International Office - Aberystwyth University

Playing at Being a Grown-up

This is it! The INSUP course has finished and tomorrow I will be starting my foray into the world of actual grown up people work where I will be responsible for others and it will actually matter if I don’t understand what they say!!! I’m panicking, there’s no other word for it. But in true Burwell style I have meticulously planned and practised my route to work and over-thought every event which may or may not happen. Still, I’m getting ahead of myself as this stuff is yet to happen and this is a blog about what has happened so let’s take a step back.

This week was my (and the other stagiaires’) last week on the language course at INSUP. We’ve spent 3 weeks there and it had started to feel like a big family. Anyway this was the week it all got serious. We all (bar one) had interviews with our new bosses and mine turned out to be way less posh than I had envisaged which was a huge relief. My hours are long at 6am-8pm, 3 or 4 days a week but I also have plenty of time off so there is scope for travelling or perhaps even getting my dissertation written. My job title is ‘animatrice’ and I’ll be working in what the French call a centre d’animation which is kind of a cross between day care and a holiday camp for children between 2 and 16. For my first 2 weeks I’ll be working with children aged 6-11 doing activities which include gardening, building forts and tag rugby-sounds nice, eh?

Yesterday was, for most, a day of recuperation after a heavy Friday night but a few of us made it out to Parc Bordelais which was just gorgeous in the weak sunlight. which was freaking deceptive and I came away with cray sunburn. The park itself is lovely and green and packed with wildlife including tiny baby rabbits. There is a sort of zoo type thing, too with farm animals which stink, but make the park the perfect place to take kids when you’re at a loose end.

Also this week I finally made it out to Bordeaux Plage du Lac which is a man-made beach on a lake. Obviously the sand is white and soft and the only downside is that the area of lake you are actually permitted to swim in is fairly small. Despite this we spent a good 4 hours sunning ourselves on the beach, this did not in anyway result in embarrassing sunburn on my part only stopping to take a dip or skip over to the food truck for a magnum. It was a lovely day and I would recommend paying this beach a visit to anyone travelling to Bordeaux without a car, or the money to hire one, as it is much quicker to get to via public transport than the coast.

Trying my best to avoid the inevitable sunburn!

Right now it’s fair to say that I am bricking it for tomorrow but que sera sera and all that jazz, I can’t screw it up too badly. Or rather I can, but I’ve probably already considered that possibility so at least it won’t be a surprise!

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