Summertime and the livin’ is easy, work is abundant and our time is flying by. Alfonz and I are enjoying our new line of work, even though we literally fall into our beds at night. My favourite part of being a ‘Homestay’ family is trying to adapt the lessons for the children’s own personal issues with the English language. I like finding out their interests and creating lesson plans to get them excited about the projects for the week. I really wish I went to university for teaching, as it gives me amazing amounts of fulfillment.
Our summer is full of activity, and is the reason I haven’t been posting anything new in the last seven weeks. We take the children along the canal cycling and canoeing. We try to walk around our village each week sharing our village’s heritage and climbing our bell tower to show the beautiful views of the surrounding villages. You can see all the way to the Pyrenees mountains to the south on a clear day and the Black Mountains to the North. You can trace the path of the Canal du Midi winding through the countryside, and I love how our village looks from above; the pinkish tile rooftops touching with little meandering paths between.
The Bishop of Narbonne once lived here, and our Foyer is now a museum with a well preserved painted roof and wall from the 14th century. Our collegial was never finished in Capestang. Economic hardship during the 100 year war, and a major flood rerouted the river 10 kilometers away from Capestang, leaving floodplains loaded with disease. The black plague also hit Europe and killed thousands of locals. During this time of change and adversity in the 14th century, they quickly finished the bell tower, and left building the rest of the church in Capestang and the sister church in Narbonne, for another time, which never came. If you see our church, the original 11th century church remains, and every 100 years they built a new section behind it to accommodate the growing population. Throughout our village are remnants of the 11th-14th centuries.
We also visit nearby tourist attraction; Carcassonne Castle, Minerve, The Oppidum, Bezier’s nine locks, and natural attractions like; the Mediterranean beaches, River Orb, Aude and Cesse, Lake Salagou and Lake Homps. Sometimes we pick fruit, or visit a local market. It always varies. The biggest attraction to our area is the free music festivals and traditional holiday festivals. We have been to many and stay out late dancing, talking with friends and singing. It is a good life, full of activities and lots to see.
The children during rainy days want to fun things like bowling, Laser Tag, go to the movies so we accommodate. Others want to relax and work on their tan or bake and cook with me. Our family does our best to make a very special holiday for the children living with us, and already we have students returning for another vacation break. I have a feeling we will watch many of these children grow up to become amazing people, and the thought that Daniel and Angelina get to have strong good examples to grow up around, makes me very happy.
On a food note, we have been eating well, and serving the children that stay with us some of their favourites but also some new dishes for them to try; chili, stews, pancakes, English style breakfast, and Hungarian food. They are not starving in our home by no means, and we try to substitute organic ingredients wherever we can. I always ask what is their favourite food and try to make it.
Our summer is nearly half over and we have been all over the region, eaten a variety of foods and visited many sites. I will update in a few weeks again, with some more photos of our summer as a homestay family. That’s life in the Languedoc for the Hamori family!