It’s been three weeks since I came back to the north of France!
In the past week, I’ve looked for work in Lille, visited Paris for two days, participated in a traditional cousinade, and started giving private English lessons.
The job search scene has been full of ups and downs, but I am trying to feel optimistic. I finally called the Parisians to see if I had been renewed for the year, and their answer was no. In fact, they informed me that they weren’t renewing anyone for the year because of the 20% decrease in assistant positions. This is totally false, because I know some British assistants who were renewed, but whatever! They also told me that I could call the Académie de Lille to ask them directly starting on September 3rd. This way I can check with the school district itself to see if there were any assistants that pulled out last minute and I may be able to take their place.
Otherwise, the boy has been helping me network by putting an ad online to give English private lessons and by talking to his previous teachers who have helped me get in touch with some other educators. I have two new private lesson clients this week and will be sending out some emails tomorrow to try to get in touch with those who work at a university in Lille.
I took a break from the work scene for a couple of days to see my friend Heather in Paris! She was traveling through Europe for a couple of weeks with a couple of friends, so I decided to meet them there since I’m living only an hour and a half away by TGV. Our time was limited, but we managed to see the Champs Elysées, l’Arc de Triomphe, Nôtre Dame, and of course, la Tour Eiffel. We even did as the Parisians do, taking our store-bought bottles of wine and beer with us to la Seine (the river running through Paris) and drank outside, waving to all of the boats full of tourists cruising by. Our fellow Baylor friend François, who studied abroad at Baylor and did not join us in the waving, came along with us so we could all catch up.
The day after I came back, it was time for the cousinade, or as we might say in English, “cousin reunion.” The boy and his cousins got together for a dinner, and boyfriends and girlfriends came along. It was a great way for me to meet some more of his family, eat some yummy Belgian food, and play with his adorable goddaughter. She just turned three in May and she was a great dinner conversation partner. We played with her puzzles, Leapfrog computer, and drawing board and I had oh so much fun. Plus, she didn’t even say anything about my accent and was so proud of me when I completed the puzzle. “Haley, tu as réussi! / Haley, you did it!” she exclaimed proudly. Adorable.
Overall, it’s been a great three weeks back in France. Here’s to hoping that there are still awesome things to come! Keep your fingers crossed for me!