Community Service in the French Riviera

Bonjour!

Living in Antibes has probably been the greatest experience of my life. With just a little over a month left, I am really trying to do everything I haven’t been able to. With trips to London, Rome, and Barcelona at times it becomes difficult to juggle so many things at once. After all, I still have school to take care of.

As the first winner of the Beall Scholarship, I have embarked in an unforgettable journey. Not all has been fun and games here. While some might describe the French Riviera as paradise, even in paradise there are those who are less fortunate. For two months now I have been working with the Red Cross located in Antibes. The first month, I would join them Tuesdays and Thursdays for about 3 hours. Unfortunately, there was a schedule change and I can only attend on Thursdays.

It has been life changing to be able to touch the lives of those that need it. My duties vary from week to week. There are many things they do at the Red Cross, from counseling to a laundry service. I work in the food distribution. There is a small bodega, full of everyday essentials such as pasta, rice, cheese, bread etc. The beneficiary, who has already been registered in the system is given things that they might need. Whatever they receive depends on their living status, their family size etc. At times I simply greet the people entering, offer coffee and maybe some brioche. Other times, I work on the registration of goods available and what is being given out.

It is truly inspirational to see the work others put into making this program work. The first Saturday of the month, we go out to local markets and stores asking for donations. They are very generous most of the time. Soon, we will also be going around Antibes providing the SDF, or homeless with blankets and coffee. I am very excited about it.

I encourage anyone going abroad to take part in community service. It is truly amazing. Also, no one speaks English so I am forced to practice my French. I can say, I have gotten fairly better thanks to them. I will truly miss working here, it has only made my time in France more enjoyable.

Au Revoir ❤

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