We have officially left Sint Maarten and our now in St. Martin <g> … while we’ve been exploring the island for several months, we have spent the majority of our time on the Dutch side. Last week the great people at the marina told us that high season was upon us and that we would have to move from the “mega yacht” area, to the “yacht” area … no big deal, just a relocate. We decided that we would take this opportunity to change our scenery for a little while and move to the French side.
We dropped anchor in Marigot Bay and after a couple of days decided to move into the Fort Louis Marina. Imagine my surprise when I was asked for my boat papers and proof that I had left “officially” the Dutch side … huh? Well it turns out, that while people can come and go between sides as they please, boats are a different story … so off we went to the Dutch side to “check-out”, so that we could “check-in” to the French side … stamps, fees, passports and forms later … we are officially living on the French side.
As you can tell from my title, the goal is to practice our French, mine is a little rusty, but my greeting always seems to get a smile or laughter … I think the many years of Canadian schooling is paying off.
One of my favorite things so far about this trip is that it has awoken an interest in the kids to learn another language. While they have always been exposed to other languages (Spanish, French, German), none showed any real want to learn … I guess, none really saw a value or need for it.
Here, especially on the French side, we are immersed in languages … Kate is doing an online course and spends several hours a day on French, she is getting much better at “trying” her French when we go out. Genna has found the French music CD’s that we brought with us (Thank you to our French connections <bg>) and is singing in French all the time (although I am not sure that a song about a Moose is going to pay off) … Jaci is also learning French and since she rides twice a week in a French school, she know all the vocabulary of the horse world … this all learned by osmosis.
Me … well … I’m trying to get those rarely used neurons to fire and see if I can recall some of my French lessons … I am surprised as to how much I remember and how much of a conversation I can follow. At the horse stables, they speak in French, I answer in English (mostly) and we communicate effectively.
Jack … hmm … maybe I need to get some French video games.
Michelle is out jogging each morning in town and going to the bakeries and shops. We are enjoying the “café” lifestyle that we have found on this side.
Discovery continues to undergo upgrades … or better said, things constantly need maintenance … we now have a new fridge, 80% larger than our last one and a new freezer (that I have yet to install). I’ll go into details in another post.
Today is a work day and a shopping day … so everyone has their tasks … Jaci made me a nice lunch today.