we toured on the boat for an hour and then went to the beach. I buried Julian and Baptiste in the sand and I almost got pulled out to the sea due to the current (this was only my third time on the beach ever, all in Europe btw). WARNING: Eurupean beaches have people without their tops on! But, 85% are very old people. So be warned. You are going to see tits, just tits that will haunt you for the rest of your life. jrflibher, I'm getting goosebumps right now. Then we ate (delicious food) and returned to the vineyard. I shared some of my music with Julian and Baptiste and them with me. I like to listen to French music so they told me what was ok and what was just silly.

And that's all for this blog entry. Stay beautiful! :)

Found a spelling error or grammar error? - Tell me and I'll keep it somewhere I don't care about.
Comment with anything! Be snarky or mean (I like nice though :). This is meant to be a fun place!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Almost the Beginning

In case you didn't know, I will be traveling to France (specifically Toulouse) to undertake a study abroad from June 1st - July 24th this summer! The PURPAN Summer Study Abroad (AG) program is meant to introduce students to the differences between French Agriculture and American Agriculture. Here is a brief overview of what I will be doing from Ecole d'Ingénieurs de Purpan (School of Engineers of Purpan) -

The on-campus program (4 weeks in June)-
It consists of lectures in English coupled with field trips and intensive French courses. During most week-ends, cultural visits and excursions are organized in the South-West of France.

The first two weeks are dedicated to culture, agriculture and animal chains in Europe.
The last two weeks focus on either crop production and food processing or viticulture and enology.

The students choose between these two options when they apply for the program.

The optional internship program (4 weeks in July)-
It has been designed for students with interests in farm/ag business stays. According to the students' interests, we can provide internships in animal production (dairy cows/beef cattle, sheep/goat milk, pigs, horses) agro-tourism, plant production (main crops, horticulture), vineyards/wineries, etc... It automatically follows the on-campus program.
I’m hoping my future blogs will be more exciting but until then, stay tuned for more! I will start updating once the adventures begin on June 1, 2015.

À plus tard,
Benjamin A. Savage