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Fête des moutons!

Friday the 12th of May
Friday fun day! I got out of school at 11 today – I would have usually gotten out at 2:40, but since Norah and I were taking the train to go to Saint-Martin-de-Crau at around 3, Laurent said that I should eat with them at the house so I would have some time to get ready. After eating, I packed my backpack for the weekend trip and laid in my bed with Vermicelle for a bit, before driving to the train station with Norah and Laurent.

There are 2 ways to get to the train station from our house – one of them is a little shorter, so we usually take that route, but since there is a lot of construction work going on in Vienne right now, it takes forever to get to the city center. We started out on that road, but soon realized that it would take forever to get there, so we turned around and took the second road.

When we were halfway there, we were blocked by the fire department, as they were putting out a fire in an apartment building. We waited a little to see if they would move, but after 5 minutes it became clear that they were not going anywhere, so we turned around again and took the same route as before and we arrived about 20 minutes later then we would have if we had just stayed there – but it was thundering and lightning-ing, which I love, so I didn’t really care.

Saturday the 13th of May
So the whole reason that we were in Saint-Martin for the weekend is because it is the “fête des moutons” (sheep festival), where the town celebrates the sheep going up to the mountains for the summer to graze. There were quite a lot of festivities planned for the weekend, and we all wanted to see the traditional clothes and music of the town, so we tried to attend as many events as possible.

The first event of the day was at 11 in front of the city hall. Here, we saw some international groups (1 group was from Austria!) preform traditional dances and songs.


After this, Norah and I went to the store to buy some ingredients for the cookies that I would be making after lunch – Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies! They turned out really well! I love the combination of sweet and salty, so these were a huge hit for me – will definitely have to make these again when I’m back in Austria. After the cookies, Norah and I spent some time outside playing with the dogs and taking pictures.

Then at 4:30, we walked back to the city hall (it’s like a 5 minute walk from where her Grandma lives) and saw some more dances (this time from different regions in France) and songs.

This finished with a big parade through the town with all of the groups that we had seen that day. It was supposed to end with all of the sheep (I believe around 2000), but they didn’t arrive until Norah and I had already left ;( We met up with Aline after she had finished working and drove into the city center to find a place to eat dinner. I had a great day with all of the festivities and felt like I got closer to Norah, more in like an older sister way, which, let me tell you, is exhausting. Shout out to all the older sisters and brothers out there 😂!

Sunday the 14th of May
The first activity of the day was at 10:30 – the second parade! (Basically the exact same one as yesterday) This time, we went with Aline and we saw the sheeps! (I know that sheep is plural, but sheeps sounds cuter) All 2000 of them! I was very excited to see them all, but it went by very quickly. After the parade, there were a bunch of pigeons that were released into the sky, which was fun to watch, but a little frightening, because they flew very close to the ground.

We also saw a bunch of people from Saint-Martin acting as if it were 100 years ago or something – they were doing the daily jobs from that time.
This afternoon, we went to the arena to watch a sheep dog presentation - they showed us 4 sheep dogs of different ages (all border collies), and put 5 sheep into the arena with each dog.


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I am leaving France tomorrow. I don't know exactly how I feel about this fact. So much about me has changed here and I feel like I will be leaving an important part of myself behind when I return home. It feels kind of weird to say "return home", because Vienne has become my home. Not just as in the place that I reside, but where I feel comfortable and among family. I have so many memories in this house, positive and negative, that leaving it is heart-breaking. It's not the same feeling as when I left Austria, because I knew that I would have something to return to and that I would be leaving for only 5 months, and now I know that I will never return to this house or go to the same lycée with the same people which is really sad right now.

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