Am sitting among thousands of people at CDG and am waiting for my flight back to Stockholm. The flight is delayed by half an hour, which gives me a bit of time to finally, finally write my next blog. I am getting a bit behind with my blogs, instead of almost one a day, I am now down to a minimum of one a week! This does certainly not reflect the lack of things to write about, but rather me feeling a bit uninspired!
Once again we were in Les Eyzies these past days, and once again with a group of students from Lund University and Stockholm Universities. Many of our students are life-long learners, who found back to the university after their retirement, but many are also quite young and middle-aged, and just curious to learn about new issues in science. We visited many of the famous sites, such as La Micoque, Le Moustier, and La Ferrassie, which had been excavated a long time ago, we marvelled at the beautiful cave paintings of Pech Merle, Cougnac and Rouffignac, we studies the exhibitions at the Museé de la Préhistoire in Les Eyzies, and we had a great lunch Chez Jugie. Since 2008 we have had this excursion twice a year, and in total, I must have visited Les Eyzies eleven times by now. Still, I very much enjoy coming back.
Next year’s excursions are already planned, two in May with one week for Lund University and one for Stockholm University, and a third, joint excursion in September. Hopefully I will be able to convince the French guides next time that we need more time to visit the caves than the normally allotted time, and that the guidance can be made in French with enough time for a translation to Swedish. Language problems are our biggest obstacle! Many students understand English quite well, but they often do not understand special words in English, and most of all, they have a hard time following the English pronunciation of some of the French guides. Resolving these problems is not that easy. We cannot get more time for the visits (actually we already have more time than normal groups in some places), and we cannot get guides who speak Swedish (for sure not many Swedes visit this region). Probably the best way around is to decrease the size of the group from almost 40 to 26 students, which will allow for more time to make short summaries in Swedish before and after the visits to the caves.
Not much time left until the flight leaves … let’s hope I can get the blog online now …