Oh, Monday. Why do you come so soon after Sunday? I had a pretty lovely weekend, despite being sick on Saturday and Sunday, and still not feeling stellar this morning, but it's always hard to get moving on Monday morning. I'm sure most of you can relate.
Anyway, last week was a little more relaxed than usual, as several of my classes were doing standardized testing, which meant I didn't have to go to about a third of them. So that was nice. Then Thursday night my roomies and I had a little wine and cheese soiree with 10-15 friends and members of the CouchSurfing community. We had a lot of fun and I got to experience some of the best cheese and wine that France has to offer (my roomie Joel went to a small, artisan cheesemaker in a nearby town and picked up some delightful treats), but I may have overindulged a bit and will be content not to see another hunk of Maroilles or bottle of Cote du Rhone for at least another week. Ok, maybe the Cote du Rhone (it is my fave, after all), but NOT the Maroilles. Maroilles is sort of the celebrity cheese of our region, and though the taste is relatively mild, the smell is, to put it politely, pungent. As in, we have to keep it out on the porch so it doesn't stink up the whole house, haha.
I worked Friday morning, as usual, then had a nice lunch with Joey and spent most of the afternoon with him. Saturday I slept late (again, as usual), and then Joey and I went to the nearby town of Vieux Conde to have dinner with Brigitte, one of the teachers I work with (the one who has interesting theories about why my kids don't listen). And that was really, really nice. We met her husband, who is British, and both of her sons, who are close to us in age. It was almost like having dinner with my own extended family, which is something I've really missed since I've been gone. The only downside was that about halfway through the evening I started to get a really bad headache, which was the beginning of my being sick for the rest of the weekend.
I was supposed to go out with Joey and the rest of my friends on Saturday night to a bar in town that is pirate ship-themed and apparently actually on a boat in the river. I suspect this would have been quite an adventure, only by the time I got home from Brigitte's I felt like there was a power drill spinning inside my head and my neck and back and shoulders were starting to hurt too. Then came the fever, and the worsening of the cough I picked up late last week. I felt like my lungs were going to burst into flames at any moment. So I decided to cut my losses for the evening, take a fistful of ibuprofen, and try to sleep. Mostly I just laid in bed, tossing and turning and coughing until about 4 or 5am. Not an ideal way to spend a Saturday night.
So I spent yesterday in my pajamas, sleeping when I could and taking more ibuprofen when the situation necessitated it (I still don't have health insurance here and nothing is open on Sundays anyway), and I drank about a gallon of orange juice. Mercifully, I was feeling better this morning, although still a bit sore, tired, and congested. Two cups of coffee got me on my feet though, and fortunately my schedule today isn't too demanding. I may even have time for a nap before my afternoon classes.
Other than that, I don't have much else to report. I'm quite excited because two of my nearest and dearest friends have finally set plans in motion to come out here to visit at the end of February, so I am looking forward to that, and my parents are finalizing the details of their trip out here at the end of March as well. I've got approximately 97 days left here, so I am just trying to make the most of them, and trying to plan for when I come back. I will be in serious need of a job, preferably in community organization/non-profit or something of that nature, but something in education, French, or museums would be good too, so if anyone has any ideas or connections, please let me know!