Promoting French Culture and Language
in the Greater Lynchburg Area for over 50 Years

April 13, 2015

Parli Francese?

Steven Bullock
Board Member

My wife, Jaclyn, and I are French enthusiasts, or Francophiles, as well as avid travelers.  We love to travel all over the U.S. and Europe.  We haven’t made it yet to Asia or South America, but with a little help from our friends, namely those of Brazilian and Chinese descent, we plan to make the leap out of our comfort zone.

In the first half of last year, we took in a Broadway show in New York City, went antiquing in Camden Passage in London, we celebrated my birthday in Paris, and we lounged on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea under the white peaks at Forte dei Marmi.  We saw a lot last year, but prominent among our favorites had to be Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost village of the Cinque Terre.  Don’t get me wrong, we love France, but Italy, specifically the area around Florence and Pisa, is such a pleasant place to visit.  The pasta is always perfect, the wine is always delightful (and not expensive), and the weather is usually amazing.

When we were in Paris last year, it rained and rained, so arriving in sunny Tuscany was a welcome change.  Navigating the Italian train system is never easy.  Not being a student of Italian (I’ve put all my energy into learning French), it’s a memorization game to guess what the signs mean in the train stations—and forget about the train schedules!  Although trains tend to run on time (at least in our experience), it would help to know the word for Departures and the word for Arrivals, as they are two different schedules on two different boards in the station and you could easily find yourself on the wrong side of the tracks if you’re not careful.

Our path to the Cinque Terre started at Paris’ Orly Airport, early one rainy morning.  As the taxi driver sailed down the slick autoroute from Denfert-Rochereau at 130 kilometres (82 mph), I learned for myself how to tell the driver to slow down.  After some mild snafus with regard to having over weight bags and finding our way to the Easy Jet counter, we finally landed in sunny Pisa.  From Pisa, we made our way to La Spezia and finally to Monterosso.  When we arrived at our hotel, we were delighted to find a darling 3 room inn, hosted by a kind  older gentleman and his daughter, neither of whom spoke any English.  For a while, he would call his son, whose English was not much better than his, but we understood each other. 

After some phone calls and passing the phone back and forth—and a lot of miming—the all-important question finally came out, “parlez-vous français?

“Oui. Bien-sûr, Monsieur.”

Once we discovered we shared a common language (French), communication was much easier.  His French was not much better than mine, so there was still some pantomime, but there was no more need for telephone calls to his son.

January 25, 2015

Bonne Année Lynchurg!!

#BonjourLynchburg !!  News from your Alliance Française.

So far, 2015 is shaping up to be a good year.  We do not forget those we lost last year, but in their memory, we persevere in our mission to spread our love for French language and culture.  Link to our recently departed group president's obituary.

Upcoming Events
-Conversations with Solange – starting January 29
-French Immersion Dinner at Mangia – Tuesday, February 10, 7 p.m.
-Mardi Gras Celebration – Tuesday, February 17, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Conversations With Solange
Westminster Canterbury, 501 V.E.S. Road, Terrace (Lower) Level, Activity Room
Thursdays:   Jan. 29; Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26; Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26; Apr. 2.  
4:30 – 5:30 pm

Immersion Dinner
We have an exciting February planned for you so far.  Our monthly dinner is planned for 7 p.m., February 10, at Mangia on Rivermont Avenue.  RSVP to

La Chandeleur
On February 17, we have a party planned to celebrate La Chandeleur !  RSVP to

More News

French Language Classes
We are planning a new semester of French classes!  Planned to start in March.  If you are interested, the more the merrier, so tell your friends, too!  Please let us know as soon as possible—write to

French Cooking Classes
We would like to know who’s interested in taking a French cooking class!  The timeframe would be around April.  We can only do this if we get enough interest.  Registration will be in the form of sending a check for payment at least 72 hours in advance of the class.  Let us know if you are interested by sending an email to and we will keep you informed when we plan the class!