It has been confirmed by Air France that the flight will depart as scheduled tonight...excellent news! See you all no later than 14h30 outside BYTE restaurant. A reminder to follow the facebook page for further updates and photos by clicking on the following link and 'liking' the page ... SO SORRY FOR MY SILENCE, but once through Emigration I went to load the website entry, only to find that my computer had crashed!! You can only imagine my stress, as this is my lifeline when overseas, not only for the website entries but also for my emails! Anyhow, suffice to say, it is partially up and running again and I can report that we all happily gathered at Gate 12 at 18h00 and boarded AF995, only to be told that we had a 3 hour delay...more curved balls! But everyone took this well and Jessica even said "yay, this means I get time to watch an extra movie!" They served dinner on the gound and then at 22h00 we took off on the magnificent much applause!! PLEASE NOTE THAT MY FRENCH NUMBER HAS CHANGED TO +33 6 23 77 82 27.



We landed safely at 09h00 this morning and our wonderful coach driver, who had waited patiently for a long time, was there in person to greet us with a smile as we walked into the arrival hall! All lugggage was mercifully accounted for and with everyone in good spirits, albeit a little weary, we made our way to our hotel, the Campanile La hotel of choice with a group! Our rooms were not ready, so we had a quick spruce up before heading off for our first metro experience to the Tuileries Gardens. The weather was wonderful - lovely and crisp to energize us and no rain at all! They had time to stroll through the magnificent gardens, spotting the Eiffel Tower, the Carrousel, the Obelisk on the Place de la Concode, the Arc de Triomphe in the distance and, of course the Louvre. All regrouped punctually at 14h00 and then, with renewed energy, we took on Galeries Lafayette, which all loved. We arrived back at the hotel at 17h00 and all were delighted to have a few hours to unpack, shower and chill before our dinner in the hotel restaurant tonight. I am sure that it will not take anyone long to fall asleep thereafter ...including me!!


Just a quick note to tell you what we're up to today as we will only be home again at midnight! We started with a delicious brekakast and then all have enjoyed a glorious few hours on the Champs Elysees. At 17h00 we will go on our boat cruise, followed by a 3 course meal, then our coach tour of Paris by night and finally the Eiffel Tower at 22h30! Everyone is having such a fabulous time and all are so grateful for this amazing experience. Must dash now, as more on our itinerary.... 23h55! We returned to our hotel by coach at 23h30 after having had the most wonderful day! The only disappointment was that we were not able to go up the Eiffel Tower as planned, due to stike action by the security forces at the tower. It was completely shut down from lunch time and even the 2 famous restaurants were closed for service, as it was deemed too risky to allow anyone up without security clearance. Everyone in the group took it so well and were delighted just to see the tower in all its glory as it sparkled on the hour of 22h00. There will be SO many tales to be told from todsy...all wonderful!


Bon et joyeux anniversaire to Makayla - 17 today and what a way to spend it, visiting the Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur in Montmartre and dinner on the Place du Tertre! Everyone has fallen in love with Paris! 22h30...we returned to our hotel at 21h30, having left at 09h30 ... a full 12 hours on the go and apparently 20 000 steps later! What a wonderful day we had, filled with great adventures, new experiences and an enormous amount of laughter. The group has bonded so well and we share such special memories which will last a lifetime. We leave bright and early tomorrow morning for the 2nd part of our tour and all are looking forward to seeing a new part of France. I will write again from Antibes tomorrow, but bed is very much calling all of us now....


Sadly I am still having computer problems, so sorry for the delayed entry! Your children are all well and so very happy to be in this beautiful part of the world! We are delighted to have gorgeous Simon as our animateur and he will stay with us throughout the week! The orientation tour of Antibes was lovely and they enjoyed wandering through the quaint vieille ville. At 5.30pm the families arrived atthe school to collect their children and everyone left feeling very happy with their new family. More tomorrow...


What a wonderful day we have all had! It is my birthday today and I could not have asked to be surrounded by more love & happiness! When I arrived at school this morning, there was a fountain of gifts and good wishes, which were most unexpected and hugely appreciated. Then at lunchtime I was treated to a massive sing-song on the lawns by all the students & staff on campus and we then shared 2 delicious designer cakes. Very, very touching and your children are wonderful - merci mille fois! After their assessment test, they enjoyed cours fermes and tomorrow they will be placed with other international students in cours internationaux. The afternoon excurion was to Monaco and everyone was in awe of this beautiful principality. We started with a tour on le petit train and then we alighted in front of the pink palace for a photo-shoot...and the hope of catching a glimpse of our very own Benoni-born & bred, Charlene! Then all had free time to enjoy some souvenir shopping, before visiting the Cathedral and then returning by coach to Antibes. Tonight there is a soiree barbecue at one of the school's residences and an evening of singing, dancing and social interaction is guaranteed to be great fun!


Apparently last night’s soirée had been a big success, with our South African students once again ‘getting the party started’ with their singing and dancing – bravo! All were anxious to find their class placement, as indicated on the notice board and at 08h45 they made their way to their various classes, eager to start their cours internationaux, where the emphasis is placed on improving communicative skills  & confidence to speak. After lunch everyone joyfully followed Simon to the station, where we hopped on board the train to Cannes. Upon arrival Simon led the group up to Le Suquet, a landmark which affords a magnificent view over the yacht-lined bay & the Estérel Mountains. We then visited the Palais des Festivals, which is famous for hosting the Cannes Film Festival and then all were afforded ‘du temps libre’ (free time)! The majority swarmed to the well-known brand stores such as Zara, Morgan, Sephora and Galéries Lafayette, whilst others were delighted to discover the more affordable shops on the Rue Meynadier, which boast an abundance of bargains in all shapes and sizes! At 18h00 a very happy band of travellers returned to Antibes and everyone is looking forward to recharging batteries tonight for all that still lies ahead!


All enjoyed their lessons this morning and they are feeling so much more confident to communicate in French! After another delicious lunch on the sunny terrace, everyone gathered on the lawn to relax and enjoy some fun, dancing & laughter with the other international students. At 13h30 we hopped on board our coach to Grasse, where we visited the world renowned Fragonard Parfumerie. After a fascinating & most informative tour, we visited the on-site boutique and many purchases were made! We then continued on to the beautiful Gorges du Loup, where we visited the Florian Confisserie & Chocolaterie, which are world renowned for their sweets, jams and superb chocolates! Laden with even more packets, we returned to Antibes in high spirits, just in time for dinner with host families - another wonderful day! 


Everyone has fallen in love with this idyllic part of the world ....and with Simon! He is such a lovely young man with an amazing heart & sense of fun and he has really been a wonderful asset to our group. Suffice to say they plan to spoil him for his birthday with cake on the lawn after school + a whole heap of presents...see the photos! After lunch they will have free time to explore the fascinating vieille ville with all its hidden gems and many are excited to visit the Picasso Museum. We have been truly blessed with such warm & sunny weather throughout our tour and everyone has had the most wonderful time.


Goodness, how time flies and it is hard to believe that this is our final full day on tour...and what a FULL day it will be! After class today all will receive an accredited DELF certificate attesting to the number of hours attendance, the level achieved and a personal comment from the teacher. Then a final goodbye to new-found friends from other countries, as they enjoy lunch on the sunny terrace, before making their way to the train station for the excursion to Nice. Everyone is so excited for the afternoon, with the thought of shopping in some name brand stores, wandering through Vieux Nice & eating ice-cream at the renowned Fennochios and some even thinking of taking a dip in the azure blue Mediterranean Sea. We will leave around 18h00 and go directly to Juan les Pins, where we will enjoy pizzas as a group on the beach, before our final cherry on the top at Pam Pam's - a fun (non alcoholic) cocktail bar with music. Phew - energy is certainly needed for all that lies ahead and keep an eye out for the photos.....!


What a wonderful evening we had at  Juan les Pins last night - eating pizzas on the jetty and watching the sun go down - such an idyllic way to end our time on the Côte d’Azur! Simon has been an incredible animateur, always going the extra mile and we all thank him enormously for his amazing generosity of spirit & sense of fun during the week. This morning we woke up once again to the blessing of glorious sunshine  and all have had time to relax and stroll through the vibrant marché provençal, with some even enjoying a swim! We will gather at Port Vauban at 15h00, where they will say a very fond farewell to their host families who have taken such good care of them for the past week and then we will travel by coach to the airport in Nice. At 18h05 we will board flight AF 7709 to Paris and once at Roissy Charles de Gaulle, our group will remain in transit, where all will no doubt enjoy browsing in the duty free shops. Flight AF 990 is expected to depart at 23h20 and I am sure that there is no need to remind all excited parents & family members that we are scheduled to arrive at OR Tambo tomorrow, Sunday 22 April @ 09h55. To act ‘in loco parentis’ is no mean task and I would sincerely like to thank Alison Hall for her support and dedication to the role - we share very fond memories of our tour with your children. Everyone has had a wonderful experience, having managed to pack so much into a relatively short space of time and, as parents, you can rest assured that you have given your children the most wonderful gift. I have no doubt that each and every child will return not only academically enriched, but enriched as a person, having matured and grown in confidence and the precious memories & firm bonds of friendships will last a lifetime. It remains for me to wish all a happy home-coming - ‘merci beaucoup, bon retour et à la prochaine…!