I have started introducing Will's family to some of my favorite American Recipes. I have also made them monster cookies and oreo balls and they have been shocked when they see/taste the amount of sugar in them. I'm also realizing that since French people don't eat cookies or much junk food, the ingredients are extremely expensive at the grocery store. Making both the cookies and oreo balls were probably double the cost compared to the US. Soon I'm hoping to find some delicious french dessert recipes, because yogurt for dessert just isn't doing it for me. ;)
Will recently introduced me to Turkish Kebabs. SO GOOD! It's pretty disgusting watching them use a machine to scrape off the meat but it tastes delicious. The picture on the right is what is actually hanging in all the Kebab restaurants.
I've got so many exciting things to share. I am thankful for all the prayers from so many of you and the ways that God is working in our lives here.
1. Will recently interviewed for a job and received a call a few hours later offering him the position. He accepted! The details of his journey with finding a job and this specific opportunity have totally been a God thing, so we are so thankful. He will begin in April and has many perks provided with the job. (Car, car insurance, cell phone, & laptop.) Such a blessing!
2. I have recently begun taking informal French classes on Wednesday mornings with a woman who offers them for free to anyone interested. I am still waiting for the government to complete my paperwork to put me in their official classes each week, so I am grateful for this opportunity to have a more structured learning time.
3. We found a church family! More info below.
4. Will & I have been meeting with a principal of a private Catholic school close to Will's house. It is apparently one of the best schools in the area and I will soon be volunteering my time with one of the 10th grade English professors. I hope to begin in 2-3 weeks and will keep you all updated. It should be a great opportunity for me to make connections, volunteer my time, and also learn a little French.
Our Church Family
Will & I had been praying to find a church family here in Lyon. We began doing internet searches and found two churches. International Christian Community Church is where God led us. It is an English speaking congregation and is made up of people from many different countries. I hadn't spoken English to anyone aside from Will for 1 1/2 months, so coming here and being able to talk to others was really encouraging and much needed. Plus, it's cool that we are worshiping at the exact same time on Sunday as our Whitewater & BCC family... Our service is later afternoon.
Last Sunday they asked everyone to shout out the country they were from. There were probably around 40 people there and over 15 countries were mentioned. It has been so cool meeting so many different people and hearing how God led them to Him and to this church.
I am also grateful for the opportunity to attend a women's Bible study each week. We are studying the book, "Calm My Anxious Heart" which is perfect for me as I am in a time of learning to be content in these new circumstances. There are 10-12 women ranging from ages 18-60 and coming from many different countries, so it has been really great meeting these women and learning and sharing life with them.
I have been dealing heavily with culture shock since I got here. I have recently been talking with other Americans and doing some research on culture shock. Someone explained the stages of culture shock to me this way, and I feel it is so accurate:
*The Honeymoon Phase - Seeing a new place for the first time and absolutely loving it. Lots of excitement.
*New Good Changes - Seeing things that are different from your normal environment, but liking the changes.
*Bad Changes - Seeing things that are different from your normal environment that you do not like. Wanting to fight this and change it.
*Feeling Stuck - Wanting to leave this new place and go back to your normal environment.
Most of what I have read online shows the different phases of culture shock as if they are linear, and always moving forward. But I am realizing it isn't really a linear pattern. Instead, I find myself constantly moving through the different phases on different days in mixed up orders. Many people I have spoken to have shared that they fight these different phases constantly, even after being in France for a few years.
I have come to a place where I am learning to accept that this is my new life and I can choose from two options: Mosey around and be frustrated about the changes I do not like, or determine to learn and grow each day and make this a great experience. I am choosing the latter! I am thankful for God's timing in providing the small group study that he did, and for the Holy Spirit that guides me each day.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Will's birthday. It was his first birthday in France in around 5+ years. We spent the morning at one of Will's favorite places, "Caliceo" which is a spa. We enjoyed the indoor and outdoor heated pools, hot tub, sauna, and steam room. It's a funny feeling swimming outside in 40 degree weather. We're also planning a mini birthday trip soon... Stay tuned. :)
Lastly, I'll leave you with a few fun facts:
1. There are a TON of round-abouts here, and barely any lights. They're fun and save lots of time. :)
2. This one is for Debbie (Ronnie's daud ;)) No cheerleading in France.
3. French people eat LATE. Typically we eat dinner around 7:30-8:00. (Sometimes later!) If you pass a restaurant in the evening, they're usually completely empty until around 7. It's a weird adjustment.
I will soon be changing my blog URL to: AnyaMasse.weeby.com so you can keep that in mind. :)