Monday, October 7, 2013

it's a quiet village

after a week of the country life here in excideuil, i feel like i’m starting to get the hang of it. during the week, i was forever going back and forth between my flat and the school, each time in the hope that the teachers would have a schedule for me. (no luck.. maybe tomorrow?) it's so great to live this close to my work... whenever i have a free hour, i can go home for a little snack or a catnap. love it. i also did some administrative-y stuff, like opening a bank account and filling out/mailing infinite forms. i spent most of my free time either in my apartment, watching french tv and trying to figure out how the heck the timetables are organized, or down in the café, chatting with vicki and the other patrons. there was a lot of free time…

the biggest day of my week was wednesday, when i went back into périgueux for the departmental assistant orientation day. the entire morning, we were inundated with information regarding our moves to france – how to get our visas validated, how to sign up for the social security system, how the complementary insurance system worked, how to get our rent subsidy… it was enough to make me want to give up, by the end of it. there are just so many administrative hoops… and i’m only going to be here for 8 months. ugh. but the afternoon was great – we were split up into groups, based on the languages and grades we’d be teaching, and then a teacher walked us through how to plan our lessons and gave us a bunch of tips and activity ideas. all in all, it was a great orientation… just very overwhelming. that actually kind of describes what moving abroad is like… great and overwhelming. i’ve been gone for over a month – time is flying!!

anyway, if the slow tempo and relative calm of the work week is any hint to you, weekends here in excideuil are verrrry peaceful. in that, unless you have a car, you can’t leave. happily for me, my upstairs neighbor / new friend mathilde does have a car, so the two of us got to escape the village for a few hours on saturday and head into a town nearby called trelissac for a little retail therapy. there’s not much happening in trelissac, but there was a nice little shopping center. i got a few things that i’d been passively needing (a pair of light tennis shoes, a clock, a yoga ball) and we browsed a few home goods stores (i’m just as obsessed with them here as i am at home). it was really nice to be able to leave excideuil (in a car!) for a few hours, just for a change of scenery. and then today, the weather was absolutely beautiful, so mathilde and i went on a walk around the village and took some pictures. we also watched a rugby match down at the little athletic center… where i learned that some things, like obnoxiously passionate fans of amateur sports teams, are universal experiences. the rest of my evening was spent skyping with my family and planning my upcoming trip to spain!

basically, the point of this post was to let the blogosphere know that i have a new facebook album, filled with photos of my apartment and the village in general. check it out!

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