Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Locks of Love

Well, Icelandic volcano or no, my time in Paris is quickly coming to an end. And our time with the students, although most are still in Paris, has already finished. It really was an amazing experience to get to know them each, and I can truly say that each of them taught me many important things during our time together.

We've been getting together each Monday night for FHE, and we wanted our last meeting to be one to remember. Then I was reading my friend Reba's blog and learned about the tradition that has been going on for years where couples put a lock with their names up on some of the pedestrian bridges across the Seine and then throw the key in the river to symbolize their everlasting love. I wanted to do it for the family, but I thought of the student's time here in Paris, and how I am sure this experience has changed each of them. So, I thought it might be a nice idea for them each to put their own lock on the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar Senghor to symbolize that they are leaving a little part of them in Paris that will be here forever.

I know, I know, it doesn't really follow the rules, but rules were made to be broken, right?

So we all got together and shared what we had each learned personally during our time in Paris, and then put our locks on the bridge. It was a great evening, and truly one of the highlights of our time here for me. Here's some photos.

The students decorating their locks to attach to the bridge.

Then on to dinner.

Steve got the Boeuf Tartare. Why? I have absolutely no idea, although I do know that he often likes to eat food that's based on a dare.

Finding a home for our locks.

I knew we were in trouble the day before we went to the bridge and I told the boys about the tradition and let them decorate and put their name on their own locks. Jack lovingly decorated both the lock and the key, and then cried like he had lost his best friend when we attached it to the bridge and he realized it wasn't coming home with him. Luckily one of the students didn't make it, so he inherited his lock to stop the sobbing. He's already been back to visit his lock once and wants to see it again before we leave Paris on Friday.

Throwing the keys into the Seine.

Lots of locks. The row is some of the students, and ours is the large one in the middle with Max's and Jack's attached.

And, luckily, someone was smart enough to make a key for you to find your lock again when you return. Ours is in section 23A.

I really have loved my time in Paris, and I have to admit that it has thrilled me, humbled me, inspired me, and kicked my butt on more than one occasion.

It truly has been everything at once.

And, as I am spending my last couple of days here, I am starting to realize that leaving that little part of me here in Paris is really going to hurt.


Mikilani said...

What a lovely way to finish your time in Paris! I know I haven't commented much, but I've enjoyed reading about your journey to France. It was a welcome escape from the daily routine. Especially on sub-zero days in Iowa... :)

M-L said...

So France is rubbing onto you! the breaking of the rules that is...

SydneyJ22985 said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄

Der Ron said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences of Paris. I was on a buisness trip there from April 10th until the 17th. I found your blog and used it as inspiration to plan my spare time. And then the Iceland volcano erupted and I had almost a week of more spare time to spend. And again, your experiences guided me around the city. Especially the insider information made me look for thing I would usually have ignored, such as the boats on the pond in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Thanks to you, I had a splendid time while being "stuck" in Paris. Yours, Ron.