The people were such an important part of our experience

Merci à toutes les personnes qui nous ont souri. 
À toutes les personnes qui ont fait un 
effort pour nous parler. 
À toutes les personnes qui nous ont acceptés dans leur communauté. 
Nous te remercions du fond du coeur 💕

From the moment we arrived in Beaumes-de-Venise we knew that the people that lived there would have an impact on our experience. We didn't know how much of an impact of course until time went on, but judging by our first trip to the grocery store U Express we quickly realized how sweet this French town's inhabitants were. If you're from Beaumes or have been there, I'm pretty sure you know what/whom I am speaking of. 

As the days went on I slowly began to build connections, to give and receive more bonjours and bisous, to feel more comfortable attempting to use my limited knowledge of the French language. It took a while... maybe a month and a half? I remember the first mom from school that struck up a converstaion and it will change the way I approach newcomers forever. Never again will I hang back and wait to speak when there is someone new at our school or club/team etc. It felt so good to be welcomed. It can be so intimidating not knowing anyone and feeling nervous speaking a new language. I remember understanding only parts of the conversation but being so happy that she gave me her contact information and that I should text or call if I had any questions or needed help with anything. Merci :) Thank you to everyone that reached out to us, especially our children - you and your childrens' extra effort to include our kids was very evident 💖

We found that Beaumes was full of people with hearts of gold. People that took the time to say hello or 'coucou!' and smile, that were accepting, encouraging, sweet, and extremely generous. We were lent and offered so many things... Local merchants were so welcoming, friendly, giving, and always made time to talk.  One thing we noticed throughout the six months is that no one was in a hurry. Here in Victoria it always seems like we are in a rush; rushing to get out of the grocery store, rushing to drop kids off at school, trying to see how many errands we can fit into a tiny amount of time.  

I could talk about everyone individually but I don’t want to forget anyone…  and I don’t think I would do you all justice. I hope one day to be able to return the favours that were done for us during our trip.  Please know that we appreciated all of you :) 

Before arriving in France I was told that I should join a club or organization of some sort where French was spoken but wasn’t a French class. I was introduced to the active group called Combes et Crêtes .  I decided to join the running group that took place every Wednesday night in our town at the stade (soccer field in town). I started out slow in comparison to the extremely fit men and women that run crazy trail races for breakfast. Our coach had a plan for each Wednesday session filled with interval training, warm ups, cool downs, and agility activities. It was intimidating being in a group of native French speakers speaking quickly and running even faster. Plus, I was often the only female there… being competitive yet unable to run faster than any of them made me work extra hard. I always looked forward to my Wednesday night runs and the challenge of understanding what it was that I had to do :-p Thank you for the laughs, the exercise, and the good memories dear running friends!

I wish I had photos of everyone!


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