Visit Lizy to Burwell – 2009
Viv Wand, a new member of the Burwell Village Twinning Association, writes of her experiences hosting two teenage visitors from Lizy.
"During the August Bank Holiday weekend a group of 27 headed over from Burwell’s twin town, Lizy-sur-Ourcq.  The majority of the group were adults but this year there were also several unaccompanied teenagers and, for our first taste of twinning, my family were to be hosts to two of them.
As the coach pulled into the car park I did feel rather apprehensive.  Entertaining English teenagers isn’t easy, and French teenagers were unlikely to be very different.  As they all piled off the coach my guests, Lina and Moncef, were easy to spot and certainly looked happy enough to be in Burwell.  The adults downed a quick Pimms, had some welcome speeches and then packed them into the car to begin our adventure.
 It seemed a good idea for the visiting youngsters to team up, so before leaving we made plans for an evening get-together with another host family.  By 8 pm there were nine of us squeezed round our kitchen table drinking white wine and chatting away in a strange mixture of English, French and sign language.  My plan to make some new friends had come to fruition quicker than expected!
 On Friday the party headed off to Sandringham for what turned out to be an enjoyable, if rather stormy day.  The following day it was up to us to entertain our guests so a group of 11 of us went to sample the delights of Ely.  Ely Cathedral and Oliver Cromwell’s house did get some admiring glances but by far the biggest attraction turned out to be traditional English phone boxes and more importantly, how many teenagers could fit inside one.  They managed 5 at a squeeze and have photographic evidence to prove it.  We then subjected them to a fish and chip lunch by the river, although the French contingent didn’t look too impressed and the ducks probably ate more chips than they did.
The twinning association had organised a ceilidh for Saturday evening with a live band and a fabulous buffet.  Just about everybody danced and chatted (including the teenagers) and the evening was really enjoyable.

 Sunday morning was departure time and we had been warned to allow plenty of time for farewells.  Sure enough the photos, French kissing (one on each cheek!) and the waving took the best part of an hour.  When the coach finally pulled off we felt quite sad to see them go.  The weekend was definitely a big success, enabling us to make some new Burwell friends as well as meeting the French.  Lina and Moncef were delightful guests so we’re really looking to seeing them all again in Lizy next year."


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