COP 21 Update – Saturday, December 5 & Sunday, December 6

Good News! On Saturday the 5th the ad hoc group working on the compromise proposal adopted the draft and forwarded it to COP, which met in the evening to approve it as a working draft. Some said there was an “unexpectedly harmonious mood” given Friday’s tense exchanges. Many feared that the ghosts of past (less successful) COPs had come back to haunt this one, but the dramatic change in tone soon led to compromises and delegates were reassured that the process could move forward. (From IISD Reporting Service)

Time to act like tourists! We took the weekend off to explore. Our Latin Quarter neighborhood is interesting—not “touristy’ but where real people live. We are staying on the Rue Notre Dame des Champs with the Sion sisters, who are members of UNANIMA. We eat our main meal at the UN site, or “out” on the weekends, and buy baguettes and fruit fresh every day from neighborhood patisseries and tiny “supermarches.” (Sorry, this tablet does not have the proper accents!) We travel by a very convenient RER commuter train that takes us right to Le Bourget, where shuttle buses take delegates and official observers (that’s us) to the UN Summit site. On the way to the train we pass neighborhood schools with “scooter parking” along the sidewalk (see picture), a small shrine at our station commemorating a subway bombing on December 3 several years ago, and commuters of every hue and nationality, just like New York.

But Saturday we slept late and took the train just two stations to San Michel (picture) and Notre Dame, where we spent almost an hour with our mouths hanging open at the loveliness of the rose20151202_205432 windows, gothic architecture, and works of art (see the picture of the flying buttress at the back, where Stacy had an encounter with some pickpockets). We lit a candle for all of you at the stone statue of Jeanne D’Arc. Next on our agenda was a stroll down the Seine (picture) to the Louvre, right across the river—but first a French omelette, a glass of wine, some espresso. From there we could see the Tuileries Gardens with their smaller 20151205_020753Arc de Triomphe, giant ferris wheel and carousel—and our very first sight of the Eiffel Tower!

Sunday after Mass at Our Lady of the Fields Church, we saw it all again–but from a better angle–on a boat ride down the Seine with Barbara Spears SNJM, our third UNANIMA member at the UN Summit.