The last two months have been such an epic whirlwind of endings and new beginnings that it is going to be hard to wrap-up in one little post. But here it goes…
The end of October marked the beginning of a trail of farewells to the beautiful city of Paris, starting with a fun-filled afternoon with Sahil’s friends and their families. We booked a little play cafe in in the 15th (Mamalou) where the kids were entertained with games, la marionnette (puppet show), face painting and dancing.
We really wanted to share a moment with the families of Sahil’s friends and show our gratitude as they are the ones who really helped us to integrate into the local community. These were the people who went out of their way to greet us in the morning at school, to ask how we were doing and showed tremendous patience when we tried to speak in French. On Sahil’s last day of school when I was thanking one of the Mums, she said, “I just did what I would want someone to do for me if I was in a new country.” We all, in our own way, are making an effort to stay in touch, with the hope that one day soon we will all catch-up again.
Sahil’s school farewell was just as emotional. We’re so grateful to his teachers who had given their all so he could learn and speak French confidently and seamlessly integrate into the French school system. For his farewell, his classmates offered a scrapbook where each child had created a painting for Sahil as a keepsake.
Early in November I wrapped-up my work and was so touched by the warmth and generosity of my dear colleagues – a group of people I had grown so close to in less than two years. These are the people who put up with my half-French / half-English emails so I could practice my French, and who helped me adjust to the new way of work.
Then came by far the most surprising of farewells. Our local baker, the florist and the checkout lady at our local Monoprix who called Sahil her petit monsieur (little sir) – all in disbelief that our time in Paris had come to an end so soon. And in some way, we shared the same disbelief with them. It felt like we had blinked and it was all over.
But what an incredible 18 months it has been for the three of us, filled with so many adventures, new experiences and unforgettable moments that we will cherish for years to come.
We arrived back in Melbourne mid-November, and while it was been wonderful to be reunited with family and friends, we all feel we’ve left a little part of our heart in Paris.
So what next? Well we’re in the process of settling back into Melburnian life but while our time in Paris has come to an end, there are still so many stories to share. So we’re hoping to keep the blog going a little longer in 2020, and from time to time, we’ll take you and ourselves back to Paris!
À Bientôt Paris mon amour!