GW Women's Hoops Visits French Alliance
Colonials Take in French Culture Ahead of European Tour
Aug. 1, 2014
WASHINGTON - One day after its first official practice ahead of its upcoming trip to Europe, the George Washington women's basketball team visited Alliance Française in a nearby Dupont Circle neighborhood to learn about the culture and some history behind the sights they will see on their stops in France.
Dr. Gérard Beck, the academic and deputy director of the Alliance, spoke of the staples in Paris like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Versailles, as well as some less-famous spots such as the Catacombs and the Obelisk. Dr. Beck also talked about the other cities the Colonials will visit around France - Marseille, Nice and the principality of Monaco.
After a brief break to enjoy French pastries, Dr. Beck explained some of the cultural differences the travel party should expect during their six days in France before teaching the Colonials some basic French words and phrases and how to count to 10.
"I think the thing that was most interesting to me was the cultural difference," said junior Aaliyah Brown. "The eye contact is different, the language is different. Overall you have to be aware of your surroundings and be open to learning about their culture because it's a little different than ours."
GW Athletics Hall of Famer Cathy Joens ('04) was on the Colonials' last foreign tour to Italy and Switzerland in the summer of 2001 and has played professionally in Europe for 10 years, including six years in France, where she has lived both in Marseille and just outside Paris.
"My favorite part of France has to be the food," she said in an email. "I love French food - the cheese, the wine, the bread - it's unbelievable. Every meal in France is an `event;' the presentation and quality of food is excellent. Paris has become one of my favorite European cities - the history, the culture, the art and shopping are so fun to enjoy. There is always something to do in Paris."
The Colonials will spend 10 days abroad in England and France from Aug. 13-23, making stops in London, Paris, Marseille, Nice and Monaco.