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Bonjour !

Hi everyone !

My name is Fabien, and I am from the city of Lyon, which is the third largest city in France after Paris and Marseille. Incidentally, Lyon is also between Paris and Marseille on the map of France.

Where I come from:

Lyon is not as well-known on the international stage as Paris, of course, and guided tours in France often focus on the North or on the South, rather than on places situated in between the two. And yet, Lyon has a lot to offer. Here’s a sample, just for you:

Roman Amphitheatre: Lyon was known as Lugdunum during the Roman Era.

Two rivers for one city: the Saône, for inspiration, and the Rhône, for entertainment.

My favorite place in Lyon: the medieval district ! Saint-Jean is full of secret passages, Irish pubs, cobblestoned narrow streets, and restaurants. In June, you can even see some knights and fair damzels dancing in the streets.

The Basilica of Fourvière overlooks the city. The inside is wonderful, and the view from the gardens is breath-taking. We also have a small radio antenna next to the main building – it is jokingly called “the Eiffel Tower”.

On December 8th, people place candles at their windows, and the city itself celebrates the Festival of Lights. In recent years, modern technologies have changed the festival into a spectacular show, lending colors and life to the buildings of Lyon for just a couple of nights.

Where I want to go:

I have traveled quite a lot in the past few years, and I decided that I couldn’t stop traveling – or at least, not just yet. So here I am, eager to discover more about Oregon, Salem, and Willamette University.

What I would like to do, in exchange for that wonderful experience, is to make cross-cultural understanding easier.  I have lived in many places, and I have liked and disliked several things about them. The same thing goes with the country where I was born: I consider France as a place where there are some good and not-so-good things, as a place inhabited by people and because of that, as a complex, multi-sided reality – a reality that also involves its share of dream.

I would like to multiply mirrors between here and there, to discover the different faces of America and to show the different faces of the Francophone world (not just Paris, but other parts of France, and Africa, Quebec, Belgium, Switzerland, Oceania, the Caribbeans, etc). I hope that in the end, there won’t be just a “we” and a “them” facing each other, but many different faces everywhere. It’s like decomposing light : sometimes it can be blinding when you look into a mirror or a window, but then you add other mirrors and windows, and if you place them well, you get to see rainbows and you’re not blinded anymore. Well, this year, I want to build rainbows.

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