The teachers I work with at Lycée Arbez Carme have really been very welcoming- even the ones who I don`t work with, who don`t teach English! I`ve been invited out for lunch, dinner, had apéro at their homes, and been included in faculty-wide activities such as the annual Christmas dinner. One of my teachers even volunteered to cut my hair when I asked around for a hairdresser recommendation!
We all (about 30 teachers) descended on the banquet hall of the amazing restaurant/hotel Hotel au Moulin du Pont and had a blast! I got to meet some new teachers that I hadn`t had the chance to meet before, and have more in-depth conversations with the English teachers that I assist in class. It was an excellent way to practice my French- being the only anglophone in attendance!
In addition to the conversation, no Christmas dinner post would be complete without the FOOD!
I had the opportunity to try a local speciality les quenelles de Nantua and a French cocktail- Kir royal.Les quenelle are essentially creamed fish dumplings ( that can also be stuffed with meat). I had been told as soon as I arrived in Oyonnax that I just had to try les quenelles de Nantua– but I was a little confused as to why seafood would be a local specialty in the mountains! Turns out, these quenelles are made from the freshwater crayfish and pike local to the Jura Mountains region. The dumplings are served with a creamy egg sauce- and was one of the best dishes I`ve tasted in France! That creamy egg sauce is what separates les quenelles de Nantua from les quenelles lyonnais– Nantua is a lake town half an hour from Oyonnax. One of my favorite parts of traveling is sampling the food, of course! The Kir royal cocktail was another first for me- crème de cassis, champagne, and peach liqueur made for an excellent drink!
What are your favorite local specialities while traveling? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!