Thursday, September 26, 2013

Found in the living room!

The title says it all really!

Association mad!

Here in Reunion, and I assume in mainland France, they love their "Associations"!  An association is a formal group that is registered with the local government, as far as I can tell it can be set up of any reason (except sports) and can apply for subventions from the local government.  

In the last year we have become members of a few different associations, the kids do Indian dancing with one association (which I've mentioned before), Aurelie has been involved in the set up and running of another to run child minding at Sam and Ela's school before and after school hours.

But the association we have been involved with the most is "Les Coeur de Mont Vert Les Bas" (the Heart of Mont Vert Les Bas), it's an association to bring the people of the locality together in various activities.
A friend of ours, Isabelle, is the president (and founder) of the association and keeps it humming along.  

Arts and crafts for the kids
Over the last few months we've had: weekly kids activities over the school holidays, weekly games sessions (cards, Uno, Dominoes type games), seaside picnics, book and plant exchanges and a meal at a restaurant/smallholding (with complimentary pony rides!) and this week Aurelie has started a weekly English conversation meetup at our place!   Its been a wonderful way to get to know people beyond our little impasse* and to tie into the Mont Vert Les Bas community.

Bunny love at the smallholding

Sam's pony...

...and Ela's

* Oddly enough the French don't use the phrase "cul-de-sac" but rather "impasse" which makes me wonder why the hell we ended up using a French phrase that isn't used in French!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Reunionese parking

One of the things that I have noticed he Reunionese have a peculiar relationship with parking.  In addition that you will quite often come across people just stopped in the middle of the road having a chat with another car or pedestrian (even if there is a place to pull in immediately next to them the thought never seems to cross their minds!) the urge to park as close a possible to the final destination seems ingrained here to a degree that I've not seen in other places.  Whether that means on footpaths or across pedestrian crossings so be it, even if there is a car park just a few metres further away.

Cars parked on the footpath...
A couple of months ago on Bastille day I took a few photos of this phenomena in action.  On a narrow road with a footpath on one side the footpath was lined with cars, fair enough you might think, it was Bastille day after all...

...more cars on the footpath...
If it wasn't for the fact that there was an empty (and free) car park just 50m further up the road!
...and 50m further up the road (that's our car)

Two years!

Exactly two years ago we were in Lyon airport getting ready to board a flight to Reunion for the first time - my how time flies!