Absence makes…one forget about blogging.

First things first.

Let me begin by saying I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last wrote.  More than 2 months.

A lot has happened in 2 months.  Take a couple of personal issues, some work stress and an incredibly frustrating writer’s block, plus throw in the stress of finishing up your job and finally being able to apply for your French visa, and you’ve got yourself 2 months of feeling unable to update.  Even now, it feels a bit strange.  I am out of practice.  That doesn’t give me much confidence for when I actually get to France and start having the adventures for which I created this blog.

Now for the “Paris Process” update:

I finally received my arrêté de nomination on July 25th, right before vacation.  This is the piece of paper that 1) allows me to apply for my assistance visa, and 2) tells me which school I’ll be teaching in come October 1st.  Actually, my first arrêté only told me my inscription académique (I.A. des Yvelines) but didn’t mention the exact school.  It wasn’t until I returned home from a week at the beach that I received a bordereau de l’envoi and another arrêté which specified the school.  My school is une école élémentaire publique located in Mantes-la-Ville.  Elementary school…ages 8-11!  This town is located approximately 45 minutes to an hour by commuter train (transilien) away from Paris.

Visa application, phase 1.

Everything went well at the Ambassade de France to get my visa.  Peter and I had appointments at 11:15 and 11:30, and we didn’t get called to the window until 12:15 and 12:30 or so.  (That was almost to be expected, but still long.  I was glad I had company.)  But we had all our paperwork in order, and everything seemed good to go.
The guy at the first window called me “princess” and took all of my necessary papers and copies + form from the French Office of Immigration & Integration.
The guy at the second window was cute, in a dorky kind of way (he reminded me of Jim on The Office), and asked me if I wanted to speak to him in French or in English.  I said “Comme vous voulez…” (as you wish) and he continued in French, telling me to ask questions if I did not understand.  I understood everything, though (of course!) and it was fine.

So that’s that.  We turned in our paperwork.  They will process it.  We will get a letter in the mail that allows us to come back into the embassy without an appointment.  We bring our passports back then and they will affix the visa onto our passports.  This will come in about 10 days or so, 2 weeks at the latest.

In other exciting news,

we have booked our plane tickets via AerLingus.  A one-way ticket is so very exciting!  Peter and I will leave together on September 18th at 6:30 p.m., and arrive in France on the morning of the 19th.  Less than a whole month before we leave!

I have begun packing.  Mostly just select winter clothes, towels, and assorted teaching aids.  A few months ago (probably before this blogging dry spell), I bought myself two spiffy, red Coleman suitcases.  (see below)

I bought myself the large one and a smaller one

I bought myself the large one and a smaller one

Now, to get ready for a very important visit from a very important person on Wednesday…. :)


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