Yesterday it rained cats and dogs, apparrently the first time it has ever done so on Julia’s birthday. Julia also did not have a rain coat. Fortunately, Marianne offered to drive us to school so we were spared the 13 minute (yes, we timed it) walk to school. Even so, we were pretty wet by the time we got from the car to the building! My class have half-days on Wednesday, so I walked home early to have lunch at home, but poor Julia had more school and walked to lunch at a restaurant with her coat over her head. As soon as she came home she expressed her earnest desire to purchase an umbrella and raincoat. I didn’t say much because I knew that Marianne was buying a raincoat for her birthday present! Marianne planned a big surprise party that night. Marie (one of the women who works at the office) came and led both of us over to the office waiting room, where about 20 people were waiting to yell ‘Bonne Anniversaire!’ for Julia. She was so surprised! She had never had a surprise party before, so it was a special way to celebrate her 18th birthday. There were presents, champagne, sandwiches, and a beautiful birthday cake (that even had Julia’s name written with all the correct accents on it). And a raincoat. She won’t have to drown in the rain again! A success on the whole.