Thursday, January 31, 2008

A breakthrough.

A breakthrough occured today. A lady asked me for directions while I was walking the boys home from School. I knew where she was trying to get to and was able to help her, all in French. Awesome. In other news, Micah and Caleb are going on a field trip tommorrow, to the woods. You know you are living in the city if the kids go on a field trip to the woods. Now for the weather, Roads had icy patches this morning, Angie slipped and fell, (sprained ankle and jammed thumb), chance of precipition tonight is 100%, current conditions are 93% humidity, temperature 43, wind from SW at 28 mph, windchill 34 degrees. Chance of snow tommorrow night. JASON

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Homework, Dallas, and Dumplings


Today we had Jen and Davis, Tova and Elami over. We were going to work on our homework together. At the end Davis said, "Well we got done in 2 hours together what we could have gotten done in 30 minutes alone." You know because of the kids and all. It was funny. But Jen said at least we got to hear it out loud some that's always good. She was a little sad to leave so soon but Davis was ready to get home and lay Elami down, she was ready for a nap. Jen also needed to get to the store today. She and I discussed maybe walking or jogging together. She already jogs after schools for 20-30 minutes. Maybe I could tag along.

So last night at Cora, the grocery store- I went to the guy cashier because he is kind and he smiles and not many of the women I've been to do. He laughed when i answered that i was from Texas. Everyone here has the view of texas they got from watching JR Ewing ? on Dallas. you know big cowboy hat and all.

Today I may try and make brownies. I attempted chicken and dumplings the other day and they turned out good- I didn't think they would be halfway through, but Jason thought they were the best I ever made. I said, "Well the food is supposed to be better in France." (or at least some think so) I wasn't sure it would work because the shortening that I used I bought by accident. Until I bought it I didn't think they had it here. It was in a rectangle package refrigerated and said "Fries" on it with a picture. It also said 100% vegetable but I guess fries are 100% vegetable too. Any way I'm glad I found it so I could make dumplings.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Chicken had feathers.

I bought a frozen chicken from the store the other day, and when I unwrapped it, it still had some feathers. Interesting. Something even more amazing happened today. I saw a pickup-truck. It was just a Nissan, but it was the first one I have seen since being here.

When I dropped Caleb off to school today, a crowd of boys gathered chanting his name, the way the French say it. It was cool. There are several aspects of language learning that are very difficult and humbling.

1. Everyone talks to you like you were a two year old and you answer them back the same way.

2. Your children correct your pronunciation. Lilia told me yesterday, "It's nasal dad."

3. You think of words in other languages as well. Angie and I still find the Spanish word coming to mind.

I know there are several that others could add. Here is another quiz question for you. French has the same amount of vowels in their alphabet as English does, but how many vowel sounds do they have? Attached in one of our teachers (Regine) and a few of our fellow students. Thanks for keeping up, and God Bless, JASON

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dangerous Questions

So today in class we were repeating interrogative sentences and affirmative sentences to get the hang of how it should sound. For example the sentence Ca va? is a question or Ca va. an answer. So just as in English you raise your voice at the end of a question and lower your voice on the answer. So we were practicing a lot of sentences like this and each time the question and the following statement would get longer and longer. The sentences were made up of some vocabulary we had not yet learned, but that didn't matter because we were just working on how it sounded. At the end though, the teacher had us ask questions of one another and it started with me. It could be questions from the page or just other questions we already knew. So, Jason- in all his wit began with "Tu adore ta mari?" (Do you adore your husband.) "Oui." I answered "Tu as quatre enfants?" (You have four children?) "Oui." I answered. Then it went on to other students and then one student Mel asked another student one that we did not really understand and the teacher had to explain to us the meaning- so that it could be answered. (and when I say explain, I really mean the teacher acted it out more like charades). Then it was Mel's turn to be asked -so as quick as Jason could, he read out the longest question on the paper (kind of in return for her asking the long hard one to the other student ) . "A quelle heure vous passerez nous prendre?" Only it turned out after the teacher's explanation (charade) - Jason said, "So I just asked her, "What time are you going to pick me up to go to the movie." The whole class roared with laughter and Jason said, "Well this is awkward. Those are some dangerous questions."

The UPS guy drives a mercedes.

It is weird to see the UPS guy and all the big trucks being Mercedes. Here if someone has an American made car they are usually thought of as being rich, examples that I have seen are Pontiac Firebird, PT Cruiser, Hummer, Cadillac. They are several Ford cards sold here. They have some European commercials that you may (or may not) find funny. Examples CULTURAL WARNING: These are european commercials - content is not for animal lovers, or those with light stomachs!! Another cultural thing, We have a couple of German students in our class. We are always picking on them about having beer in their water thermos in class. Another student bought a beer and poured it in his thermos while he was out on break. I wasn't there we he returned and got a drink, but they said he was suprised.

Another funny word today, the French word for a dresser is commode. So, you put your clothes in a commode. There was another humerous moment, but I will let Angie share that one. Another strange thing: Words here as I said earlier are masculine or feminine. We found out today that the word feminine is masculine, try and make sense of that. I had to pray in French today. After I finished, I looked at the teacher to see what comment she had. She said," Wow". There was a moment of silence as the students, including me, didn't know how she meant it. Another student said, "Did God understand it?" She did end up meaning it positively.

Congrats, Krys (we see your name everywhere, it is a chain optometry store here, spelled the same way) for answering the last quiz, question. I will do more of those later. We had good services Sunday, attendence of 9, including my family. Angie and I both have been having many people come up to us and speak french, so we must be adapting some. We are learning more and more. JASON

Friday, January 25, 2008


The hardest thing about about French so far is the Liaison. That is the "slurring" of words together. For example, "Qu'est-ce c'est?" (What is that) sounds like "keskuhsay". You have to pay a lot of attention to the Liaisons. If you miss one speaking to a French person they may not even understand you. That has happened a couple of times in class where the teacher didn't understand what we were saying because we missed the Liaison.

QUIZ question for you: As you may know French has masculine and feminine nouns. Therefore I pose the following question. If I would say, "I am an American", I would say. "Je suis americain (masculine)." But if I said, "My nationality is American" I would say "Ma nationalité est americaine (feminine)." Any know why please respond with a comment.

Angie is in the Living room watching Star Academy (the French version of American Idol) and Celine Dion was just on there as guest. The Lord blessed us in a special way. Andrew (1 1/2 years old) hurt his arm again last night. Back at Thanksgiving he dislocated his Radius bone at his Elbow. It happened again last night, when I was helping him up. We knew that is what it was because he was not using in the same way as when it happened last time. So today we planned on making the appointment with the Pediatrician that we use here, who speaks English. However when Angie arrived at the school this morning to ask them about making an appointment, the principal said that one of the Language students is a Doctor (medecin). It happened to be Ian whose daughter is in the class with Lilia. He looked at it, found out that it had already popped back into place and explained more stuff to us. It worked out great.

Micah and Caleb sat in class with us Thursday (juedi). They did real well, and I was proud of them, and shocked. They both have been going to school okay for us now. I did have a funny experience one day this week. I walked Caleb to his classroom door and let him in and walked away, thankful that it went well. Suddenly I felt a tug and there he was behind me in tears. He said, "Daddy that was the wrong classroom." Oops (oh la la). Thankfully he calmed down quickly and I again dropped him off, at the correct room. Thank you for taking time to read and God Bless (Dieu vous bénisse), JASON

Psalm 23

We read this in Chapel and it was nice, even thought I can't read it that well, yet. Note: 45% of English is from French. It is interesting.

Psaumes 23 - Psaume of David
1. L'Eternel est mon berger: je ne manquerai de rien.
2. Il me fait reposer dans de verts pâurages, Il me dirige près des eaux paisibles.
3. Il restaure mon âme, Il me conduit dans les sentiers de la justice, a cause de son nom.
4. Quand je marche dans la vallée de l'ombre de la mort, Je ne crains aucun mal, car tu es avec moi: Ta houlette et ton bâton, voilà mon réconfort.
5. Tu dresses devant moi une table, En face de mes adversaires; Tu oins d'huile ma tête, Et ma coupe déborde.
6. Oui, le bonheur et la grâce m'accompagneront tous le jours de ma vie, Et je reviendrai dans la maison de l'Eternel pour la durée de mes jours.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Another day is finished (C'est finite). One thing humerous that we learned in language school today was the French word for a suit is costume. After school today we took the kids to a large park nearbye and let them play with several other children whose parents attend the language school. They had a great time. They were tired and fussy on the way home. I don't know what is causing it, maybe all the walking, but the kids are always hungry. We can feed the lunch, snacks, chips, drink and they will still be asking for more. The only thing we know to do is feed them more. Thursday we have a grève, a strike. All the public transportation and sevaral of the schools will not be working. Contrary to the US, things just shut down and people do without. We will have to find somewhere else for our two middle boys to be because all their teachers are striking. No one will take buses, trains, or subway. The people here in France do not seem to mind much, because they all like the freedom to do so themselves. I have found that many of the French seem to like to break the rules. It is illegal to honk your horn unless it is an emergency. You can guess how many times that gets broken. It is also against the law not to clean up after you dog has done his business on the sidewalk. All that I say is you better watch where you put you feet. Caleb has been saying a few things in french that I don't know. Nobody else does either though. He has a good friend at school that only speaks french, but they get along good. No school tommorrow but we are going to the lab to get some practice. God Bless, JASON

Monday, January 21, 2008

School and Strikes

Things are still going well. We received a few of our tests back today. We both passed. Angie did better than I did. There are several sounds in French that we have trouble distinguishing, for those familiar with french the "et" and the "est" for an example. I imagine one of these days it will become second nature. Some of the German students in our class shared this video with us It was funny. It is good to be in a class with other who are having the same struggles. Angie met with Lilia's teacher today after school for a two week evalutation. She knows Lilia well. She said she is very smart and competitive but doesn't want to learn sometimes. We have known that for years. I received a paper today from Caleb and Micah's teacher. Thursday there will be no school because the teachers and all the public transportation is going on strike. Our first strike. The weather cleared earlier today. It got up in the 50's and the ground almost dried up. So far I have seen puddles ever since we arrived. By this afternoon it was misting and a cold wind was blowing. It loks like it will be a cold morning. Actually though I think it is colder in Texas right now. God Bless, JASON

Friday, January 18, 2008


I wonder where it gets the time for this post. I am writing this at 8:53 pm (French - 20h53)local time (GMT+1) and it posts it at some US time. Just don't think that I am doing all this at 6:00 in the morning. We have finally got our bank account open, although we have not put any money into it yet. The hard part about finances here is the exchange rate. It is about $1.50 for one Euro. The best exchange rate you get is through banks and credit cards. However some credit cards charge you a exchange rate fee of between 1-2%. The best option for us so far has been to use cash. Normally is would be just as expensive to withdraw cash from ATMs here. Thankfully there is a popular bank over here that has an agreement with our bank in the States for free ATM withdrawals. That means we still get the good, rather better, exchange rate (currently about $1.47 for 1 euro) and no ATM fees. The checking account we have over her is interesting. The account is free. Checks are free and automatically delivered once you run out. Internet banking is free as well. A debit card (carte bleu) however is not free. They withdraw about 6.50 euros from your account monthly to pay for it. We decided not to get one of those yet. It seems at little odd though when we withdraw 200 euros from our account and then see on our statement $297.52.  Many of the songs here are in English. In the stores I hear a lot of English songs playing. That's all for now. JASON


Ok so hello from me! I thought I would share a little with you all. So far things are going well considering all the change we have gone through. It is difficult to be in a place where you can't understand what people are saying to you. Several times people have approached me and asked me questions (usually directions or the time) and I can't decipher what they are saying so I politely apolgize and say in French, "I am learning French", then some of them ask the question in English (which is why I know what the questions were). When Jason was down by the street waiting for Lilia's friend to be dropped by- just as Keisha and her mom stopped by a man walking by began to speak to Jason and he didn't have any idea what he was saying. Debbie (Keisha's mom) said, "He wants to know if this trashcan is yours." Jason responded with "no" and the man went on. Jason asked Debbie how she caught all that he said. She said she mainly caught the word "poubelle" for trashcan. At the bank I went after Jason to sign the papers. I had no appointment so the kind lady who spoke english was not available. So because I had not practiced any vocabulary before I went it took me a little while to figure out what to say. Finally I remembered the word for need and I could say I need signature:( and saying Excuze moi for not bieng able to think of what to say. Thankfully they were kind and did not seem frustrated with me. I did get them signed and thanked them and left. Today at school we had a test over all the things we have learned so far. Monday we will see how we are doing. I know there are 4or 5 I missed. Lilia had a test today on how to spell all the numbers 1-20. She thought it was just going to be 11-20. She wasn't too upset about her mistake. I think she learned last night that this is going to take more studying at home. I think she is right. Tomorrow Virginie (the new friend) is taking me to the store to get some things. It will be nice to have the car for the heavy things and to be able to stock up a little. Our kids are always hungry. I can't imagine what it must be like to have teenagers. Oh and enjoy the picture of Lilia and Keisha in the tiny elevator. Thanks for all your prayers. ANGIE

Other students

It has been neat being in such a multicultural city. Just walking down the street you can see people from all kinds of cultures. What is also interesting is the other students at our school. That all have very interesting backgrounds. I have noticed the people from Germany have trouble pronouncing the "v" sound. The students from England and Australia have trouble distinguishing from different kinds of "E" sounds. Americans have a lot of trouble with the french "r" sound, of which the germans have no trouble. Today we had the traditional "galette des rois". It is a dessert dish the french eat on January 6th in celebration of the Kings (rois) finding Jesus. There is a small toy in the desert and the person who gets the piece with the small toy gets to be the king or queen that day and choose who will wear the paper crown that came with it. It was pretty good and reminded me of buttermilk pie, not as good as Mema's. If you want to see a galette des rois and read more about the tradition click the link. Thanks for all the prayer and thoughts, God Bless, JASON

Our daily bread.

First, you have got to check out this video, , it is set in France and shares some of our lighter side struggles. Things have continued going well, in fact I am a little worried that things are going too well, I know that we are supposed to be going through "culture shock" and all that, maybe I am in denial. The food here has continued to be interesting. We have sampled several types of cheese that we enjoy. Sliced bread is expensive and not as large as we are used to, so we may try to swap over to the famous baguette. Thankfully chocolate is in abundance. We have not gone out to eat as I would have thought we would have been doing alot of. In the US people eat out more frequently than here, I thought that it would be hard to adjust to not eating out as much, but so far I have not had the desire to eat out at a restaurant (Angie Mentions here that it is "culture shock" not wanting to eat out. We have gone over the traditional French Dinner, which is a little overwhelming. It includes three to five courses, possibly as many as six or seven. One day we will be invited to all that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Funny & Interesting.

We had some interesting moments. First concerning the language barrier. In all of our class you can sense the frustration of not being able to communicate with others. There is a German couple in our class who speak very little English as well, I can only imagine how lonely they get. Twice now I have been asked directions by a French person and not been able to help them out except to say, "Je parle un peu de français, désolé." (CULTURAL EXPLANATION: The french especially in Paris love to help with directions, if you ask and they do not know, they might even help you find someone who knows, which happened to Angie last week. The will go somewhere not knowing where the place is located and just ask directions several times.) I did go to the bank today and get an appointment to set up our accoutn all by myself, and the teller spoke no english, pretty good huh. One of the students in our class was noticably having communication trouble when he asked the teacher how to say, "Don't rip me off you crazy baker!" Another interesting item, we found out that almost all the baptist churches here do not have a problem with Alocohol as a beverage conservatively; however many of the churches will not even baptize an individual if they smoke. I found that interesting seeing how smoking seemed to be socially accpetable in France and was not prohibited in restaurants until the day before we arrived. A hilarious moment happened last night. Angie and were in the bathroom (salle de bain, or WC) when Micah (3 yr old) came in to use the restroom. He was wearing Lilia's heelies (thoughs shoes with wheels built in). Through a lot of trouble and unsteadiness he managed to do his business and afterwards turned around and said, "Wew". Then he took them off to brush his teeth. You would have had to been there to see how funny it looked him trying to pull his pants up and down. I wish we could have taped it. Both the boys went to school yesterday without any tears, they just walked right in. That was a relief. Yesterday in class we went over how to say when you Birthday is. What are the odds that yesterday, two people in our class of ten had a birthday that day. And on of the kids of a classmate had a brithday, all that same day. There was a joyful singing of happy brithday (joyeaux anniversaire) and later one of the students bought everyone a Twix. Monday in Bible Language class, It was pointed out that part of our homework is to memorize the books of the Bible in french. Wow. That was something that I didn't even consider having to do. I going to have to memorize John 3:16 and the Roman road, etc. It seems a little overwheliming when you think about it, but we will just take a little at a time. Thanks for taking the time to read up on us, God bless, JASON

Monday, January 14, 2008


Just an interesting note about the weather. The last few days we have sunshine, clouds, rain, wind, and cold. We had all that every single day. I thought Texas weather changed fast. I woke up to sunshine, cloudy by noon, and rain in the afternoon. So far though it has not gotten below freezing. JASON

Saturday, January 12, 2008

School is in session.

School has been going well. We have learned a lot the last few days. We have almost surpassed what we learned in one semester of college French. The homework load has just begun to increase. I learned that French is spoken by one fourth of the worlds countries, and soon, hopefully, by two more people. The kids are doing well in school. Lilia is learning quite a bit, she catches little phrases and can play several games in French. She has a girl in her class from England which has been a big help when she is in the French class with the other kids. With Caleb it has been a little tougher. Not that he does not enjoy school, but that he is a sensitive one that doesn't like being away from Mom and Dad. He had to be convinced to go to school the last two days. He enjoys it once he is there. Thankfully boys have a similar language in crashes and other sounds. Micah has no problems at all, he is very easy going and doesn't care what's going on. He has a boy in his class that speaks English as well, and doesn't even know it. He will pick up the language pretty quick. Andrew seems not to mind the daycare at the language school. He only cries when he is sleepy. Every time we go to pick him up he is playing by himself with toys. He is pretty content. In case you were not aware we and the children and get two hours off for lunch in which most parents pick their kids up and take them home for lunch. It is good to be able to spend a leisurely lunch with the kids. We walk over and pick them up and bring them home, eat, and walk back and drop them off and then walk over to the language school. It ends up being a good hour just walking every day. It is kind of good not to have to really exercise but just to live and get good exercise. It is not just us, I only know one student at the language school that has a car. And if a Parisian had car they would probably still walk on good weather days. Speaking of weather it has been in the 30's and 40's with some rain and wind, everyday! At least it has not rained hard and not while we have been walking. God did bless with Virginie (one of the believers here) coming through here surgery a lot better than even the doctors expected. On an MRI two months ago she had severe scaring internally (stage 4 indometreosis) and they thought they would have to clean out with laser surgery and remove most of her female organs. When they opened her up for the surgery yesterday she had “unexplainably” improved and they did not have to remove any organs. Praise God. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think! JASON

Location, Location, Location

One week of school behind us. Things have been going well. So far it seems we go to the grocery store at least once every day or two, it seems to be what everyone does though. Since you only buy what you can carry and the food comes in smaller portions. For example the largest lunch meat package we could find was 6 slices. The largest milk we found came in one liter cartons. We are blessed to be in a good location with a medium sized supermarket, Franprix, just a block from us. Within a block of us we have a hair salon, butcher shop, bakery, fruit and vegetable store, 2 insurance agencies, a bank, bookstore, post office, real estate office, an Asian restaurant, 2 sandwich shops, movie rental store, the tourist office and several more that I have not noticed or recognized yet. Of course there are about 2,000 people that live withing a mile of us. Ease of access is one nice thing about city life. So far we have found some interesting things at the supermarket. They have a lot of snack foods. I found out today that this is because all the kids have a snack after school because supper is not usually until around 7:30 at night. You do have to look at the prices on items. I picked up a small box of chocolates from the store as a little surprise for Angie and the kids. I didn't pay attention to the price, just assuming that it was reasonable. Angie saw the receipt later and noticed that it was 13 Euro, about $20. No more of that. Yesterday I went to pick up some meat and noticed something that resembled beef tips. After bringing it home I noticed Angie went for the French dictionary right away, not a good sign. It ended up being beef kidney, which wasn't bad. Angie didn't eat any. We are also located just across the corner from the bus stop and about 5 minute walk from the train stop. JASON

Sunday, January 6, 2008

One week in.

We had our first sunday services today. They went well. We studied Acts 13:1-4 and Acts 14:21-28, about our plans here, patterning Pauls Examples. It is unusual walking 20 minutes and taking a 15 minute train ride to Church, but that is life here. We are trying to get used to shopping a lot. Many people go to the store almost every day. Things are a little more expensive and you get a little less. Our grocery bill for the first week was over $300. We were expection $250. That should get a little lower, since we now have some basics. The exchange rate really gets you. I got 200 euros out of the bank and it ends up being $295. That kind of hurts, but we new this when we were preparing, and God sure knew it. I am amazed daily by the French. They are not thought of as being "nice" and yet I have yet to see an elderly person have to stand up on the bus or subway. Someone always offers them a seat. Today, I went the local grocery store to purchase some items, after ringing all of the stuff it came out to 16,92 euros (note" the French swap the period and the comma in numbers). The store would not take my card and all I had was 16,42 including all my change. Right when I was picking what to put back and lady in the line gave ,50 to cover the costs. I look forward to seeing more ways in the future. Right now, I am going to bed, Angie and I and the kids start school tommorrow and we need sleep. I am ready to speak french. I get tired of giving that deer in the headlights look when someone says something to me :). Bonne Nuit. JASON

We are here.

We made it! The flight went well, the kids slept pretty good. The were able to pick what movie they wanted to watch on the flight from detroit to paris and they watched ratattouille. Yvain met us at the airport, none of our luggage was lost thankfully. I am on the WIFI at the school right now. We are staying at the school apartment tonight as well because they wanted to do another few things in our apartment, i will a picture of the apartment. It is really nice they are making it very personals, they even have a rug for the boys room with roads on it. We had a good night, everyone went to sleep about 9 pm and everyone but caleb was awake at 4 am. We then all went back to sleep and slept till about 11 am. We went to the grocery store and looked at the apartment some more. We have met several of the other language school students, they are all nice, Lilia is playing with another family right now, they have three girls and one boy. This next week we have to work at getting our papers translated, getting the kids shots, and getting them registered in school. Lilia has already met three girls that will be in the same school as she will. Anyways, thanks for the prayers and God Bless, JASON

First few Days in France

Hello everyone, Thank you all for your prayers. It has been a good few days. Our flights went very smoothly. We always waited til the last to get off the plane which can make for an interesting experience. Once we heard a tarmac worker apologizing for taking 15 minutes to get the skyway to the plane because they didn't have it turned on properly. Later in Paris by the time we got off and got into the airport the doors were locked and we couldn't get in. Fortunatley there were two workers coming back from the plane and after several tries they got the door unlocked. Then when we found our way to customs they workers had pity on us when they saw and counted our four (un, deux, trois, quatre) and let us go to the front of a new line and even go to the check out for EU countries. This of course made another line upset because our line had to alternate with their line due to the one worker (they opened a new line but no employee was at it) and now they would have to wait twice as long. Our friend Yvain and another helper (Gabriel, pronounced like the female in english) was waiting for us at the airport and we rode to the school without any problems. At the school we met Saraly, the director and Pierre, the President and we followed them to the apartment to drop off our luggage. The apartment is nice, downtown, mostly businesses for neighbors I think. I'll send pictures again after we move in tomorrow. Natcha, the housing director has only had the keys to this apartment for one week and she has been very busy furnishing it and fixing it up for us. She and her family have been working quite hard on it even during these holidays. Afterwards we had lunch back at the school. We were served pizza. Sadly, Lilia's words were, 'This isn't pizza.' Thankfully she whispered. Caleb came to me and said, 'Mom could you go tell them I want pepperoni, please.' At lunch we met an array of people. Other sudents who were passing through the communal kitchen. Two american students, who have most recently come from Nairobi, Kenya, have adopted us to some extent, Karen and Frank Mills. Karen who previously was a french teacher is taking some cultural classes and Frank began learning in August. They have been most helpful, by cooking us dinner our first night and walked with us to the grocery store and the pharmacy today. At the pharmacy she was very helpful in translating the need for tuberculosis test we need before the children can receive the TB vaccination, which they must have before they can attend school. This evening we had spaghetti for dinner which was quite good and Lilia said it tasted the same as she was used to. After dinner Natcha came in and gave me the keys to the apartment but they will want to do a few more things to it later. She said we will only have hot water at night if we run out during the day it is really expensive to get more and that electricity is cheaper at night if we can keep things off during the day (like the heaters) it will help the bill- a very important thing to know. We have met many other students and will meet many more after the holidays. Lilia and Caleb have met new friends from these families. Even went over and played for a little while. This afternoon I went to the little store down the street to get Jason some Coke or other caffeinated product. While there I got in the shorter line. Then a man came up to ask which line I was in because our line was long and had to curve around to the other line. I had to say I'm sorry I don't speak French then in English he said I'm behind you. Later a lady cut in front of me out of nowhere. I was going to let her because I don't know what the culture is or how to tell her I was in line. But the man behind me let her know we were in line and she moved. Also as I neared the checkout there was a man buying batteries and needed one more package. He was telling the cashier but she couldn't reach them. I was getting a little nervous because I was right beside them- then sure enough he began asking me to reach them. Of course I had no idea which ones he needed and there were many to choose from and I couldn't understand what he was saying so I reached for one and held it up. He shook his head and said many other things and motioned further down and I picked another and that was the one, thankfully. So it was nice that I didn't have to look like an ignorant person- which will happen on many other occasions I am sure and my rescuer behind me didn't have to help out again. Although I'm sure he got a good laugh at my stab in the dark with those batteries. Oh yes I did find Jason Pepsi which was nice since he prefers that to Coke.THanks for the prayers! ANGIE