Going solo, then getting to Rennes

Ok, so Zehra and I left Provence and went to Marseille next. It was our last train ride together. By the time we got to Marseille, it was already around 4:00, so there wasn’t really any time to go see things or find the beach. We walked around, found a bread shop, ate dinner at a cafe, and watched the Euro-Cup match for Spain v.s. Russia. Lots of fun, since Spain creamed them!

The next morning, Zehra and I had to wake up really early to get to the train station by 6:50 AM. It was really dramatic and intense when we got to the train station, because when we were coming up the escalator (which was facing the east) the sun was just coming up, and we felt like we were in a movie. We hugged and said goodbye, and Zehra got on her shuttle to the airport while I got on my train to Rennes. When I got to the train station in Rennes, I looked around and immediately saw two nuns standing right where Sr. Susan (the Canadian nun I talked on the phone to) said they would be. They started speaking French to me right away, and it was all I could do to follow what she was saying, much less form a correct sentence to respond with. Of course, they were both very nice, and understood that I was tired from the long train ride, but they continued to speak in French to me because they didn’t know English! One of them was Spanish, and her French with the strong Spanish accent was something new and interesting for me to try and comprehend.

(By the way, the reason I stayed with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Rennes is because I met a Little Sister in Mobile who said I could stay with them for the three days in between my Zehra travel adventure and my French classes in Paris when I didn’t have anywhere to go. She thought the Mother-house would be great for me since all the novices (all around my age) would be there and I’d have fun with them!)

As soon as I got to Rennes, I was welcomed by lots of nuns from all over the world (India, Korea, Africa, France, U.S., etc.). They were so sweet! Sr. Therese, an African nun partially in charge of the novices, was my go-to girl, and showed me to my room, to where they all said night prayers, and to the dining room. My room was really many rooms in one big room. It had several curtain-partitions to make 5 little bedrooms, each with their own bed, dresser, sink, massive window, and little desk. The other curtain-partitioned rooms were empty, so I really had the big, bright, white room to myself! I had a view of the barnyard from my window, and when I opened it up the air was clean, crisp and cool, unlike the weather in the south of France (which was pretty similar to Mobile/coastal humidity and heat).

After I got settled, I went to dinner. The table was set-up like a U, with Sr. Marie-Elisabeth (the French head nun in charge of the novices/postulants) in the middle, and Sr. Therese and Sr. Kathleen (another novice helper, from America) on the ends of the U-shaped table. The rest of the table was filled with around 15-20 novices and postulants, all from around the world, all speaking French! We had a delicious dinner, and they had a little vase with flowers in it at my place, along with a “Welcome” card, it was so sweet! After dinner, we had recreation/music fun time in another room. A couple of girls from Africa played the drums (jimbays, not sure how you spell that!), a girl from Spain played the guitar, and everyone else sang. The girl next to me told me to be careful about what I told the group, and at first I didn’t know what she meant. Then, Sr. Therese asked me, “Oh, do you like to sing or dance or anything like that?” I was like, “Oh yes!! I love singing and dancing, even though I’m not very good at it! I love musicals, swing dancing, ballet, blah blah..” and so she said, “Great! Why don’t you sing us a song?!” I turned and looked at my neighbor and she gave me the raised-eyebrow “See what I mean?” look, it was so great! I ended up doing some of my 8th grade talent show “Singing in the Rain” dance with an umbrella they found for me, since they knew that song. They all thought I was pretty funny! After that, we said prayers and went to bed.

One Response to “Going solo, then getting to Rennes”
  1. Brittany says:

    HH that sounds awesome!!! I’m glad you are having such a wonderful time!

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