Saturday, October 19, 2013

Letter from Tangier

Hello there !

Here are a few things we would like you to know about us...

First let’s tell you about where we live : we’re in Tangier, in the North-East of Morocco. It is a touristic destination, because of its location, and because of its past. It is very close to Europe, on most days, we can actually see Spain from the coast... We’re where the Atlantic Ocean meets with the Mediterranean sea...We’re also close to the English-speaking zone of Gibraltar. And Tangier has centuries of history, dating back to the Phoenicians, the Romans, and, more recently, the time when it was an international zone. They say that the old classic movie  “Casablanca” was meant to describe our place.

Now about us...we’re a group of 29 students (among whom there are 19 girls), and we spend a lot of time at school. We have different nationalities, Moroccan, Tunisian, Belgian and Spanish, but we study in a French school. Our school, Groupe Scolaire le Détroit,  is rather new, and still small (there is mainly only one class per grade), whereas there’s another French school downtown that just celebrated their 100th anniversary, and that’s larger...We go to school 5 days a week, but have Wednesday afternoons off. And we sit for about 9 hours a day, from 8 to 1 pm, and then from 2 pm to 6 pm, apart from the two 20-minutes breaks. We study an average of 13 subjects, including 4 languages (French, Arabic, English and Spanish)... and we have a lot of homework everyday...

We have known one another for years (we’ve been together since 5th grade), although this year, there are 4 new students in the class. We get along fine, we’re a close-knit group...Most of us are quite active and funny, however, with so much time spent at school, we don’t meet as much as we would want to outside of school...Luckily, we have lots of holidays, and most of the French bank holidays, combined with Moroccan bank holidays...This year we don’t have any final exam, whereas next year we’ll sit an exam in French literature, and in two years’ time, an exam in all the other subjects...

We’re looking forward to hearing from you...

All the best from all of us... Cheers !

All the students from Seconde 1

PS: we wrote this letter before finding out about yours, so we're bound to write back soon !

PPS: and here are a few pictures of what you can see from Tangier and from its outskirts!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Letter of Introduction from Fortuna, California

Dear Friends,

We are taking this opportunity to tell you a little bit about who we are.  We will start with the geography of our region.  We live in Northern California, about 15 minutes from the ocean, but it is very cold and only surfers venture into the ocean (wearing wetsuits, of course).  We also live among the tallest trees in the world, called Redwood Trees.  We have a vibrant agricultural community, with many dairy and vegetable farms.  Our ecosystem is a temperate rainforest, so we have very rainy winters and springs, and foggy summers and falls.  It very rarely gets above 20 degrees Celsius, and it also rarely gets below 0. 

California is divided into 58 counties.  We live in a county called Humboldt County.  Our town, Fortuna, is small town with a population of about 11,000.  There are many other small towns near Fortuna whose teenagers also go to Fortuna High School; those towns include Loleta, Scotia, Carlotta, Hydesville, Rio Dell, and Alton.   We have many wonderful festivals in our town such as the Apple Harvest Festival, the rodeo, and classic (old-fashioned) car shows.  The Humboldt County Fair happens once a year, and people show their animals such as pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and goats and win awards for them.  Families can also go there to enjoy carnival rides, horse races, and music.

Although we are proud of our culture as Americans, many of us still identify with our various ethnic backgrounds and countries of origins of our ancestors.  We have many Native Americans, Latin Americans, as well as people from all over Europe in our community.  We eat many kinds of food from many different cultures, including Italian food such as pizza and pasta, Chinese food, and of course American food like hamburgers and hot dogs.

Life in our town often revolves around what is happening at the high school.  American football is really important in our community, but it is not the only thing that is important.  Our town is very supportive of what high school students are doing, including sports, music, the arts, the culinary arts, and agricultural organizations.  We have a diverse group of courses that we can take, including art, culinary arts, technology, Spanish language, auto mechanics, music, as well as history, science, math, English, and physical education.

We have a few questions for you:  What kind of music do you like?  Do you have pets, zoos, animals, and/or wildlife?  What are you favorite things to do for fun?  What sports do you play?  Do you like your climate?  What kinds of technology are available to you?  If you have any questions for us, feel free to ask!  We are looking forward to connecting with you all during this year!

Your friends in Fortuna