South West France ? Mais j’ai de la chance!

Southwest France proves to be an invaluable addition to this American’s gap year.

Katherine, a nineteen-year-old taking the opportunity to learn about the world by exploring it, arrived on the scene in South West France Monday, May 2nd.  Afforded a range of tasks to tackle, she has pruned some hedges, taken over the emails and blog , and has tried her hand at rendering exterior walls.  One of her absolute favorite parts of the whole experience, however, was the first six-course lunch at Le Poirier in Bardenac, a filling and varied gastronomic experience all in one bowl and two plates. (See more about chez Poirer at their FaceBook page)

Katherine takes a coffee break after a full day rendering a balcony wall in South West France

Coffee respite after a day rendering in South West France

The international, ever-changing community of La Giraudière has proved to be quite the learning experience for Katherine.  A colorful cast of characters come and go like the tides, making for many shared stories and quick smiles.  The surrounding countryside hasn’t stopped filling her with awe, be it because of the light purple wisteria partout (everywhere) or the gorgeous golden sunset that starts around 9:00 in the evening, creating a paradise Midas could never have dreamed of, and draws to a close around 10:00, allowing a multitude of stars to take its place.

Volunteers get together for a group picture during their six-course lunch at Le Poirier in Bardenac

The group at Le Poirier, Bardenac, thoroughly enjoying themselves

A student of French, Katherine is fully engaged in Friday morning lessons with the uncompromising and spectacular Lyn.  She hopes one day to become fluent, as it would be fascinating to know the world through another language, a different pattern of describing (and sometimes shaping) one’s experiences.

As her four weeks in southwest France draw to a close, Katherine would like to express her gratitude for this enlightening opportunity in an environment in which people of all sorts work together to make positive progress — in their lives and on the project.

Like to volunteer or maybe an internship? See how you can explore South West France without breaking the bank.

About La Giraudiere

The whole idea of the La Giraudiere project is for people of all backgrounds, all ages, all nationalities to have the chance to live together learn about each others lifestyle exchange their knowledge, experiences and skills whilst living and working together in France and at the same time helping, improving and adding to the Project for those to come in the future. To see the different types of volunteers work that has been done and what is still required visit our website
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