Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Life in Albertville.

Hello Everyone! =)
Welcome to Albertville!
Albertville is located in the Savoie region in Southern France in the French Alps.
I thought I'd give a tour on life here and the things that keep us busy. So feel free to come along and see where I live, work and play preparing for Gabon. I'll let you know now there A LOT of photos, so feel free to skim as little or as much as you'd like =)

Entrance to the center off of the small road: chemin des Galibouds

Entering the center

The family building

Classrooms and Singles' housing

Recycling bins, you can be fined in France for not recycling!

Main entrance to the school and where I live

Secured entry: keeping the singles safe at night

Mail boxes!

The "celibataires'" hallway- (aka singles', not celebrity or celibate hallway as some have guessed ;-)

Common kitchen

Cooking with 6 girls in this kitchen is always an adventure- but we enjoy it =)

Pantry for 6 of us.

Common living area

DVD player plays both region 1 and region 2 dvd's - so helpful!
Pulley system for the wood shutters outside our windows (see below)

The shutters are adjustable to let in some light or to be completely shut, it's amazing how much warmer it is with the shutters down, especially with the single paned windows. 

Communal bathroom

French throne


My room =)

Making use of limited space

So these walls between rooms alternate storage between the rooms. My room is right next to the common area and kitchen, so I have a storage closet and a sink in a closet on my side, and on the between is the mint green wall, which is the pantry in the common area on the other side of the wall. It struck me as kind of funny at first, but it's efficient!

More use of storage...

My funny little sink in a closet =)

It's been really helpful, especially not having a private bath.

The view out my window - God's magnificience in the Alps.

Conference room
We have a devotional and prayer in this room every morning at 8:40 before class. Each student must lead a devotional in French at some point throughout the semester.  On Fridays we have a time of worship together (again in French =) I've enjoyed getting involved playing violin on the worship team.

Our classroom
There are five classes of French at the school. I've been put with a class that started last September, so it was difficult to jump into the middle of a class at first, but now I'm really enjoying it growing a lot in my French. 

Madame Anne
We do a variety of reading, writing, grammar, listening, speaking exercises, and of course, no English is allowed in class. We try to keep English to a minimum outside of class too. Living with 2 girls from Germany, a girl from Holland, a girl from Britain and a couple girls from the States makes it easier, as French is our common language.
Don't know what we'd do with out the mural ;-)
We have class from 8:40-11:15 and 1:45-4:15 Mon, Tues, Thursday, Friday. No class on Wednesday and long lunch breaks which mirrors the cultural school schedule in France nationwide.

the laboratoire
The laboratoire is one method we use to practice our pronunciation. We respond back to oral exercises on the computer, and Madame Anne sits at a master computer where she can link in to listen to each of us individually and give us feedback. It's definitely not a student's favorite place in the world, but I think it does help. Side note: the school is getting new computers!  

National Crepe Day!

Learning to make crepes on a Friday afternoon- a great way to end a week of French class! 

SCHOOL FIELD TRIP: skiing in the French Alps! 
I had never gone skiing before, but what better place to learn! I didn't do anything spectacular- rocked the bunny hill all day =), but I got over being afraid of sliding around on snow on skis and actually had fun. I look forward to learning more in the future.

 On the weekends it's fun to visit places for the day near by in the region. One Sunday the girls and I made the 30 min walk up to Conflans. Conflans is a medieval city on the slopes overlooking Albertville. There was hardly anyone around and nothing was open because it was Sunday, so we had a wonderful time exploring the old "city" and soaking in the panoramic views. Come along with us and enjoy Conflan...=)
The bridge between Albertville and the road to Conflan

Two of our grocery stores, Lidl (similar to Aldi) and Carrefore (sim to Kroger) are within a 15 min walk (one-way) from the center. There is a store called Geant (sim to Target) that is a 30 min walk one way from the center. I walked there one Wednesday just for a good walk and to visit the bigger store. These are the views I passed along the way. The Olympic facilities still remain from the 1992 Winter Olympics which were held in Albertville. Last week they celebrated their 20th anniversary. 

The old vacant house next to the school- doesn't look like something straight out of a novel or a movie? The school is considering purchasing it to expand their housing availability.

The church we attend, around the corner from school
 I've enjoyed getting involved in the nursery and have started playing violin on the worship team. We have one service, 10-11:45. The church celebrates communion every Sunday. I am learning to connect with God and hear from Him in a language that is not my own.

The sanctuary
The nursery

A couple of weekends ago, the girls and I took a Saturday and frolicked around the nearby town of Annecy. It is about a 45 min drive from school, so we enjoyed getting out and about enjoying the old architecture, market and the contrast with the modern-day mall located in the "modern" part of town. We also enjoyed some French baking =)

Carey- with the C&MA to Mali

Library and theatre in Albertville
The old church in Albertville

....and home sweet home again back in Albertville.
As I write this, I am sitting in our living room, snow is
falling outside our window, Jodi is in the kitchen trying to make chocolate chip cookies with French ingredients and
measurements- always an adventure =) And I am sitting on
the couch with Renate (a teenage girl from Germany who is
here for the year practicing her French), and introducing her
to her very first viewing of the Sound of Music! =)
Always something new.....

Hope and pray you are all doing well!

Love From Albertville,
           ~ Amanda


  1. It's so cool to hear about all that you are doing!!! But you are a stinker! Your first time skiing is in the Alps! you are forever ruined ;) But i can't think of a better place to learn. Sounds like you did an amazing job! We are proud of you....and for many reasons :) Keep up the good work! Study Hard!

  2. Thanks so much for the tour! I think and I pray for you often! I love being able to envision what life is like for you! When can we catch up?