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Hello! Bonjour!

Hello! Or Bonjour I should say. Let me introduce myself: my name is Valentine, I am 22 years old and I come from France. What city am I from? This is a simple question and yet, it requires a complicated answer from me.  Then keep Google Maps within an easy reach  and all aboard, ship’s boy (or girl)!

Heading for Ajaccio, the city where I was born long long long ago and also the capital city of Corsica, coordinates: 41°55′36″N 8°44′13″E ! Welcome to a French island inhabited by a fierce people eager to protect their land from the drifts of globalization (heavy construction over virgin fields, loss of traditional values,…) You may wonder why, after all it is a worldwide phenomenon nowadays.

Well, I wouldn’t be able to explain every single detail of this ancestral Mediterranean fight between tradition and modernity. But when you see what Corsica –also known as “l’Île de Beauté” (the Beauty Island), has to offer, don’t you wish it remains an untamed French territory a little longer?

Chapter 2, when I was 7, my family moved to another French region, as idyllic as the first one. I’ll let you guess: it is an island, it is situated in the Caribbean (yes! like in Pirates of the Caribbean, but not during the same period… sniff I couldn’t meet Jack Sparrow…), the first letter is M… Martinique! You’re so good at it! And there, my little freshwater swabs, I discovered a new way of life. The people there live at the pace of their Creole music and entertaining gossips, in a scenery made of madras –a traditional stuff, rum, coconut trees, storms, multicolored flowers and fine sandy beaches. Without a doubt, their regional anthem could almost be the famous “Hakuna Matata!” I studied Literature, Arts, History, Biology, Geography, Physics (I admit this subject was not my favorite…) and in the playground and through the streets, I learned to speak Creole.

I spent 10 years there and as soon as I graduated, I went back in the French metropolitan territory, in Marseilles (just Marseille, in French.) Now, my loyal crew, let’s sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the second biggest city in France (after Paris, of course.) Rumor has it that Bradley Cooper –oui oui oui, spent a year in the same university as me, in Aix-en-Provence. The equivalences of the grades in France being different, I think I am somehow a senior in British and American Literature and Civilization –I can also dance salsa and make crêpes! but nevermind. Take a look at Marseilles, this cosmopolitan city where its Mediterranean inhabitants smile and talk loud, where no streets are alike, where sun is almost always present and where you have to (I said “have to”) be proud of  the same soccer team: the OM –l’Olympique de Marseille.

Last January, as I really wanted to be a teacher, to discover a new culture, to practice my English, to set off on adventure, I was told that French assistants were needed in the United States. No need to tell you that I immediately applied. Moreover, being a French assistant also means to see French culture in a different perspective and that is precisely what is exciting about this job. Indeed, thanks to you, I am able to fulfill my dream, to be a “little ambassador” of my own country and to like my homeland even more! By June, my application got approved. And this, kids, is how I met your… hum! I mean, how I arrived at Willamette University!

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2.   By Bunga on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    France is a wonderful country landscapes. May you always managed to get all the dreams, and success always

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