Posted by: goingfaraway | February 2, 2010

Au Revoir Paris….¡Hola Barcelona!

So, it took a few days for Paris to grow on us, but when it was time to leave, we were sad.

As we were preparing to leave this morning, we made the following observation: a place can be amazing because of the architecture, history, food, etc., but the PEOPLE make a place memorable. When we remember Paris, we will always remember our great hosts: Joseph and Francois-Xavier (affecionately referred to as “FX”).

These two Christian guys had a wonderful gift for hospitality. When we arrived at their apartment they handed us a set of keys, showed us the kitchen, and said “make yourselves at home.” So we did! Their apartment was literally in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, so we had very easy access to all of the beautiful and interesting sights of Paris. Joseph is a self-taught chef, and on Saturday he threw a small dinner party on our behalf, and taught us how to cook a French meal. It was wonderful, of course! FX´s English was not so great (and as we´ve noted before, our French is terrible), so conversing with him was always tricky, and we had to get creative. Joseph is fluent in English, so we had some really great conversations with him about what it is like to be a Christian in France (often they are not respected, and people assume they have been brainwashed or they are just closed minded), and how he and FX have used hospitality as a way to show people the love of Christ. Both of them have lucritive jobs in the financial world, but they have chosen to live simply so they can open up their home to any one and not have to worry about their things being stolen or damaged. We learned a little more of what hospitality looks like, and what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

We reached great heights on Sunday when we scaled the Eiffel Tower….just over 700 steps to the second level, where we had a beautiful view of Paris as the sun was just beginning to set. Then we attended mass with the guys and Lucy (Joseph`s fiancee). We only understood three words…literally. But it was still encouraging to be with Christians in fellowship. The singing was beautiful, and at least we could hum along! The text of the sermon was 1 Corinthians 13 – in summary, it´s all about LOVE. Without love we are nothing. How do we really love without strings attached? Love from a pure heart is one of the hardest things to do.

Monday was a day of relaxing and doing laundry in preparation for our move to Barcelona. We did venture out in the afternoon for some grocerys (we made the daring offer to cook dinner for Jo and FX – it’s always frightening to cook for a cook!). Also, we were on a quest…the quest for the perfect pastry. We walked around for a good part of the afternoon, then we finally found it! “It” was scrumptious, but we don´t really know what “it” was.

For our thank you dinner we prepared some classic American comfort food: Cobb salad, chicken pot pie, and banana splits. The guys loved it =)

This morning we donned our packs and headed for the airport. Around noon we arrived in Barcelona, without a map and without a place to stay, but we were so happy because it was warm and the sun was shining on our pasty white faces! Within a 1/2 hour we found a hostel right in the heart of the city, and got ourselves settled. This is our very first hostel experience, and so far it’s been quite positive. The owner is so nice, the place is very clean, and we have nice roomates (don’t worry Mom and Dad – they’re girls). Our groceries for the week have been bought, so we are now officially in Barcelona! Yay!



  1. Kara, that is SO neat!! How neat to have Christ in common with them. I’m sure you were an encouragement to them in their faith!!!

  2. Sounds like your having a wonderful experience as sisters and angels of the Lord. We love you and you are always with us in our hearts. Namaste Aunt Tammy and Uncle Greg

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