West Virginia University in Vendée, France


Blazing the trail...
May 29, 2000

(The Remblai, or "Boardwalk" of Les Sables, May 29, 2000)

As you can see from the picture above, the beach and boardwalk of Les Sables d'Olonne are in good condition, having been completely cleaned from the devastation of last December's wreck of the tanker Erika and the two record-breaking tempests that followed.  On our way in we noted many stumps of trees destroyed by the storms.  Over 10,000 trees were uprooted in the parks of Versailles alone -- a site we will visit later this week.

For the moment, a little business to take care of.  Here Valérie Lastinger discusses details of our program with Nathalie Chevré in Nathalie's office in the conference center called Les Atlantes.



Here, Véronik Fruchard gives us a visit of Les Atlantes, showing us some of the facilities, most importantly the classroom from which we will run the courses of WVU-V 2000.

We owe a special debt to both Nathalie and Véronik.  Their hospitality and efficiency go far in making possible many of the special enrichment activities that make WVU-V unique in the world of study abroad. 



A few other preliminary errands are also on the agenda for today.  Here the Lastinger children, Alexander, Allison, and Lucie, wait at a fountain in the heart of Les Sables while "Dr. V." and I procure guidebooks and notebooks that we will give to our students on the first day of regular class next Monday.

In the meantime we will try to get some rest this evening before reboarding the TGV for Paris tomorrow.  The first official meeting is set for 5 pm tomorrow at the Hôtel d'Amiens.  After a few days in Paris, we will all return to Les Sables on Saturday.

Please note that during our stay in Paris, I may be unable to post these pages.  It is probable that our hotel will not have the connections I need, so if we go silent for a few days, don't worry.  We'll likely be back on line by next Saturday or Sunday at latest.

 Stay tuned to WVU-V!

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Comments to: mlasting@wvu.edu