The La Giraudiere 2017 volunteer program is now underway! Over the last two weeks we’ve welcomed the first six volunteers for 2017, Texas Tom who comes for his fourth season with us as well as five people who are joining us for the first time.
The past week has been busy with lots of jobs to do but also lots of social events to attend! Brossac may seem like a quiet village at first but there are so many activities to get involved in and the local community are very welcoming. Below are just a few of the social things we have been to over the last few days.
The local football team recently won their league and to celebrate they held a gathering in Chalais. We were invited with around 100 other people to have paella. After indulging in lots of delicious food and wine the party really started! People of all ages took to the dance floor and danced into the early hours, we even got to see some French dances which we will definitely be taking back home. Everyone there was very friendly and we even managed to get invited to a birthday party later in the week. On the way back to La Giraudiere we stopped off and went to the karaoke, unfortunately we ran out of time and didn’t get to hear Paul sing!
Monday afternoon, we ventured into town and joined in for a couple of games of Pétanque with some of the locals. This was a great opportunity to practise a bit of French and even though I was terrible at the game it was a fun afternoon and a chance to tan (or get sunburnt…)
Tuesday evening, after a day working in the scorching sun, we went to a restaurant in Chalais to play a game of poker and have a lovely dinner. At the game there were a mix of English and French speakers, it doesn’t matter if you can’t play – grab a drink from the bar and chat with some of the other players or take a walk around Chalais. The people we met here invited us to other local activities, it’s best to just get stuck in!
Even though the weather wasn’t great, on Wednesday we decided to have a BBQ and invite some of the local people we had met during the week. It was a fantastic evening with plenty of food, drink and singing. It was also nice to see how much French we had picked up even though we had only been here a short time, proving that immersion into the culture really is the best way to understand a language.
On a daily basis, a group of us often take a short walk down to the lake to go swimming. It’s often quiet down there but there are two bars overlooking the lake so if swimming isn’t your thing you could go have a drink and take in the views.
The best thing to do with this project is just to have a go! It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, to learn/practice your French and try new things you haven’t done before. There are plenty of jobs on-site to keep you busy during the day and lots of activities to participate in on an evening which will make your stay here unforgettable.