Apparently I’ve become really bad at this whole blogging-often-so-people-can-follow-what-I’m-doing thing…
Anyway… I’m officially happy and content in my not-so-new-anymore routines and surroundings. Since many of you have asked me what my days are like, allow me to enlighten you…
My regular, on-schedule days are Tuesday-Friday:
At 8 o’clock am, my alarm goes off and I wake up the girls to get them ready for their day. I help dress a sleepy-eyed Line for school and a bright eyed and bushy tailed (as my Mom says 🙂 ) Margaux to go to her nanny (more like an in-home daycare with lots of other children). Renaud usually leaves for the restaurant sometime about now. As I help them eat breakfast (anything with chocolate because that’s how the French do), brush teeth, and fix hair, Lorraine is getting herself ready to take the girls and go to work. As close to 8:30 as possible, we (Lorraine and I) get the girls out the door and into the car. After they are gone, I have the morning/afternoon to myself. Usually this consists of going back to bed for a little while, having my 2-3 hour quiet time (because it’s never short…), and/or sometimes, like now, actually writing a blog post. Or writing something else…
At 11:25 am (if I’m up for it, want to, and am ready to go), I walk down to the inn to eat lunch with the rest of the staff at 11:30. Afterwards, I might take a walk through the village and through the park, listening and worshiping to great music while breathing in His glory around me.
The girls come home around 5:00. We play for a while and at 6:20, we walk down to the restaurant for dinner at 6:30 with the staff. After dinner, we return to the house and play more until about 8 pm. I then get the girls ready for bed and put them down.
On Tuesdays at 2 pm, I used to have my French class for 3 hours. However, due to my French coming back to me and improving, I am now moved to a higher level class on Wednesday morning at 9 am. I haven’t started that one yet, so I can’t say too much. I’ll be taking a morning bus at 6:30 am from Marcoles to Aurillac (the nearest “big city”). So….. Early.
Saturdays and Sundays:
Saturdays sometimes vary. I might have the girls all day while their parents are at work, or (more often) I help get them ready in the morning to go to their gymnastic lessons in Aurillac. Margaux then comes home a couple hours later with her mom, and I watch her the rest of the day while Line has her lesson and spends the day with her Grandmother. On Sundays, I have the girls all day until late afternoon/evening when Lorraine comes home. The restaurant is closed Sunday evenings, but Renaud keeps the bar open. Once the girls are with their parents at the restaurant or at home, I’m off for the rest of the night. Sometimes I go to, what I call, the staff apartment, which is the third floor of the inn/restaurant. It holds multiple rooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen/dining room for the staff members from other cities/countries to live in. On Sunday evenings I usually eat with them to get away from the family for a little while.
Side note/fun fact: We have staff members from France, Mauritius (an island country off the coast of Madagascar, where my family served for 2 years when I was little), Brazil, Uruguay, and in June, Thailand. All are guys except for two girls, Nassima who lives in France but is originally from Morocco, and Jessica from Brazil. I’m becoming close friends with the them.
Last but not least… Monday:
The inn is closed on Mondays which gives me the day off. However, I also have class on this day at 1:30 pm. I normally stay at the house until Lorraine, the girls, and I get ready to leave for Aurillac at 12:40 for my lesson while they run errands. My class has a total of about 30 people, but most days only about 20 are present. I’m the only American, but a few of them speak English. Many of them are Eastern European: Albania, Russia, Ukraine, Kosovo, and others that I’m still unsure of. Others are from Bangladesh, Syria, Morocco, and Sudan. I’m still continuing to learn where everyone is from. We all have to struggle to communicate with each other in French, but that’s the fun part… We laugh and speak very broken, poor-grammar-ed French. Since there are so many different nationalities, our teacher can only speak English, so describing things that we don’t understand usually come through using Google images. 🙂 At 3:00, Lorraine and the girls pick me up and we finish whatever errands are still needed to be done before heading back to Marcoles. The rest of the evening is off for all of us.
And voila! My weekly schedule! Sometimes things change, but for the most part, these is what my days look like.
In my off hours, I like to walk around the village border and gaze out across the vast, rolling hills. I talk to God a lot in these moments. I much prefer being alone, walking around, and talking to Him. I find a lot of inspiration as well as smile and laugh with Him. Other times, I enjoy spending time with the staff. Although sometimes awkward and uncomfortable because of the sexual innuendos, they’re a lot of fun to hang out with. And of course… probably my most favorite thing to do is getting to talk to my Dad every morning usually through Facebook and then Skyping my Mom or both of them later in the day a couple times a week.
As far as exciting things to do, there isn’t very much opportunity. But!!! Being here, in this isolated village, alone most of the time is becoming an incredible bonding time between me and my Creator. I’m witnessing and appreciating the beauty of his nature all around me, every single day.
I see full rainbows, double rainbows, rain and hail one minute and three minutes later it’s completely sunny. I’ve watched the snow melt on the mountains off in the distance every morning when I wake up. I’m learning to see everything through His eyes. And gosh is it beautiful…