Sunday, October 5, 2008

Almost 3 weeks in France!

Yup, tomorrow will make trois semaines since I've been in France! And what a time it has been so far!

Week 1

After a nine hour flight, a day in London, short flight to Geneva, I finally arrived in Chambéry by train on the 15th September. My first week was spent by a very nice English teacher and her family in the countryside.

To summarize the week (instead of writing a novel lol), I visited one of the schools where I'll be teaching, went jogging around a track with my host teacher and another English teacher from the school, had an interview at the Université de Savoie, got the cold, drank half a bottle of Buckley's Cough & Cold, felt cold, injured my big toe and ankle, bought my first pair of boots (though with the injury I couldn't walk too well in them), bought a French sim card, and spent lots of time walking around Chambéry centre.

Week 2

On Sunday, I moved into an apartment!! I found the place through an agency, and I'm in fact sharing with a French lady who is also the owner. The apartment in located in Chambéry centre (yay!!), and I have Internet access, TV, a full or queen size bed (I'm not sure), a proper kitchen to cook in, etc.

On Monday I had to go to another interview (this time in Spanish) at the University. Interesting... since I haven't done much Spanish in the past three years. A few hours after the interview I received a lovely email... I got accepted to the university to pursue my masters in International Management!!

There was also language assistant training in Grenoble and Autrans this week from the 24th to the 26th September. I met up with the Spanish assistante who is teaching at my second school. At the stage in Grenoble, we met other language assistants in the Académie de Grenoble, walked around Grenoble with two German assistants, and took photos :-) Buses took us from Grenoble to Autrans (a little mountain town). Needless to say, Autrans was cold!! I dunno how people live there... Anyway, so assistants had to share rooms; there were 6 of us in my room: me, the Spanish assistant, two English assistants, one Scottish assistant, and one American assistant.

We went to a bar nearby on both nights spent in Autrans... the bar was nice and warm, and smoke-free! I appreciate the law against smoking in public places. Language assistant training was boring/unnecessarily long for the most part, the food was fine I guess (though as a vegetarian I had to eat a lil more bread to compensate), and I met the only other Caribbean assistant in the Académie, a guy from Jamaica.

Oh, during this week I also started to feel like my normal self, pre-France.

Week 3

I visited Annecy with my Spanish friend (aka the assistant) on Saturday afternoon. Annecy is really, really pretty, and even though we only spent about 3 hours there, we had a good time visiting the lake (including via Le Petit Train), and walking around the old town.

On Sunday I went to the braderie in Chambéry which is a street market which takes place twice a year.

I started classes at the university on Monday!! That was interesting, and felt good to be productive!!!

On Wednesday (1st October) marked the start of my teaching contract, so I went into my main school. On Thursday, I went to the main school and also to the second school for the first time. There'll be more on teaching later on.

Now, Sunday 5th October (which can be considered the beginning of a new week - 4th), I'm getting ready to visit Lac du Bourget (the largest lake in France) with some students from the university. Time for me to get ready! :-)

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