"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God." (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

Monday, December 7, 2009

I love Paris in the winter...

The next stop on our trip home was a quick visit to some friends in Grenoble, France. We left the beautiful Pyrenees behind and 7 hours later were greeted by the Belledonne and the Chartreuses mountain ranges that cradle the city of Grenoble between them. We were now not too far from the Italian border! We were also greeted at the train station by friends Marie-Neige and Perrine, two young French nurses who spent several weeks working at the medical dispensary in Mahadaga just over a year ago. We stayed with Marie-Neige's family, who was incredibly welcoming. Caleb and Joel also had the chance to catch up with their friend, Joshua Lewis, the morning before we left Grenoble. Joshua and his parents, Mark and Carine, and his sister Anaelle, spent 2 years serving with SIM in Fada, Burkina Faso. We often stopped off in Fada on our trips to the capital and the boys had great fun together. The Lewis family recently returned to France after finishing their ministry commitment in Burkina Faso, so it was nice for Caleb to be able to see his friend again so soon!
joshua and boys web large
We left Grenoble two days later for a mini family vacation in Paris. We were able to find a small, reasonably-priced one-bedroom apartment for 3 nights in downtown Paris, near the Cite Universitaire (across from Parc Montsouris, for those of you who are familiar with Paris or who want to look it up on the map). This gave us the flexibility to make our own meals and the location made it easier to get around to see some of the sites. We braved the metro system and are now feeling like Paris metro veterans, though the first few experiences were a bit nerve-racking, especially with 2 little boys in tow!
metro large
We didn't end up giving ourselves much time to actually "tour" Paris, but we couldn't fathom returning to the US without having seen anything (imagine all the questions!), so on Wednesday afternoon we strapped the two boys to our backs (me, African-style and Dale using a back-pack carrier) and set off to see the sites. Our first stop was, of course, the all-important restaurant Quick, the French version of McDonalds. But once we had the boys' bellies filled, we were free to play the tourist part. The weather was gloomy and cold, but we were undaunted, determined to tour Paris or bust! In 8 hours we managed to visit Notre Dame (try keeping 2 boys who love hearing their echo quiet in a big place like that!), Sacre Coeur (wish we had known about the furnicular on the way up!), the Arc de Triomphe (Champs Elysees was beautifully decorated for Christmas, but we were too tired to walk along it), and the Eiffel Tower (there was a mixture of rain and sleet up on the top!). At the end of it all, we stopped for some delicious hot chocolate and a freshly made chocolate banana crepe. That was probably the best part of the whole day!:0)
notre dame web largesacre coeur web large
arc de triomphe web largeeiffel tower web large
Thursday morning we had a crazy and "never-going-to-do-that-again" experience trying to catch our flight to Dublin. Let's just say that lugging over 90 kilos worth of luggage and one small toddler (Caleb was wonderful about walking, thank goodness!) around the city and metro system is no easy feat! Nonetheless, we arrived safely in Dublin and have spent the last several days relaxing, staying in out of the cold (read: sorry, no pictures!), and visiting with Dale's aunt, uncle and cousins. Tomorrow morning we board the plane again for the USA! We will go straight on to SIM USA headquarters in Charlotte and stop off to visit more relatives in North Carolina before heading home, but it won't be long now!

1 comment:

  1. Hello! super voyage!Je suis contente d'apprendre que vous avez pu bien profiter de pAris et de l'Irlande, bientôt aux USA? Alors très bonne fête de Noël et bon anniversaire à Jésus dans chaque continent!