Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – Family Life


Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – Family Life
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – Family Life

I come from a loud obnoxious large Irish family of farmers, when we’re together we are either fighting, eating, or drinking. In a way I expected to be placed with a loud family such as mine, but what I got was nothing like that at all. 


Kelsey Hamilton

Axelle comes from a small urban family, her parents and her older sister, their small house sat in what we would call a development, and had that perfect charm to it as most developments perceive to have. When I was first introduced to Axelle, and her life I was unsure. Why? Well because I have never lived a quiet life, with a small family. For me I know this was a new adventure and was thankful that I got the opportunity to be placed with a student with a family such as Axelle’s. Her parents went to work in the morning her father a Train conductor, something that is so common there that is a trade here, her mother worked in an office just in the town they liven in Sur-Noyal and Axelle was the student. We took the train to school everyday, a twenty-five minute ride. Something we would find possibly odd, if we lived twenty or so miles from the school. (Public transportation is definitely a daily need in the French culture!) 

Their lifestyle was quaint, dinner at the same time every night, breakfast together in the morning. Everything had a schedule and pattern. The house was small but sheik, with mostly stylized décor filling the house. In a way made me feel like I was in a museum, but one where you could touch everything. Everything had a place, the lawn was trimmed, bushes rounded, and flowers in bloom. For me this was new, I come from a farm a place where there is never order half the time, and cleanliness well it isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind stepping onto our ground. Living in a development wasn’t what I had in mind when thinking about going to France, but living a lifestyle with a culture I have never leaned much about was, so I was willing to try everything new. 

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

Breakfast was one of the first things I came to find differently my first night with the family. Instead of grabbing a pop-tart and being on the go,  we sat down had a cup of coffee, a small bisque with what she called “Julle du Mures” (Blackberry Jam). It was different, butter was spread on everything, (but not in the large amounts like we tend to do) , and jam always to top it. From the small breads to the small crackers she gave me as a snack everything was rich with a sweet taste, and never lacked flavor. I learned quick that breakfast was a very small meal, lunch was medium, but dinner? That was a three-hour, set some time aside, full out, five-course meal and that never ceased to amaze me. From the crepe’s to the croissants, and vegetable pie entrees, I always began the meal thinking I think I might starve, then finish thinking I had eaten too much, (and didn’t even finish what was on my plate, but I always did.) The family always wanted me to experience something new, and they we’re very good to me always introducing a new food, or drink that complimented the meal.  

Her parents were inviting, always asking me to tell them more about my life, and telling me more about theirs. Seeing that there was a language barrier between us at some points we always had the French-English dictionary (that they pulled out), or vice versa to translate and always keep the conversation going. It made me feel more welcomed than anything.

Looking back I am glad I got to see the French culture through different eyes than what I am use to. I got to see the French culture through an urban family, experiencing their everyday life, and living it with them. It is something that has taught me to open my mind and not be afraid of the unknown.

Learn More: Study abroad with Modern Languages @ FLCC

– Kelsey Hamilton

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