One of the teachers that I work with at the lycée was kind enough to invite me to his family’s home for lunch one Sunday afternoon. This was it; the moment of truth. Before leaving for France people would ask me what I was most nervous about. Without fail my answer was always as follows: I am afraid a teacher will invite me over to their house for dinner and serve duck or rabbit. My biggest fear about moving to France was indeed the prospect of not being able to refuse a home-cooked meal of duck in order to avoid being rude or disrespectful.
Miraculously (or probably not so miraculously, as I do tend to have a flair for the dramatics) my fears were never realized. Christophe and his family served a delicious meal of baked chicken, basmati rice, eggplant, cucumber, and red pepper, followed by a sampling of a few lighter French cheeses. All of this was consumed on the patio with a beautiful view of the surrounding villages and mountains.
After the epic saga that is lunch (aperitif, meal, coffee/tea, dessert) we played a rousing game of pétanque (the preferred pastime of elderly Frenchmen). Christophe was both shocked and amazed to discover that a.) in the States pétanque is called bocce ball, and b.) I am actually quite good at it! My team nearly won. I have to say Christophe was relieved his team managed to pull through in the end. It would be bad form for the person on the losing end if the American won her first ever round of pétanque in France.
I spent an enjoyable afternoon in the hills above Gattières, a village just west of Nice. Christophe and his family were very welcoming, just as all of the professors I work with at the lycée have been. I am very fortunate to be working with colleagues that have offered help and friendship at every turn.