Well, I’m back in France. This time, I’m living in Toulon which is about as far South as you can get; about 800 km from Paris, right on the Mediterranean. I’ll be here for two months. While here, I’m working for an organization called Les Petits Frères Des Pauvres, which translated means “The Little Brothers of the Poor.” Basically, it’s a service organization that works with elderly people who are lonely and in need of some companionship. It’s been around since the end of WWII and it’s still going strong.
I’ve been in Toulon for a little over a week and a lot of what I’ve done so far has just been socializing. Many of the people we work for have families that have spread out all over the country or even world, and they’re just lonely. They’re independent enough to live on their own, so we provide a service by visiting those who cannot leave their homes and organizing events for those who can––meals, short vacations, day trips, we even got together and gardened one day. Our office has an open door policy, and our poor coffee machine must just exhaust itself trying to accommodate all our guests.
So, that’s work. Some days are busier than others. One day, I literally knitted all day and came home feeling pretty useless. But other days are pretty busy. I spent Friday delivering groceries to the homes of some really sweet people. It’s a really great opportunity to be welcomed into the homes of people like that, especially in French culture, and all the people I talk to are really sweet and compliment me on my French, which is nice (and probably dishonest) of them, but I appreciate it.
Speaking of Friday, go America! That was of course the Fourth of July. My roommate Kathryn and I tried to get together with other Americans from BYU in Marseille to celebrate, but due to poor planning and short notice on our part it just didn’t work out, so we spent the evening just being American by ourselves. We went to the grocery store and bought the most American things we could find which were potato chips, soda, brownies (which were awful), and these mini chocolate covered waffle things, which are probably actually Belgian, but they’re delicious, and if they were sold in America, I know everyone would love them. And then we watched Parks and Recreation. Because who is more American than Leslie Knope? Nobody, that’s who. Oh, and we went to the beach and had a sweet photo opp.
Speaking of pictures, here are some. Thanks for reading!