The voyage has been very long, but we have finally arrived in Brest, France! A quick flight to Detroit and a four+ hour layover there and we were headed for France. The Detroit-Paris flight was almost exactly eight hours. Some of us slept for most of the trip, others hardly at all.
We disembarked at Charles de Gaulle airport at 8:10 am Paris time (2:10 back home). We made our way to baggage claim and everyone retrieved his bags with no problem. We headed for the exit and had an unexplained wait of about 15 minutes. But Amanda and Cyntia were awaiting us on the other side of the doors. The lead us to Pascal, our driver and his amazing motor coach.
We climbed up stairs and sat above traffic while our bags rode below us. We were on our way by 9:30 am. We had a quick potty break before we drove up on the A11 Autoroute. Pascal headed due west. The ride was eight hours, but we indulged in an hour-long lunch. It was a much needed break.
We arrived at the beach on the bay at the east side of Brest where we were to meet our families. The sun was out and it was very warm. People in swimsuits were everywhere! Some families were awaiting us and others drove up over the course of the next hour. Jean-Paul and Marie-José, our on-site coordinators, had everything under control. To American eyes, all the cheek-kissing and hugging and loud exclamations may have seemed chaos. But Jean-Paul assured us this was perfectly normal for the first meeting with the families.
The teachers installed themselves in their home, l’Aile, and finished the day with a walk down to the port.
From arrival at the Indianapolis Airport to the last family picking up students, the trip lasted 28 hours. Our students didn’t complain or whine the whole time (at least not that teachers could hear)! It is going to be a really great stay.
Nous sommes en France!