As is clear from the lapse in time since the last post, the last few days of the program in Paris were very hectic (and we ran out of computer time). On Friday, we addressed the issues raised in the book The Shantytown Kid with a trip to an extremely interesting museum on immigration, the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration. The building was originially constructed for the International Colonial Exposition of 1931 and the huge facade frieze shows colonial laborers toiling for the empire’s glory. It was so controversial when it opened that none of France's leading politicians would attend. Nonetheless, the exhibits were very interesting. We also heard an a talk from Professor Amy Wells from the University of Limoges. The talk was quickly dubbed the "Sandbox Talk" because Professor Wells was standing in a sandbox in a park when she gave the talk.
Before going to the immigration museum, we had visited the Museum of Jewish History and for lunch, had the best falafel in the world. It is true. The falafel was great. For dinner, we had cous cous, so it was a very North African, Middle Eastern dinning day.
Saturday was an open day for shopping or whatever. Some students went to Versailles on their own. Another went to an Andy Warhol exhibit and a third to the French National Tennis Center. Several had the Parisian experience of finding an outdoor table at the local cafe and relaxed and people-watched for hours. I went to the Gallaries Lafayette and it was positively bedlam as Paris was in the middle of a large sale. All in all, by Saturday, the students demonstrated that they were the masters of Paris. They could do whatever they liked on their own.
We closed the day with a banquet at a fine restaurant at an outdoor plaza in the Marais District and then took a one hour boat ride up and down the Seine River.
On Sunday, we went our separate ways. Many of us returned to the United States. A couple met their moms to spend a few extra days in Paris and one went on the Amsterdam.
But as they say, "We will always have Paris."