Keeping in touch with friends and family while living on the other side of the world.

Archive for the ‘Life in France’ Category

Good News

Doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news in the media these days!  But I guess that just reminds me of the best Good News – that God loves us, that his Son Jesus died to forgive us from our sins, and that one day God will bring his children home to heaven to live forever.  This year I’ve spent living out of boxes and suitcases makes me really long for that eternal home;  I’ll finally be able to unpack and settle in some place for good!

As for our housing situation here in France, the good news is that my in-laws have a buyer for their house and the transfer of ownership is October 3rd.   With that “eviction date” so close now for us, we have set our decision deadline for September 15th, to give us a good two weeks to pack and empty out the house.

Here’s the problem:   Nearly 12 million people (20% of France’s entire population) live in the Paris Metropolis.  Because of the over-population, owners have the privilege of being very choosy when renting their apartments.  It’s really hard to explain the whole ‘culture’ of renting in Paris.   It’s taken us 4 months to just kinda figure it out.  But we really have tried everything.  We even tried getting Guillaume’s parents to rent an apartment for us, and their application was also refused.

So, that last paragraph doesn’t look like it has a lot of good news in it, does it?    But, I guess it really does.  The good news is that God knows exactly where he wants us to be, and he is completely capable of accomplishing his will.    We would love to be able to get housing here and stay in France.  We’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and money on our move over here.  We’ve made friends.  Guillaume has a good job that he enjoys, with good co-workers.   But if we don’t have housing lined up by the 15th next week, we have decided we will have to return to America.

If it was just us, Guillaume and I would go live under this amazing bridge in Paris! But well, we have Lily to think of, and she can't swim yet.

So, pray for us.  We’ll be making a few more phone calls today, following up on a few last housing leads.  Pray for God to open the right doors and close the wrongs ones.  Pray that we have peace with the decision we’re led to, whatever it may be.   God is good.   And, well, that really is just the best news.


Spring in Limay

I love springtime.  I always have, I guess.  It’s almost magical how everything outside transforms in the spring.  For instance, there has been this UGLY tree outside my living room window all winter.  It’s a medium-sized tree, with all it’s branches chopped short, making it look like a hacked-up skeleton.   However, this week, it’s burst out beautiful white blossoms!  And then, (even better!) a friend told us that it’s a real cherry tree, with very sweet cherries.  Now that will be something to look forward to in a couple of months. (Sorry there is no picture of the cherry tree- my poor old camera is dead and it will be a few days until our  new one comes.  I will try to put a picture in my next post!)

I’ve enjoyed being able get outside and do some gardening.  I’ve gotten most of our vegetable garden cleaned up and tilled.  There is still this strip of it at the end, that has some uber-nasty weeds that I gave up on this afternoon.  But I will try again tomorrow!  I actually think they’re shoots from a bush just outside the garden that is trying to take over, but I will not let it. 🙂  So far I’ve planted, peas, radishes, lettuce, turnips and onions; and I hope to plant sweet corn, melons, squash, tomatoes, carrots and green beans- and maybe some broccoli and cabbage.    Lily’s also been enjoying the fresh air with me.   Guillaume, however, only comes outside when I make him- he’s just not the fresh-air kind of guy 🙂

Lily loves being outside!

Lily's sitting on her blanket, watching Mommy plant veggies.

Peek-a-boo, Baby!

Lily helping Mommy hang up laundry outside on a nice sunny day.

Bike ride time!

Lily's first bike ride- enjoying another pretty spring day.

Other news from us:  Guillaume had a job interview at a placement agency last week for an IT Helpdesk job, and he got a call back today, with an appointment for another interview this week- this time, with the actual company that is hiring.   This is really encouraging to us, because this is only the 2nd job interview Guillaume’s had since we moved here 6 months ago.   The French job market is so tight right now, recruiters won’t even look at someone with a foreign degree.  It’s too much of a risk in the French system.   In France, universities offering the same degree, all teach the same program, so employers know exactly what a student has studied, based on the degree they have.  Degrees are also pretty much correspond directly to a job, unlike in America, where you are encouraged to get a broad, liberal-arts education.   2 other factors:  First, French university students do a ton of internships all through their schooling, to gain work experience; but,  Guillaume has no work experience in France (work experience in America doesn’t seem to count with most agencies- go figure?).  Second, because of labor laws, once you get a job, it is nearly impossible to get fired.  So, employers don’t like taking risks.  It was quite discouraging to us when we found out a few months ago that all the hundreds of resumes Guillaume has sent out have probably been trashed without a second glance.    So, all that to let you know that we are quite excited at the prospect of a job interview!  Please pray with us about this opportunity!  We do feel that God has called us to live in France, but to live we must  have a job!

Winter is here

Well, so much for posting often! Lily has been such a perfect baby in all respects, except for taking naps. Pretty much from day 1 in France, she decided that she no longer liked naps, and would only take a nap if she was all wrapped up snuggly and held! And then last week, all of a sudden, she was find with being laid down, and currently is napping soundly in her bed. She didn’t even need to be rocked to sleep first, or anything! Hopefully this continues, and if so, I’ll have more time to blog.

not quite asleep, but content

It’s definitely winter here. We’ve had snow off and on the past 3 weeks, some accumulation, but mostly just really cold! In Limay (our town, just outside of Paris), we are the same latitude as the state of Maine, so when the wind blows from the north… brrr!

the snow is so beautiful

Lily in her snowsuit

This past weekend we went down south to visit Guillaume’s grandmother. She lives in Monte de Marson, about an hour south of Bordeaux, a 700 km drive for us. If you want to know how many miles that is, I’ll let you do the conversion yourself!

Lily with her great-grandma

The weather down there was just beautiful: sunny and about 65F. On our way home, we ran into snow just north of Tours (2/3 of the way home), and instead of taking 3 hours to get home from there, it took about 16. The snow wasn’t much at all, but the traffic started getting really slow. [Well, let me clarify “not much at all”: To all youse guys in PA, you probably wouldn’t even noticed it had snowed; To all y’all in SC, you’d have run out to the grocery store for eggs, milk, and bread, and be home eating French Toast!] Just outside of Versailles, the traffic stopped completely. Paris rush-hour traffic blocking snow plows combined with semi trucks and icy hills just didn’t mix. After sitting on the freeway for 3 hours (9:30pm-12:30am), the police came and escorted us, and some other families with babies, to a nearby gymnasium to spend the night. Lily was super excited by all the bright lights in there, but we finally got her calmed down and asleep. So we were able to get some rest too, before going the last hour of our trip in the morning.

Well, Lily is awake from her nap, so this will be the end of my post. Hopefully I’ll be able to do this more often!