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15 Jun 15 Written by  Published in Humans of Provence Be the first to comment!

I like this picture because in actual fact, a kitchen is generally speaking one of the least likely places you will find my dear friend Gaëlle. It just so happens that this kitchen is located in the cabin of her family's boat - a place where Gaëlle can in fact be found quite frequently. There was even a time when her entire family - her three younger brothers and parents - all lived together on their 75 year old ketch rig. Docked in Toulon, the JLD'Ahttp://goo.gl/IGD1yb (one of only four French ketch rigs in all of the Mediterranean) was home to Gaëlle from the age of 14 to 18, as well as to her family and their faithful dog and cat. Gaëlle lead a normal teenage life (as normal as they get when your home is a 75 ft wooden ship) every day, studying literature at Dumont d'Urville high school and playing piano in the boat's cabin under the watchful eye of her musical mother. Gaëlle has seawater in her veins - her grandfather was an Admiral in the French Navy and she has never lived far away from the sea. In fact when she visits friends in nearby Aix-en-Provence, just 50 miles north of Toulon, she brings an anorak. Gaëlle and I share a love for Brazil through our family heritage. She and I met 19 years ago in the amphitheater of the University of Aix where we were both attending the University President's welcome speech for first year students. I first walked into that amphitheater registered to study English Literature... by the time I walked out, I had cancelled my major and switched to the Portuguese Literature department to follow my new friend's lead. Today is Gaëlle's 35th birthday - Happy Birthday amiguinha!

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