Danielle and I were very pleased with the number of people who came on Thursday. It was a great success to celebrate the inauguration of our association. I personally found the reunion to be very exciting because it was fun to meet new people and to be together. It was welcoming and warm thanks to the wonderful coffee and croissants Danielle and her mom (who is visiting from New Jersey, thank you too) prepared for us in her cozy house. I loved it that people from all different circles came too. We are not a closed group and I would like to mention here that we accept all religions, cultures, and political views. We want this association to promote tolerance, respect, and happiness.
I loved the contributions and ideas that we came up with for future « cafés » and workshops. I believe we are going to become a wonderful group. Let’s share with more people and especially reach out to moms with small children and babies who don’t get out that much. They sometimes need a little push. I think all moms out there know what I mean.
Today I will just go over quickly what was said and then over the week-end or Monday night at the latest, I will write another article with a tentative schedule of events and hopefully the date and place for our next café. Tuesday is October 1st already! Wow, September just whizzed by for me, I was so busy. I’m sure you were too. Perhaps we should try to slow down in October and take care of our health. That’s what I plan to do. Hey, how about a café with a « naturopath » and talk about natural remedies and organic food? Sorry, I can’t help coming up with ideas… By the way, this association is open to new ideas and projects. Please contribute!!! Those who have paid a membership fee already will be invited to our first « Assemblée Générale ». It’s part of being an association. We need to vote certain rules and things. If you can’t come, somebody can vote for you. It sounds more official than it is. Don’t worry!
Thursday september 26 debriefing
_ What is the family cafe project? A moment to sit with some coffee, tea and pastries and to chat, to meet people, to network, to learn, to share, to help, to laugh, to make friends, to chase the winter blues, to celebrate the sunny days, and more… just like in a real café, except that children and babies are invited (we’ll have a space near us for them to play in) so that their moms can feel relaxed and get out of the house. Apart from the « café » meetings, we will advertise for ateliers with the people who come talk to the cafés. These ateliers will be paid to the organizer/speaker directly.
_ When will they occur ? Until the new year, the cafés will occur at least once a month, depending on the demand. Maybe more than once a month if there is a high demand. For the ateliers, see with the organizers directly.
_ Where will they occur ? Volunteer homes, existing cafés/salon de thé/restaurants (we will try to get sponsors), and municipal spaces.
_ Membership fee to cover administrative costs (20€), fee for one café (5€), fee for a « forfait » of 5 (20€, get one free!), atelier fees are apart from the association, depending on the workshop (atelier), organizer (intervenant), etc…
Ideas for cafés and ateliers :
_ Intercultural café : The French versus the Anglosaxons, what we need to know about each other, what we love and hate, social behavior, do’s and dont’s…French language questions, etc… Perhaps in October ? (October doesn’t have many days because of Toussaint vacation in 3 weeks! Some of us are leaving the area.)
_ Children’s meals, food hygiene, whatever we are interested in concerning nutrition and diet with Charlotte Debeugny , www.nutritioninparis.com, Tuesday November 5 or Friday November 8. Prepare your questions!
_Doing homework with children, mind mapping, etc.. La Fabrique à Bonheurs : Faire les devoirs avec les enfants, mindmapping, pédagogie positive. I did two workshops with these wonderful people. I definitely need to share this with you and promise to get them out here. In the mean time, check out their website! By the way, I’m mind mapping for everything now and don’t feel stressed out when I have a million things to do and remember. I just make myself a mind map!
_ Stop complaining in 21 days! J’arrête de Râler en 21 jours I stop complaining in 21 days! Funny title and idea, isn’t it! Well, I think Christine Lewicki started a movement towards changing French society! Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I am French (as well as American) and I admit having been a real complainer. I also admit having a whole library of self-help books and how to be happier books, etc… The French are big consumers of anti-depressants and these kind of books. Well, this workshop made me to work at it instead of just contemplate all the things that I complain about. I’m not completely there yet, but I do complain much less. It feels good for me and my friends and family.
_ Organizing your home with Robynne Pendaries, a professional home and office organizer and stager. We need a volunteer home for January ! She will do a demontration for us. Do you have too much clutter in your closets? or office ? can’t find anything ? missing space for stuff ? Need to move ? office cleaning and organizing ? Robynne is a fairy. She’ll transform your home and make your life easier.
_ English conversation groups. Conversation de langue anglaise. With Agnès and Danielle. This will be an atelier, not really for beginners. We will help you build vocabulary and practice grammar with interesting topics.
_ Parenting. Faber and Mazlish café and workshops. They have been around for a long time and now can be done in French here in the Yvelines.
_ Non-violent communication ateliers.
_ House decorating, Feng Shui… with Lara Stancich. She did magic with my office, helped me design country house kitchen and always has great ideas. I love her logo: Creating spaces to live, work and breathe.
And more ideas will spring up I’m sure. You are all invited to contribute. Let’s use this association to share what we love and are passionate about. One participant offered to share her knowledge about organic food. I love that subject too! Perhaps we can meet at one of favorite places in Orgeval, the restaurant Biotiful Lunch. It’s next to the organic supermarket Naturéo.
Other events :
_ Christmas craft fair at Agnès’s home…
_ Friday night outing for couples to the New York Comedy night at So Gymnase. Join us for a hilarious stand up comedy with Sebastian Marx on American expats in Paris. He presents French and American culture through his comedy show. Just but a drink, no entrance fee.
_ Wine tastings in Orgeval, family picnics, etc…
I hope I didn’t forget anything. Et pour les personnes qui ont un peu de mal avec l’anglais, n’hésitez pas à me le dire. Moi et Danielle sommes aussi des traductrices et ce n’est pas un problème. Le prochain article sera en français pour vous.
One last thing, we will try not to do anything over week-ends because it is family time. Danielle and I make it a priority to be with our husbands and children. We have so many activities with them too. It’s a family project!
Have a wonderful week-end and thank you again for being part of this « adventure »!