Archive for October, 2009

Jake’s Visit

October 4, 2009 10:37 pm

Viva l'EvolucionMy son Jake came from San Francisco for a visit last week, and we spent a whirlwind 5 days putting him to work in Anna’s field, checking out the roman ruins in Nimes, playing boule, dining alfresco at various restaurants, and introducing him to our many wonderful friends here. He charmed everyone – no surprise – and impressed everyone as well with his remarkable language abilities. He doesn’t speak much French but I’m sure he’d pick it up in no time if he stayed for than 5 days at a time. (Hint, hint!) He speaks Spanish with a fluency and authentic Guatemalan accent that is stunning. What really amazed me, though, was how he conversed with Anna in Italian. She speaks not a word of English, and they could communicate only with smiles and gestures until Jake started speaking Italian to her. I knew he had studied it for a year at UC Santa Barbara, his alma mater, but I didn’t realize that he could speak it as rapidly as he speaks Spanish. He certainly didn’t get his language facility from me …

Anna meets Le PetitAnna nicknamed Jake “Le Petit,” because he reminded her so much of her grandson – a “petit fils” in French. Ha! She prepared a huge lunch for us after the morning’s work in the field. She had several courses but the highlight was escargot in her special sauce of garlic and Provencal herbs. (I passed; I don’t eat bugs, amphibians, reptiles, or things with visible mold.) But Alain, Anna, Kevin, and Jake wolfed them down.

Le Maison Carrée in NImesWe also visited Nimes, where I showed Jake some incredible Roman ruins. La Maison Carrée is a beautifully preserved Roman temple right in the middle of the city. We also checked out Les Arènes, the Roman coliseum which has an excellent audio guide explaining the gladiatorial fights that took place there 2,000 years ago. Another day, we visited more ruins at Glanum, the ancient Roman town next to St. Rémy de Provence.

Come back soon, Jake. Your mother misses you! In the meantime, check out some more pictures of the visit.