France China alliance starts at La Giraudière

La Giraudiere’s Franco Chine “culture exchange

On Wednesday the 1st August 2018 La Giraudiere’s Franco Chine alliance kicked off. This year 2018 is the start of a partnership between an association in China and Les Amis De La Giraudiere,

Vincent, Dankie, Winnie and Ivy arrived at La Giraudière. There were six people there from England, America, Thailand. They had lunch together and got familiar with each other. IMG_7852
later Paul had a conversation with them, they could choose what they wanted to do at La Giraudière, such as gardening, landscaping, book keeping, painting and so on.

France China Alliance

Volunteers Group Meeting

Vincent was a college student whose major was gardening,  so he chose landscaping, His task was to cut hedges,  that was quite a different experience for him. Vincents Chinese name is Tangkan Li and he is from Nanning in China.

vincent

Dankie was weeding that day,the girl in blue hair was so funny, she thought weeding was so interesting because she has never done that before. Dankie who’s Chinese name is Dan Luo is from Guangdong province of China

dunkie

Ivy was doing accounting, Paul would show her how to do it first, she loved this volunteering job so much because she could learn french as well. Ivy’ Chinese name is is Tao Chen and she is a teacher from Chongqing in China

ivy

Winnie chose social media because she loved photographing, she was a nice girl and got along well with other people so easy. Winnies chinese name is Wenyi Sun and she is from Shanghai in China.

winnie

The start of the Franco Chine alliance starts at La Giraudiere in the small village of Brossac in South west France.

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Another Departure of a Volunteer at La Giraudière

Another Departure of a Volunteer at La Giraudière

Today at La Giraudière, we yet again had to wave goodbye to a long-time volunteer, Christine. This was Christine’s fourth stay at La Giraudière, so it’s certainly not her first farewell to this place, but we will still miss her dearly.

During her time here as a volunteer, Christine has helped out with every task available at La Giraudière, from gardening to shopping to housekeeping to accounting. In addition to all of the above, she has also many a time acted as chauffeur for the many volunteers at La Giraudière.

Christine says that she enjoyed sharing the French experience with others, and greatly valued the experience she gained from accounting and gardening. For her, the volunteer experience was overall a pleasant and magnificent sejour.

Volunteer Christine with her certificate

Volunteer Christine with her certificate

We have enormously appreciated the extended contributions Christine has made to this program – not only through her tireless work, but also through her positive energy that encouraged others around her and her dedication to whichever task was at hand. We hope that Christine will return again soon for her fifth stay at La Giraudière, and wish her the very best wherever she travels to next.

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Saying Goodbye to Volunteers Stephanie and Justin

Saying Goodbye to Volunteers Stephanie and Justin

On Saturday at La Giraudière, we sadly had to bid farewell to our hardworking volunteers Stephanie and Justin as they continue on their trip around the world. The Canadian couple was here for two weeks, and during their stay, they performed quite a bit of grueling labor, from gardening to taking down the second-floor wall. Just before their departure, they helped Paul knock down the bricks that had cracked the wall during the storm. Stephanie worked hard gathering fallen bricks and cleaning the debris-covered floor, and Justin loaded the heavy bricks into the van.

Demolished wall with the help of volunteers Steph and Justin

Demolished wall with the help of volunteers Steph and Justin

Steph and Justin were not only hard workers, but also great cooks. While they were here, we had a wonderful Mexican night, as well as a delicious dinner of chicken curry. We will miss their enthusiasm and dedication to their work everyday, in addition to their scrumptious food!

For the next leg of their trip, Steph and Justin are off to Liverpool in the UK, but we hope they will return to La Giraudière sometime in the future. We wish the two volunteers the very best in all their adventures to the four corners of the world!

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A Special Weekend for La Giraudière Volunteers

A Special Weekend for La Giraudière Volunteers

This past weekend was a particularly exciting one for the volunteers at La Giraudière, with many of us going out on excursions for the duration of our long weekend.

Simply because one comes to volunteer in France doesn’t mean one has to stay in France! Sybil, one of our volunteers, left on Friday to spend four days in Milan, Italy. She spent time meeting friends and marveling at the beautiful architecture – as well as taking advantage of the shopping, of course.

Volunteer at the Sforza Castle in Milan

Sybil at the Sforza Castle in Milan during the weekend

Our other volunteers Jean and Helen decided to spend the weekend in Bordeaux, taking the train there and back. During their stay, there was a bustling market in Bordeaux, so there was an exciting atmosphere with lots to do. They went on many walks around the city and had a wonderful time.

Square in Bordeaux

Square in Bordeaux, photo by volunteer Helen

In the meantime, Jill and Viv explored the neighboring villages around Brossac. They went to a beautiful café in the area, and also to Les Essards to take photos and visit a brocante. In addition, they spent time with French teacher Lynn, and had a lovely dinner together.

Beautiful photo from Les Essards

Beautiful photo by volunteer Viv from Les Essards

All in all, the volunteers at La Giraudière got to see many new places and explore Europe during the weekend.

 

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Volunteers’ Day Out in La Rochelle

Volunteers’ Day Out in La Rochelle

On Wednesday, Paul and all the volunteers went on an adventure to La Rochelle, where Francofolies took place only a few days ago. On the way, they stopped at Pons for breakfast and a cup of coffee before going into La Rochelle. They spent the morning browsing the outdoor and indoor markets in the city, as well as walking along the port and taking photos.

Group photo in Pons on the way to La Rochelle

Group photo in Pons on the way to La Rochelle

For lunch, volunteers either went out on their own or ate with the group along the Port des Minimes. Afterwards, they went off into their own directions to shop, have a coffee, or tour the beautiful cathedrals.

La Rochelle is lined with shops suited to everyone’s taste, with designer brands from Paris in addition to chain stores and privately owned boutiques. Some volunteers also headed down to the beach, where a slight breeze cut through the sunny weather.

Port de Minimes at La Rochelle

Port de Minimes at La Rochelle

Beautiful city of La Rochelle

Beautiful city of La Rochelle

After a long day of fun, Paul brought the volunteers to Le Relais, a truckers’ stop for food and rest in Barbezieux. There, everyone had a filling dinner before heading home. All in all, the volunteers greatly enjoyed a midweek outing in La Rochelle.

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