Week with Raymonde

I’ve been living in France for a few years but I have been frustrated at the level of my conversation and comprehension. I felt I had a good grasp of grammar and my writing was adequate. I decided a week living with a French family with daily lessons might improve the flow of my conversation.

Raymonde immediately welcomed me into her home and the room in her house is large and comfortable with a big bathroom. A very nice area to spend some down time.

From the moment I met Raymonde we were speaking French and the conversation flowed even while Raymonde was making small corrections.

As we talked about my sporting interests of biking and hiking, a plan started to form about how we might mix the study with outdoor activities. Our first morning was spent walking around the local area then several hours of grammar before lunch.

The weather was lovely and the following morning we set off for a bike ride to Nyon. It was a stunning ride through the countryside on quiet back roads past vineyards and small villages. After arriving in Nyon we visited the Chateau and the Roman columns. We headed down to the lake and found a little fishing village where the fishermen had just returned with a fresh catch. We decided to buy some fresh fish for lunch and then stopped for a coffee looking across the sparkling Lake Geneva to France. We returned to Raymonde’s home via fields of beautiful sunflowers. As we rode around, Raymonde helped me expand my vocabulary and corrected my grammar and tenses.

This was one of two bike riding excursions during the week – the other was to Divonne just across the border in France.  We also did another beautiful hike into the bottom of the Jura Mountains.

Study time included watching television programs and listening to audio stories on topics I was interested in and then discussing the content. We also fine-tuned some grammar issues that I had been struggling with.

Spending the week with Raymonde and her partner Michel and son Julien was excellent for my French. The flow of my conversation had improved and both Michel and Julien were also very patient and helpful in correcting any mistakes I made.

I feel I have made a new friend after meeting Raymonde and I hope to see her again soon.