CISV Atlanta Newsletter – Summer 2005
Bonjour! I embarked on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time this past summer with much luggage. I carried high hopes, anxiousness, enthusiasm and anticipation and more responsibility (namely four eleven year olds) than I ever might have anticipated. I never imagined that my most recent experience with CISV would be one of the most memorable events of my young life!
Just last month I traveled to Fontainbleau, France and spent 28 days with representatives from Argentina, Brasil, Canada, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S.A. The leaders and the children at this international village were among the warmest and caring people that I have ever been privileged to meet.
Our days were filled with rich experiences that raised our cultural awareness, built community and helped us to develop new friendships. Each day, we’d wake up to the sound of music and singing. We had many meals together, where we simply talked and shared about our lives, passions, interest, dreams and concerns. We made every effort to get to know everyone in our small community. There was always an air of celebration and genuine excitement about the members of our group. It was truly a marvel to see the children, with pure optimism, reach out and embrace the strangers who would quickly become friends.
We had such fun together that it has been difficult adjusting to the routines and demands of my normal life. In particular, I miss having the four U.S.A. delegates with me throughout the day. Emily, Michael, Kelcie, Nick and I became quite close on the trip. We spent so much time together, supporting each other, that it seems weird not to see them all the time now. Among other things, I miss the special bond that I formed with the children and leaders from the other countries.
We took several amazing excursions. We visited the city of Paris on a historic adventure around one of the significant parts of that city. We also traveled to the medieval city of Provins, saw an amazing bird show, toured galleries underground, walked through a French forest and an amazing castle with beautiful gardens and landscapes. However, the most significant of our experiences was shared at the camp in our daily activities.