On Monday Ella came home with four lemon-sugar crêpes, a gift from her primary teacher (who also happens to be her English teacher). It was a stunning act of kindness, given that Ella had casually mentioned that she likes crêpes. Add in that her teacher has two young children at home and the fact that she took the time to do this kindness for not just Ella but our entire family is even more moving. This is exactly the kind of treatment we are getting everywhere we go in France. People are being so, so nice to us. As difficult as aspects of being in a French school have been Ella, there is no denying how thoughtful and accommodating her teachers are being.
On a separate subject but one that is quite pronounced here, the demonstrations about the Pension Act have increased throughout the country and in Nantes. Chloe reports that parts of the university have been shut down and that tomorrow and Friday may be especially interesting. Her teacher told all the foreign exchange students how to access their part of the school tomorrow through a side door. They may be the only students engaged in classes. Also, access to and from the Nantes airport was blocked for several hours today and places throughout the tram lines were cut. I did appreciate the creativity of a demonstration staged by a couple of hundred students in the center of town this morning. Apparently they wanted to conduct their protest inside the Fnac store (a cross between Circuit City and Barnes & Noble) but were denied access. Instead, they all lay down outside. Learn more at this link, a Google English translation of the area’s newspaper story.