are here : Chez Pierre >>
big departure (1993)
After two years in Belgium comes another opportunity
to move... The APEFE-CGRI sends French teachers to Louisiana.
Mrs. Eliane Levaque, Permanent Representative
of the French Community of Belgium in Louisiana, masterfully
supports this important Belgian staff, hired by the Codofil
( COuncil for the Development Of French In Louisiana ).
A Noter (offre d'emploi, Février
2007) : Eliane
me signale que les louisianais cherchent des enseignants
(jeunes et moins jeunes) avec diplôme équivalent
à un Bachelor degree plus CAP, ou agrégation,
ou diplôme FLE. Si ces pages concernant mon expérience
(très positive) vous donnent envie de vous lancer,
vous pouvez contacter de ma part Mme Eliane Levaque :
WALBRULA(arobase)aol.com ou Mme Terri Hammatt, la responsable
pour le recrutement des étrangers au département
de l'education : terri.hammatt(arobase)la.gov
the first time in my life, I put a foot in the US, during this stop-over in Atlanta
with my colleagues : we celebrate the successful way in through the immigration
with our first "Budweiser" !
days of training, 15 days of packing, and to Baton Rouge I fly !
Three days of various paperwork, then a secretary of our new
Parish ( territorial division in Louisiana ) comes to drive us to our new home.
weeks : stay or abandon ?
Marsha, the secretary, had for
instruction to have us sign the contracts, then "drop" us by the apartments
in Port Sulphur (north of Buras, look at the map ).
no electricity, no water, no phone... We were done, roasted, if Roland Giesbers
and his wife Ness ( teachers in N.O. ) had not been there to give us hospitality,
have the utilities connected and find a car !
The school where I'm supposed to teach doesn't want a
French teacher anymore !
Two other schools would eventually
accept me, if they have to ( yep, they do ! ). My own personal crusade begins,
to be accepted and recognized as a teacher, not the tourist they thought they
would have to endure.
It will work...
Actually the Mississippi Delta (the river,
50 to 100 yards of land on each side, and a road on the inhabited side), south
of New Orleans. I lived one year in Port Sulphur, then moved further south to
Buras. In the morning, I taught even further south (at "the end of the world",
about 100 miles from N.O.) in Boothville-Venice, and in the afternoon in Buras.
big event to relate here ( fortunately ! ) since we were not hit during my stay
by one of those big hurricanes which previously destroyed that area ( Camille
and Betsy ).
revoir Monsieur Pierre !
After 4 years in Louisiana, after
many rewards for the job done, you can imagine I didn't want to leave ! Neither
did my Principals, colleagues, friends... But there is a limit to our stay in
the U.S. with an exchange visa, and I had no choice but to pack again.
Not easy !
After all, Buras was "home" for a while...
I may go back one day, after at least 2 years out of the U.S. territory (to be
allowed a new visa)...
page : the school I taught every morning
aunt, my godfather and me
in front of the Mississippi
and the center of
Page créée le 13 juin 1997 - Mise
à jour le 10 février 2007
Pierre Gieling - tous droits réservés