Thursday, May 4, 2017

Le Mans

Picture magical fairytale land

Picture countryside to die for with a mix of fields for days

Picture feudalism

Picture sheep and cows (skinny cows)

My favorite tree in the's a dirt field with one lone tree in the center. It struck me how beautiful a tree can be even though it is standing alone. 

Houses built in the 1700’s that look like cottages

This is the gite that we stayed in. 

How cute is this blue door though?

And maybe…that will help you get a glimpse of the dream land that was Marigne-Laille.

We were supposed to arrive to this town by bus on Monday morning, but our friends got lost that were on a different flight and somehow ended up at our hotel at 2:30 in the morning. It was so wild. I was sound asleep and all the sudden I wake up to loud banging on the door. Then the names “Sariah, Marie….” Being whispered through the door. I somehow flew out of bed and made it to the door, to find my two friends standing there. We quickly established a new plan and decided to drive in their car out of the city all together to make it there safely.

I will admit I was pretty stressed to be driving out of Paris in a car with a student who hasn’t driven stick shift in years taking the wheel. We prayed for a miracle and then we were on the road. I was upfront and the designated navigator. And as you can tell…we made it…otherwise this would be a lot harder of a story to tell.

We met up with a French family that our professor knew and ate quish while talking about the history of the LDS church in France. It was fascinating to be reminded of the short history of the church in France and to realize the tremendous sacrifice of the members to have carried the work forward. They are just like the pioneers, but for their country. I am grateful they will now have the opportunity to partake of the temple.

Also, I fell in love with this sweet six year old girl Eoywn. She speaks so fast that I have to really listen to understand but she will just sit on my lap and play with me. She even fell asleep on my lap. It’s the cutest. And then, at the end of the night, her mom told her to give everyone kissed goodbye, and she ran up to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek and everyone else in the room. AH…my heart melted. If it is possible, I hope that I can teach my daughter one day. She will win over a crowd that's for sure.

On Tuesday, we had our first tour of an archive in Sarthe. It was fascinating to see all of the tools they used to preserve the records. They dehumidify, keep cool, and dim the lights to protect all of the documents, as well as, take pictures/scan the images to have them online for the people to view and to have a lasting image of. It was wild to look at a civil registration birth record in REAL LIFE. No computer image for me baby. It looked so fragile and so precious. I was almost afraid to interact with it.

Wednesday was a fun packed day. It felt a little cramped sitting in the back of an 8 passenger van. Guess who got the middle…this girl. I felt a little carsick there, so I spent most of the time sleeping. But in between the sleeping, I did some pretty cool things.

First, we went to Avranches to the Musee de Cluny which is a paleography museum and learned about how they made paper, parchment, and the other tools to create medieval manuscripts. It was super interactive which made it fun. I colored some pictures, and even used magnets to make a sweet manuscript of my own.

We made our very own manuscript!

My favorite little Europe family

Then, we got to eat a wonderful French lunch with my group and see the Bayeaux Tapestry, and the American Military Cemetary in Normany at Omaha Beach.

It was a really neat experience to look at all of the names of the U.S. soldiers that died in WWII. It takes you back and makes you really think. How can such a beautiful place have been such a bloody battlefield? Kind of a weird thought.

I did realize I have a lot to learn. That always happens. You get to a point where you are about to start a new journey and you realize that you have the world to learn. And after a quick anxiety attack, comes the peace and confidence that all is possible. And you know what, my greatest joys have come from putting some definite blood, sweat and tears in to something while being completely out of my comfort zone.

So here I go…in my little magical fairytale country land…learning lots of French and conquering me some Family History. Wish me luck!

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