Monday, July 25, 2011

The First Day of My Last Week

WOW what a beautiful afternoon! It was raining this morning – well misting really – but around lunch time the clouds cleared, the sun appeared, and the air was warm! Before I get ahead of myself, let me start with yesterday.
After our lunch of “oeuf a la coq” with toasted baguette, a large pile of steamed, garden-picked green beans, and a pear and apple tart, Sebastian, Justine, and I left for Dinan (sp?).  As this was a good-sized town, there were several stores open as well as several vendors selling their hand-crafted art.  I ended up buying a wooden, crepe spatula and later had ice-cream with Justine and Sebastian. Yesterday’s weather was better in the afternoon as well. At one point during our walk, we hiked down this very steep, cobble stoned road.  It was about .3-.5 miles in length with a great incline. And of course we had to walk back up. Once we returned, I grabbed my belongings and left yet again. We met Nikos and Anais at McDonalds for dinner, ate, and parted our ways. Poor Anais and Nicolas probably did not get home until about midnight last night since they had to drive an hour to drop me off and then two hours to get back home.
The farm that I am staying at is one with great genetics of the Normande breed.  There are about 70 dairy cows here as well as several calves, heifers, and bulls.  The family is super nice too; comprised of a mother, father, and three daughters (one of which is away for the week).  My morning started out … well a bit iffy: I woke up around 7:15 just to be picked up at 10:15 (as I was expecting my ride around 8 or 8:30). Though, that wasn’t really a big problem. My ride for this week happens to be a girl named Sylia (sp?) who is actually 7 months younger than I am.  For the morning, I met everyone at the office and helped Sylia translate a small portion of the company’s website into English. For lunch, we went to a restaurant with the President, a farmer, and another employee.  Following, I toured the facility of the bulls.  I saw their many genetically favorable bulls (about 180) ranging from the age of ~6 months to ~18 months. These bulls are purchased from farms placed on site until they’re at the age of ~11 months. Then, the employees take blood and semen samples to determine if the bull is in fact a true genetically favored bull. If not, they are sent somewhere else to grow large and then be sent to the slaughter house. (No one ever said the life of a bull was easy). I was dropped back off at the farm around 5:30 and took advantage of this beautiful weather by going for a run and working out.  Tomorrow morning I’m going somewhere really special, but the only way you’ll find out before my next post is if you guess right wherein I’m there to tell you. I shall leave you with this: What is French famous for?

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