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Louisiana :

The big departure (1993)

Morning school - Afternoon school - Plaquemines Parish - Articles written 1 & 2
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Hi, Man !

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

For 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" !


15 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.

First 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 car, 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 !

Next surprise :

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...

Plaquemines Parish

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.

No 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 ).

Au 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)...

Next page : the school I taught every morning

My aunt, my godfather and me
in front of the Mississippi
and the center of New Orleans.

Page créée le 13 juin 1997 -  Mise à jour le 10 février 2007

©opyright 1997-2007 Pierre Gieling - tous droits réservés