January 21, 2010

Loving life

Posted in la vie bordelaise tagged , , , , , , at 6:42 pm by Fat Girl Dancing

The most beautiful spiderweb

Within the last few weeks, I have really begun to love my life here in France.  Not so much the job, though there are still the occasional rewarding moments, generally I just try and get through it and get out.  But I love living in Bordeaux and being in France and meeting new people and the friends I’ve made.

For several months now I’ve been going to a language exchange group on Wednesday nights.  French people will come to sit at the English table with native English speakers and non-native French speakers will sit at the French table with native French speakers and have casual conversations to practice in a fun environment.  There is also a Spanish table and sometimes an Italian table.  Generally I sit at the English table, talking with French people who want to practice their English.  I have made some really great connections through this group, and it’s something I’ve come to look forward to on Wednesday nights.  Last night I sat at the French table for the first time to practice my French, and I was pleased that I could follow most of the spoken conversation and I was able to express myself fairly well (though still making some grammatical faults).  My French is definitely better than it was when I left the US.  It’s not where I’d like it to be (fluent), but the fact that I can see marked improvement is heartening.

I’m also enjoying spending time with the other English assistants (although that doesn’t really help me practice my French!)  Last weekend my friend Wes came from La Rochelle and brought one of his friends from Niort.  We had a good weekend of sight-seeing, and I think his friend from Niort will be coming back to visit again!

One of the British assistants had an impromptu tea yesterday afternoon that was absolutely lovely.

Tea time in Bordeaux

We had a mint tea made with freshly brewed mint leaves.  I really regretted that I could only stay an hour because I had to go down to a southern suburb for my tutoring job.

Tonight my roommate and I had some other assistants over for a small potluck to watch the week’s episodes of American Idol.  I made a baked macaroni and cheese, another assistant made chocolate chip banana bread, someone else made bruschetta, and my roommate bought Kinder Pingui.  There is too much good food in my life right now!

A lot of things in France are hard.  It hasn’t been an easy road to get to where I am now.  But I can honestly say: I’m in a good place, I’m happy, and I feel very blessed to have been given this opportunity!

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4 Comments »

  1. Charlebok said,

    Pants on the GROUND!

    Miss you.

  2. Kinzie said,

    So glad things have turned around for you. And yes, so much good food.

  3. Reannon said,

    Wow, you are so lucky to live in France! I’ve always wanted to live there and study French. It’s been a secret dream of mine for YEARS. But I’ve long since given up on it because of several reasons:

    1. I can’t get work visa to teach there because I’m American

    2. It’d be too expensive to move there to study French on a temporary basis, which would be my only other option

    My question for you is, how did you do it? Did you get a Fulbright Scholarship or something? Tell me your secret!

    • jesuislaprof said,

      I definitely feel lucky to be here. The program I’m a part of is sponsored through the US by the French Embassy. If you’re 30 or younger, you should definitely think about applying next year!
      https://www.tapif.org/
      http://www.assistantsinfrance.com

      I found out about the program as I was entering my senior year of college, and though I was right at the top of the age limit (turning 31 on October 17, 2009 — limit stated can be no older than 30 by October 1, 2009), I sent my application in for this year and was accepted! It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the best ^_^

      I really enjoy your blog!


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