Fitting in France

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That’s it. I really feel like a parisian by now. The city is beautiful and the people are amazing. The second week has proven to be more challenging than the first one because now we deep dived into the course materials and the work has begun. So far I like how the program is scheduled with courses taking place in the afternoons/evenings which give us our mornings free.

Covid is still a reality in Paris though with cases skyrocketing. We’ve had a few cases among students and professors in our program and we are taking all precautions to prevent an outbreak.

The highlight of the second week was the day trip we took to Lyon, about 400 kilometers from Paris. The TGV (high speed train) ran it in a little under two hours. Lyon is an exciting city too. It has a lot of universities and saw the birth of French cinema thanks to the Lumiere brothers. We visited the house they were born in and the studio they used to work back in the 19th century to develop photography films and subsequently make movies.

Our trip started at the museum des Beaux-Arts where we saw many artifacts from around the world. We experienced first hand how the French masterfully preserved artworks from the early European civilization century and now successfully profit from it. Sadly, there were also art pieces from the former colonial territories and the lack of information about these valuable pieces led me to believe that many were seized during the colonial period.

We closed the week by going to Gwoka dance workshop. The Gwoka is a traditional dance from the island Guadeloupe which is one of the French territories in the Caribbean. The drum is quite similar to the one we use in west africa and the danse is very poetic. Although it requires physical effort it is also very gracious, and the drummer follows the dancer. It is almost as though they were playing a mind game with each one trying to outsmart the other but in a playful manner.

The second week went well. I have fully transitioned into Parisian life, and I feel like I am part of the city. À bientot for the next adventures.