During the summer of 2006 Rachel Hendry from Hartford spent seven weeks in Mornant gaining work experience. Afterwards she wrote to the committee...

Thank you for forwarding Alain Meyer's e-mail to me. I had such a happy seven weeks in Mornant, and it was so beneficial for my French. I was well received and looked after by the twinning association from the moment I landed there, with M. Meyer and M. Barberon there to meet me at the airport, a drinks reception within the first week, an evening meal at M. and Mme Meyer's house to give just a few examples.

The work that Alain Meyer had agreed to employ me for was really interesting, and gave me so many opportunities to improve my French. I spent the first three weeks at the Maison de Pays (during which it was the 'Patchwork' exhibition, organised by Mme. Bouziat), where I welcomed the visitors, oversaw the shop, and generally made sure that everything within the building was running as it should. It was a great experience, because the visitors came from all over France, and so it was really interesting to hear the different accents. There were also each day a number of volunteers who came to help with the exhibition. This meant that there was always someone to talk to, which was great practice for me. The four following weeks I spent working in the information point at the bottom of the tower on the main square. By this time I had a better understanding of what there was to do in the area, so I could answer questions, and give tourists an idea of what to do with their day. I also had a number of translations to do for the Tourist Office, which included documents on Mornant and the surrounding villages, but perhaps most importantly I translated and recorded the audio tour of Mornant!

M. Meyer had arranged for me to stay with Isabelle Gourinel, the directrice of the Tourist Office. This arrangement worked out really well, as not only was it beneficial for my French and her English, but I feel I have made a great friend who I'll be keeping in touch with. Isabelle went to great lengths to ensure that I really got to know Mornant and the region, and spent all her free time taking me to different places of interest, towns, regions and events. Just to give a few examples we went several times to Lyon, where we ate in a traditional 'Bouchon' and went to see the 'Orchestre National de Lyon', we went to the Jazz Festival in Vienne, a day in the Ardeche, a weekend in Bourgogne near to Cluny...I felt that I did much more in my seven weeks in Mornant than in my previous eight months in Lille! So as you can see, I have nothing but positive things to say about this experience, I'm so glad that I thought to write to Mornant in the first place, and so grateful to them for having organised everything so that I had such a good time there.

I hope that my report has given you a good overview of my Mornant experience, and I look forward to meeting you in the near future.

Best Wishes

Rachel Hendry

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