Interview with Sophia Viguier

How French do you think you already are?
Wardrobe, art, and taste in food, I think I’m getting there! I’m not good at arguing yet, even though I am opinionated. But really, I am not really French yet!

What is your favorite French food?
All of it. I haven’t met a French food that I didn’t like.

What is your favorite French sentence?
Comme-ci comme-ça (like this, like that). That’s pretty much my motto in life. C’est la vie! I like “Oh la vache!” too (oh the cow!).

What has been your most interesting conversation with a stranger in France?
I had an Algerian man propose to me just there on the street, even though he knew I was married and pregnant. I gave him a gospel of John and promptly sent him away. I will laugh if I meet in heaven.

Would you rather live in the French country side or downtown?
Right now downtown, because I love the big cities, the energy, and where there are lots of people. But I may change my mind later!

What do you think of the urban violence in France?
I guess it depends where you go. I have never felt unsafe, although I was happy not to be alone in some places when we were doing evangelism. I’ve grown up in rough places and I’ve seen worse.

How French do you think your kids are?
More French than me! But they always will be. But the whole family is young. We’ll adjust!

What are things that marked you during your first trips to France?
How old everything was, and how when you blink you could miss some really cool things. In downtown Toulouse where we were, there are so many interesting buildings, people and smells. Each of the different cultures that have come in have taken a French flavor, and so on one street you might find both a kebab place and a crêperie (crepe shop).

What are some areas of the French culture you would never want to associate with?
Spoiling your children, although this is done everywhere else to. It is probably easier to be looked down upon when you don’t fit into a specific box or stereotype there as well.

What was your experience with the French evangelical churches?
Very international. Even though they were small, they were very loud (in a good way) and energetic. You got the sense that they were very happy to be there. You could sense that because there are so few believers around, being together is a big deal.

What is the most beautiful thing you have seen in France so far?
The sunsets are really pretty when you are in the countryside. The Christmas lights are really pretty in the cities during Christmas season.

What do you apprehend the most about moving to France?
The communication barrier, both culturally and with the language.

Do you ever wish you could stay in the US?
Only in the sense that I wouldn’t have to learn a new language. The rest I don’t mind leaving behind, although I will greatly miss family and friends. It’s an adventure!

What do you think about the French humor?
I don’t mind it at all, but it is different. It’s been a little more brash than me at times. The French are much more open in their communication than people were in British colonies I suppose.

What did you think of the youth in France?
Really fun! Many people remain in the “student” season for a while and so it’s been funny running into people way older than me who thought I was older just because I had kids.

Are you apprehensive in sending your kids to public school in France?
Not at all. It’s just like anywhere else. I’ve got to teach them what is right and what is wrong, and then if it goes well they can make a difference where they are at.