So after weeks of silence, I actually did make it to France with absolutely no fanfare. Well, except for Mom making 80 chicken wings and every available family member coming to see me. But maybe they came also for Oma and Nicholas' birthdays. But anyways.
Things I have done in the past ~72 hours:
1. Play hurry-up-and-wait game.
2. The Syracuse-Newark flight was 45 minutes late at take-off but somehow we made it to Newark on time. Figure that one out.
3. Ate horrible awful no-good airport food.
4. Quasi-puked before we landed in Paris.
5. Wait, I mean we landed in Belgium. There was a bus to take us to the terminal.
6. It's raining in France. All over.
7. Taxi ride to the hotel. I gave him like 5% more tip because my bag was ENORMOUS.
8. Crappy overpriced hotel but it was clean, the door locked, I had my own shower, and it was close to the really ugly train station.
9. Bought a phone card. Called the lady in charge - Marie-Christine Renson - and let her know when I was coming to Brive-La-Gailarde. Called Mom and Dad. Called Andy.
10. Watched a lot of TV. I like the news and the commercials. I do not like dubbed Cold Case, The Shield, or Dora the Explora.
11. Took a 4 hour train ride to Brive-La-Gaillarde where a Madame Marie-Claude Mooty (cannot figure out that spelling) picked me up. I waited for her to be done with her job at the district office (they were scheduling supervision visits of elementary choral classes) and then we went to Ussel.
12. Arrived at the Lycee Ventadour Intendance (Business Office, essentially) and met up with Francoise Verrieras, kind of the school business officer. She offered her apartment to me for tonight. Um, yes please.
So that's what's happening right now. I am in Madame Francoise's extra bedroom which is bigger than my own at home, on her internet connection. I am showered, fed, and very tired although my head is not entirely convinced that it is 9pm.
Tomorrow, I will (1) call Madame Renson to let her know that I'm here; (2) find out if the other two language assistants - a male American and an unidentified Mexican - will let me share the three-bedroom apartment that is reserved for them. I cannot, under the cadre of an elementary assistant, apply for a room in the high school dormitory, but I may if the other two assistants agree. Yeah, I don't get it either, but just go with it. If they say no, then we work on the other options. We being Madame Francoise, Marie-Claude M, and Madame Renson.
Marie-Claude M also informed me that I would be teaching at three elementary schools in Ussel. All three: La Gare, La Jaloustre, and Jean Jaures. I figured as much.
Then on a tour of the town - which by the way is friggin GORGEOUS and so cute, I can't wait to get pictures - Madame Francoise showed me a fourth elementary school, Ecole de la Ville.
So far, doing ok. I still maintain that France is silly but I'm really doing well so far. Yay!