Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Evreux Events!

Hey everyone!

I figured it was maybe time to update my blog again since I have now arrived in Evreux where I’ll be working.  It is hard to believe I have only been here a week and a half… it feels like a month!  But I guess that is how it goes when you are settling into someplace new.  I always forget you have to rebuy all the basics like soap and a garbage can! Ha  … and then, if you’re lucky, you also get to haul them back 15 minutes from the grocery store! ;)  Pretty sure with all these muscles I’ll get then, people will be saying, ‘Chuck who?’ when I get back ;)…ahaha… right. 

After much ado about getting to Evreux in Paris, I had a wonderful person help me out at the train station in Paris.  He took his time explaining everything to me and was so patient with my questions!  So I would just like to add for the record that I would count him as a very nice person that I met in France, to counter the stereotype.  Yay for nice people in France! ;).   

Annie, one of the ladies who was in charge of us (she has a new job now), came with the new lady Cécile, to pick me up at the train station, and then they took me to my residence, and on a tour of Evreux, which was so nice of them. 

We also picked up Alix that day, my new California friend!  The next day, with our lovely Irish friend, we made the trek to Cora— our closest supermarket, which we have come to know very well over the past week!  I have discovered that it is wise never to leave the house without a reusable Cora bag, because you will inevitably find your way there, despite intentions to the contrary!  And who knew peanut butter is an American ethnic import?  I totally caved and bought the only jar they had—a mini camping format jar—and for 4 euros!  Eek!  So that would be about 7$.  However, there are some things I am just not willing to sacrifice.  Plus, with no fridge, it is really the only kind of sandwich I can make, so I figure it is justified. ;) 

Also, I have learnt that you must never, never, and I meant NEVER, leave the house without an umbrella.  It can be just slightly cloudy out (because it seems the sun is not too fond of Normandy), and before you know it, raining cats and dogs!  Or it will be pouring, then stop, then spit, then pour.  I have to say, I won’t be singing, ‘come again another day’ to the rain anytime soon!  You’d think after our summer of rain, I wouldn’t notice, but I think I am ready for some nice fall sun :).

I have had quite a blast so far, between exploring, meeting more lovely assistants, and hanging out with them.  They are all a lot of fun :).  We all went out for a pizza supper one night, had a potluck supper, went out to our first discothèque soirée, have had some movie days, and then went on a guided tour of Evreux on Saturday that the tourism ladies organised (they are so nice!).  Everyone seems to be up for a good time and for adventures, which is great!   

I am looking forward to starting our job, too.  I went to meet the students at the two schools where I’ll be working, but it is still fairly confusing as to what is expected of me, so here’s hoping that gets sorted out!  Some seem to want you to plan with them, others just want you to speak for them… we’ll see!   The students all seemed very cute though!  They are 6-10 years old, although I am hoping to also intervene at the high school level as well.  My one teacher/the principal lady, said I talk like Celine Dion with my accent! Haha  Anyways, I was glad she said it was a Canadian accent.  I also enjoyed watching everyone’s expressions today as I said I was from Saskatchewan.  The confusion and blank looks were priceless ;).    

I will also be moving at the end of October- YAY YAY YAY!!  It really does merit caps locks x3 and exclamation marks.  Ha  I am at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs right now (aka Youth Workers’ Hostel) and it is not the worst of places, but certainly is not the best!  I am looking forward to moving into the Godehilde residence (or, as I like to call it, ‘the Got-it-all residence!) ;) and having a fridge and Internet in my room!  Among other luxuries like a bathroom, showers that don’t turn off after 10 seconds, and non-microwaved food.  Only 26 more days till I can move in!  I plan on living on the purple floor, of course ;).  Until then, it is Jade and I (my English friend!) sticking it out for the minimum stay of a month—thank goodness I have an ally!  :)   

I will be going to visit some family in Belgium during our break at the end of October as well, so I am quite looking forward to that!  Before then, we are all going to Rouen next weekend to see the sites and perhaps sample a few goods at the patisseries! 

That is one of the things I love about here—the patisseries are everywhere!  Which is why it is probably good we have to walk everywhere! Ha  They have sooo many things that look so amazing… and the cheese!  It really is not overrated, just in case you were wondering…. Which is probably good, seeing as they don’t really do milk over here… I think they must have missed those ads that it does a body good.  I did buy some bio milk one day… wouldn’t recommend it.  It’s like toilet paper— sometimes, it’s just best to stick to the brand you know. 

So far, almost everyone has spoken to me in French, which I love, so I think it should be a good language experience (which of course my nerdy self is psyched about!)  ;) 

I hope you are all doing well!  Love you all and hope to hear from you! 

- Megan