Paul Maigne, our French Exchange student, is from southwest France Nouvelle Aquitaine, Department Lot-et-Garonne. A beautiful rural, farm and field area where they grow wine. The nearby city has 7,000 inhabitants. The town has a beautiful Farmer’s Market and a flower market; they have wonderful fireworks on Bastille Day and every May there are bullfights of sort – rather a ballet of toreadors with the bulls, but the bulls are not harmed. The area is known for ARGENT, which is a slow cooked prune in water until all the water is gone.
Paul’s favorite activities are rugby, soccer, judo, and badminton and he loves to go to McDonald’s with his friends. He also has passion for Formula 1 race cars, wakeboarding and skateboarding.
A cultural difference is that in France while the drinking age is 18, children can drink before then and often do drink wine at special occasions and dinners.
One of Paul’s favorite meals is cassoulet which consists of beans, bacon and sausage. Another famous dish is foie gras consisting of goose or duck liver, which is delicious. Paul also mentioned the importance of bread in their lives, which is served at every meal.
Paul’s family consists of a brother age 23, who was a Rotary exchange student to Sweden and is now studying politics in Paris and another brother, age 20 who is studying engineering in Toulouse. His mother Marianne is a secretary and father, Bertrand, is a chiropractor and a Rotarian.
There are 800 students in Paul’s school who attend class from 8am to 5pm. There are several vacations each year of about two weeks each time. There are no extracurricular clubs or sports team at the school. The students cannot choose their classes.
Paul will be flying home on June 12 and  expressed great thanks for the time he has spent here in the Jamestown area and for the hospitality of his host families – the Spillane’s, the Bauer’s and the Mason’s and for attending Maple Grove High School.
Our second presentation was from Ana Tufaile our exchange student from Brazil, South America, where they speak Portuguese. Named after the brazilwood tree originally found in the country, the area was colonized by many different people due to the Portuguese who brought African slaves to the area. Italians and Japanese helped to colonize the country as well. The religions in the country reflect its diversity with Christians, Islam, Afro-Brazilians, Jewish, etc. The country gained its independence September 7, 1822.
The country of Brazil has several different areas. The North is where the indigenous folks live and there are wonderful foods and dance customs. It is the largest are including the Amazon River Basin and the Amazon Rainforest.
The Northeast is the vacation area which is very warm. It is the 3rd largest area and has the largest coast. The temperatures are high all year round and with little rainfall it is the place where most people vacation.
The Midwest area is known for its animal diversity. It has no access to the coast, but it has many waterfalls and the beautiful biome known as Amazonia.
The Southeast area is the second smallest but the most populous with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro included. It is also the most developed area.
Finally, the Southern area has only one city, beautiful waterfalls, well-defined seasons and a little bit of snow.
Popular foods in the country include bread and cheese, brigadieros (Brazilian fudge balls) and feijoada – a Brazilian black bean stew or tapas like dishes of beans and meats, usually served on Sunday when folks and families gather.
The favorite national drink is the Cachaca.
Carnival is a festival celebrated countrywide for one entire week.
Ana’s family consists of her mother and father, sisters, brothers, cousins and her grandparents. Her grandfather emigrated and brought with him many religious and familial customs.
Ana’s area – Sao Jose do Rio Preto is growing rapidly because of the growth and sale of coffee, rice and beans.
Ana has lived with Cheri Krull, Kelly Dawson, Lisa Yaggie and the Wendel’s and is grateful for their hospitality. She will be staying in our area until early August when she will return home.
During her time here she has learned that she doesn’t like snow; she’s capable of much more than when she arrived; she has discovered much about herself; she is stronger; she is more independent; and she has learned to ski. For all of this she is grateful.