To what? You may be wondering!
We were attending the ‘Foire des Associations’ in Castelnaudary. This event takes place every September and, as far as I can ascertain, all over France.
This is an opportunity for all the local clubs and societies to get together, in a kind of market place situation, to encourage people to join in with whatever they may be offering.
The one we attended was held in the local gym and was pretty impressive. Each club had a stand, where one could ask questions and find out more information. There was something for everyone, of all ages. As well as sports, there were a wealth of other activities and opportunities to volunteer, as well.
My husband headed for the tennis club representative and I had a look at the AVF. This is the ‘Accueil des Villes Françaises’. Here is a quote from their leaflet:
‘You haven’t lived in or near Castelnaudary for very long. You would like to make contacts, find a helping hand for your new life. So, come along and meet us on Monday afternoons (except during school holidays). See you soon!’
Ideal, I thought! There were several people running this stand, one of whom turned out to be Madame la Présidente! She was very welcoming and friendly and before I knew it I had agreed to teach two English conversation classes, on a voluntary basis! I have always loved being a teacher and I am qualified to teach English as a Foreign Language, so why not?
I also thought this would be a great way to get to know more people and to contribute to the community.
I also signed up to (re) learn Spanish and persuaded my husband to come along with me to the first ‘Rencontre Franco Anglaise’; a joint British/French get together.
Will keep you posted on our efforts to integrate!