25 May 2013
Today was a whirlwind. The flight went smoothly, no one’s luggage was “rerouted”, and after an agonizing wait for our vans, we made it successfully to Chavasse Farm. Everyone is clearly thrilled with the place – it’s beautiful. Rustic yet functional, and complete with artifacts from and books on the First World War. With little time to spare we dropped off our things and jumped back in the vans
A little more than off our A-game, the crew made it to the L’Historial de la Grande Guerre, a gem within the small town of Peronne. Though we all thoroughly enjoyed the amazing collection of WWI artifacts and the unique design of the museum, we were unfortunately not in any frame of mind to academically discuss the visit. Instead, we toured the town and bought some ingredients at the local grocery store for homemade dinners.
Back at the farm, we all gathered in the main building to share our culinary treasures and a variety of wine. The most pleasant part of our dinner was how obvious it is that we all get along. It’s lovely to know that regardless of what we experience on this tour, we are all in this together, and are going to have a fantastic time with one another. This realization is likely my favourite part of today.
After dinner, we took a casual walk down to the local Hardecourt WWI memorial. This mini-trip began as a leisurely stroll, yet ended with great insight to public sites of memory. We must have caught our second wind, for we were very much interested in discussing what the memorial means and what it reflects. Graham and Andrew both brought up staggering French casualty rates that affected not only the First but also the Second World War, and even the smallest of villages who lost men on the battlefield. As Andrew pointed out, everyone was affected by the Great War. I am sure we will realize this fact repeatedly as we tour through the numerous cemeteries during our trip.