Walks in the woods, Apple picking

It keeps amazing me how many Togolese live in Sherbrooke!  A Togolese family attends our church and this morning the invited chapel speaker was a local pastor who is an immigrant from Togo.  We were excited to discover that we not only understood him, but we understood him better than Québécois (French spoken by a Quebec resident)!  Provided the Togolese speak French with as much clarity as he did this morning, we're in great shape!  Andrew says he understood about 90% of what he heard.  Of course, comprehension and communication are two different things.  We still have much work to do to improve our spoken French.

Last Wednesday all of the French students (8 in all) took a field trip to an apple orchard.  It was our first time apple picking, and while it was cold enough to make my toes hurt, we enjoyed it.  Next time I'll make sure to double my socks! 

I(Mary) take a lot of walks in the woods with the boys.  I keep seeing these little fruits, but I'm not sure if I can eat them.  Tiny persimmons?  They look tasty though.  The boys especially like the little creek.  They always try to build a little dam, but they're never fast enough.  I enjoy taking walks with Manny alone.  We try to find deer every few evenings.  Most of the other people on campus have seen them.  In one field there were 21 deer spotted one morning.  Still no luck for us, though.  Tonight as I walked with Manny I realized how peaceful it is here.  With all the leaves falling we're pretty loud walkers, though.   

The mosquitoes were really bad for a few days, but thankfully the cold is killing them off.  It's not that cold actually, high of 73 Fahrenheit today.  We gave reports on the weather in class today.  Note: weathermen talk fast in any language!

Please keep praying for us to find a good balance between family life and school work.  It's hard to find time for homework with two active kids around!  Andrew is taking one doctoral class this semester, too, so pray that we'll find/make time to focus on what is important, be it parenting or learning.