By the hour, I’m falling more in-love with my professor’s family and the island. This morning, after a relaxing breakfast on their porch of ananas (pineapple), brioche, and yaourt (yogurt), Nathalie, Acadie, Anton (with the skate) and I left for la ravine. I told them that I was interested in running, and they informed me that trail running is very popular here. I nearly followed Acadie’s lead and pooped on the sidewalk when they told me!
They took me to an entrance to la ravine near their house, and we walked straight into les montagnes. As we made our way up the mountain, we saw all sorts of runners, even those sporting Ultimate Direction hydration packs, an American ultra-distance running company famous for theirs. What a small world. Too bad I had to leave mine at home!
They taught me the names of plants and wildlife, random words today like poteau électronique (telephone pole), cue de sac or une impasse (a dead-end), bouilloire (kettle), and boire un coup (have a drink, slang). I quizzed Anton for his English test tomorrow on the days of the week during lunch. Everytime I asked Nathalie or Anton on how to say something in English, they would turn the question around on me.
After our hike through the ravine, where we could see the entire city of La Possession and l’Océan Indien, we drove to St. Gilles-les-Bains, just past St. Paul where I will be teaching at Collège Plateau Caillou et Lycée Hôtelier La Renaissance. Three Spaniards, one male, two female, as well as a french girl will be sharing the flat with me if I decide to live there. It’s a minute walk to the ocean, and according to Jean-Mick, another English professor at Lycée Hôtelier La Renaissance (LHR), St. Gille is “the most happening part of the island.”
My potential flatmates were very nice, but I worry that they would only want to speak English and refer to me in terms of cultural stereotypes. The Spanish guy kept telling me that we would be making “a lot of party.” I have some options, though. Nathalie offered to let me rent out her studio and to live with the family for a small price, and another couple living in St. Paul has offered to let me live with them for free in exchange for English lessons.
I love this family a lot, and I could commute to school with Nathalie everyday. St. Gilles is full of other assistants which could also be fun. In my complex alone there must be at least 8 or so living there. A few other assistants from the US have also written on our group page that they’ll be living there as well.
Right now I’m watching the Ryder Cup, a US golf tournament I had no idea existed. I’m learning about my own country 10,0005 miles away from home! Go figure. Tomorrow I’ll be going for a run in the mountains. There is a 175km race that traverses the island diagonally called Le Grand Raid – Diagonale des Fous in octobre that passes right by Nathalie’s residence.
À tout à l’heure! (see ya later!)