Eilidh Exchanges Ceilidh Culture

Dancing in the Moonlight

Here at La Giraudiere, we love sharing cultures. Due to our volunteers being from across the globe, everyone has their own traditions, from clothing to cooking. We pride ourselves on allowing everyone to experience other cultures and a prime example of this was last Friday. Our resident Scot, Eilidh, decided to teach some of our volunteers how to ceilidh dance.

For those who are unaware of what ceilidh dancing is, it is a traditional form of Scottish dancing. It is frequently performed at weddings and Burns Suppers and is a great way to get people dancing and mixing. Eilidh “loves a good ceilidh“, so after dinner she took Janet, Jack and Antoine through a few of the steps.

They covered a total of 3 dances; “The Gay Gordons”, “The Canadian Barndance” and “The Military Twostep”, all accompanied by tunes from Eilidh’s favourite bands from home. Despite discovering they all had 2 left feet, the group soon got into the dancing and in the end they put on a great show.

When the team got too tired from all the Scottish dancing, they deicded to let their hair down and put on some classic tunes that everyone could dance to. Macarena, S Club 7 and Steps were all blaring from LG and the group loved being able to dance under the stars and have their own party.

Here is a short clip of the group performing “The Gay Gordon’s” .Why don’t you try and learn it from the video and send us a clip? The best video will get shared on our Facbook page, get your dancing shoes on!!


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Whopper Weekend!

Football, Fête and Food!

What an exciting weekend for the LG volunteers!!

After our volunteering during the week, we love an exciting weekend, jam packed with culture and experiences!

Our weekend began on Saturday when some of our volunteers headed off to Brossac for the local market and explore the village further. Despite the weather not being fantastic, Shao Ping, Eilidh and Antoine  had a fabulous time looking around and relaxing!

On their return, the group headed off to a local fête in Tatre. We saw the local bike race and some of their stalls before heading to Chalais for a family dinner. It was nice to relax together as a group and enjoy some local food-it was amazing!!

selfie on the way to the fete

selfie on the way to the fete

To end day 1, we watched Brossac&Chalais football team win their first game of the season. It was a close game, despite the final score being 1-0, and the volunteers loved watching the game and interacting with the locals.

allez les verts

allez les verts

Day 2 saw us decide to head to the beach in Royan! To break up our journey, we stopped off along the way in Talmont to see the cobbled streets, hidden shops and the historical church. We then continued onto Royan to enjoy some local food, shopping and sunbathing!! It was the perfect way to enjoy the sunshine and we all had a smashing time. We ended our trip at St Palais Sur Mer for some ice cream and a final swim before retunring home. Due to the excitement of the day and all the fresh air, we were all asleep by 9pm!

Eilidh enjoying the local delicasey of mussels and chips in Royan

Eilidh enjoying the local delicasey of mussels and chips in Royan


the view of the church in Talmont

the view of the church in Talmont

We had a great weekend and we would like to thank Paul for taking us to these fabulous places. We are now back to work and already planning our next excursion!


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The English have arrived!

Welcome Jack and Janet

J² arrive at La Giraudière

As sad as it was to say goodbye to Jessse, we welcomed 2 new volunteers this week. Jack and Janet from England are spending a few weeeks here with us to improve their French and immerse themselves in the French culture!

Jack is our politics enthusiast from Devon! He loves a bit of “bant” and don’t get on the wrong side of him when it comes to scones (the jam MUST go on before the cream) Despite not speaking much French when he arrived, in the past few days he has picked up a lot of vocabulary and he feels like he is improving lots! After arriving earlier in the week, he deicded to take advantage of the local transport and spend a few days in Paris! He had a fabulous time but is happy to be back with the LG team.

Lucky Jack has been seeing this iconic French monument for the past 3 days

Lucky Jack has been seeing this iconic French monument for the past 3 days

Next we have our dancing queen Janet from just outside London!! She arrived last night, just in time for a boogie at the lake at the end of season concert. In Eilidh’s words “I hope to be as cool as  you are when I am your age”. After learning French for a year through conversation classes at home, she found LG on the internet and decided to come and spend 3 weeks with us. She is a keen gardener, so will be taking full advantage of our plants and land to show her artistic side.

Our beautiful courtyard for Janet to transform

Our beautiful courtyard for Janet to transform

Again, welcome Jack and Janet and we hope you have a pleasant stay with us in Brossac!!

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Au Revoir Jesse

Fond Farewell to Joyful Jesse

We bid Au Revoir to our resident Irishman

We again are saying farewell to one of our volunteers. Today, Jesse returns home so to conclude his time here, we decided to do a quick interview about his time here and what he enjoyed the most…

1. What jobs were you doing during your time at La Giraudière?

I was doing a variety of jobs, including housekeeping, gardening, building maintenance and helping with events.

2. What was your first impression of La Giraudière?

I thought it was very peacful and the countryside made it very calm and relaxing. It was also such a multicultural environment as well as having strong French roots.

3.  What was your highlight of your time at LG?

I can’t pin down one moment, but I really enjoyed getting to practise my French with the locals, and making new friends from across the globe.

4. What was your favourite excursion?

It would probably be Aubeterre sur Dronne. I went there when I was younger so it was like walking down memory lane to be there again.

5. Would you come back to LG?

Yes of course!

Farewell Jesse

Farewell Jesse

Thank you again for all your hard work Jesse, and we wish you every success when you return to the UK!!!

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Dinner with a Twist

Chinese Banquet in Brossac

At La Giraudière, we all take it in turns to cook for each other. Commonly, people cook their favourite dishes from home or dishes that their countries are famous for. On Tuesday, we were delighted to receive a Chinese Banquet from our 4 volunteers from China. Onstead of keeping this to ourseves, we invited 7 locals from Brossac along for a party!

Group picture

Group picture

Since it was going to be such a big task, the rest of the volunteers decided to lend a hand, and the girls taught us how to make dumplings and hot pot. We just about managed to get the hang of it in the end!

Teaching us to make dumplings

Teaching us to make dumplings

When the locals arrived, it gave all of our volunteers the opportunity to practise their French with native speakers. We all took advantage of this and the locals helped with our grammar and pronunciation. Alognside some great conversation, we also enjoyed some fabulous food and wine. The locals especially loved the Chinese dumplings and many of us went up for seconds…and thirds!

To end the evening, we all played music from home. We learned some French songs and dinner party games, and Eilidh let the locals listen to Trail West and Tide Lines (2 well loved bands from Scotland). The mix of cultures was amazing and we all thouroughly enjoyed our evening.

Discussing our favourite music!

Discussing our favourite music!

Thank you to all the locals for coming along, the volunteers for cooking and Paul for arranging the evening. We hope to do it again soon!!

Posted in About La Giraudiere, Community Event, France, France China alliance, Franco Chine, Learning French, volunteer, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment