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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Les Aventures de Madame Beaubien: Ride the French Train




If you want an experience of public transportation, you can't miss the French trains. Look at this sleek machine!!  Beautiful, clean, smooth ride, efficient....and they run all times of the day. The French train is NOTHING like Amtrak. I love Amtrak as I love trains, especially when they crisscross the country. But Amtrak is limited by poor tracks and it is secondary to the freight trains. Just one more thing that makes America NOT great. 

I met, Henrik, a young German college student who is traveling in France to visit a friend who is in his "gap year" between high school and college. This young man (sorry I didn't take a photo of him :( ) is studying geography and politics. He conducted a research project in college through the Erasmus Program (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students), a European Union (EU) student exchange program established in 1987 for education, training, youth and sports.

Henrik is preparing himself for professional leadership positions that will have a global focus. He seems to be a very serious student aware of the importance of climate change and peace among nations. It is young people like him who will make the transition into the future of a new world that Baby Boomers can't even conceive. Henrik reminds me of the fine young people I worked with at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University. 

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Patty and I left LePuy on Saturday to head for Lyon where we will take 4 weeks of classes at Inflexyon, a language school. Line drove us to the train station and took our picture--two happy women on their way to French language nivana, the ultimate purpose of this trip to France. We will live im separate convents where the sisters do NOT speak English. The advantage to this arrangement is that we will not be tempted to speak English to one another and we will be forced to communicate in French. This is, really, the only way to learn French--or any language.

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