You don’t have to smell delicious aroma of chocolate croissants to know it’s morning…


The beautiful farms and countryside of France.

SAINT-ETIENNE, FRANCE — You don’t have to smell the delicious aroma of chocolate croissants to know it’s morning. The neighbor’s rooster screeches a morning hello, and you’re up! France is a great place to be in. I have a lot of family here.

Sometimes, there are two lambs, two sheep and one donkey that come in our backyard. There are also blackberries and small plums to pick. There are electrical wires—an electric fence—so the animals don’t escape. I once got prickled by one, while trying to pick blackberries. Your whole body seems to freeze, and the stinging feeling is terrible. But I also got stung by a bee recently. Ow!

At my grandparents’ house—Mami and Papi—we eat a lot. First comes salad from the garden. It’s followed by meat, then beans. Mami’s specialty is potatoes. We eat them as well and next is cheese. Mami offers us yogurt, and raspberries too, but Dad says we don’t have time, and so my family goes home.

I once went to the house of our family friend Helene. She has a pool, and below are plum trees, like the ones in the backyard where we’re staying. My cousin went to pick some plums. She threw a few, but they all landed in the pool. So I dived in and went plum diving. I went to another pool with my cousins, and my sister, and I left our bag with our bathing suits and reusable water bottles there. Our bathing suits were stolen, but we got our bottles back.

This year, my family wasn’t going to go camping, so I made beds out of cushions with my cousins indoors, and small tents too. My cousins, sister and I slept up there, and in the middle of the night, we all got out of bed and gathered in a circle to tell stories. When we heard my uncle coming up the stairs, we scrambled into our beds and fake snored. Of course, he didn’t fall for it. My two youngest cousins decided to sleep downstairs in their real beds because they were too hot. I couldn’t blame them; it felt like the equator up there.

My family loves biking. So I went in Papi’s truck with my cousin Eva. We went in the back and my mom and uncle in the front. My aunt and other cousin, Dimitri, were going to meet us at St. Paul, a nice town. There weren’t any seats in the back of truck, and Eva and I clutched on to each other tightly, as we banged into bikes and pottery stands.

While biking, we pretended that we were competing in the Olympics. Dimitri won “gold,” my uncle won “silver,” and my aunt won “bronze.”

Another biking trip included seeing brown, black, grey and white llamas. My dad and I kept stopping our bikes to pick blackberries.

The Olympics were another fun thing to do. Sometimes my whole family would gather upstairs, and we would cheer the French team on. Once, my dad and I went to see what was on. North Korea was playing against France. Every two seconds, there would be a goal. My dad and I would laugh hysterically and scream loudly. It turns out, they were just showing highlights. France won anyway, 5-0. GO FRANCE!