French Country

My life in France is not what I expected.

Refugee Update

16 Comments


So he’s going to build a wall and Mexico’s going to pay for it. Okay Don, good luck with that.

I had been meaning to write about this whole refugee thing. I had been working it over in my mind, trying to get from a long, rambling reflection on the whole issue to something that would be interesting to someone other than me. But it’s pretty hard to think about it right now.

So I’ll save you from my memories of a visit to Turkey where I came into contact with a refugee or two and with people who were trying to house their relatives who happened to be Syrian and were finding their houses full to bursting. Well, for the moment: you may hear about it later.

Right now it’s my own friends and family who are looking for asylum. I may well need that apartment for people I have known for years. I understand the Canadian immigration web site crashed last night. Interesting times.

So, refugees in France. You are steered to France Terre d’Asile, a private group that gets government funding. Those guys are keeping a close watch on their refugees, not wanting them to escape into the wild. I think that’s how they see my apartment, which I think is why they have not responded to my offers of housing here at the house. In Paris the group is a little more organized. They have you fill in a questionnaire that is heavy on inquiries about how willing and capable you are of teaching French. Again, the focus is on keeping the refugees well enclosed within the bureaucratic system. That I could teach English, well, no, I think they see that as counterproductive.

Also, though you will see many photos and hear many stories about families, the overwhelming number of refugees are men in their twenties and thirties. I had been thinking they might want to filter out a family or a gay couple or somebody that really needed to get out of the camps. Either they are just overwhelmed or the needs of the bureaucracy are being placed before the needs of kids who really shouldn’t be sleeping in a tent under a Metro line. I don’t know. 

Anyway, there may well be refugees at my house, in the little attached apartment. My contractor has been after me to put in another apartment or three in the barn. I have been saying no but now I’m not sure. Let’s see what comes in the email.

Author: Bizzy

Really, the less you know the better.

16 thoughts on “Refugee Update

  1. Wow. You’re a saint. I was just going to donate stuff, but taking people in is fantastic.

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  2. Interesting times for all of us. I thought back in June that I’d woken up in an alternate universe, now I know I have.

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  3. Kudos to you, girl. The current climate makes me feel ill and your post was a real ray of hope in an otherwise dark day. Here in the village we set up a small association, and got in touch with the “Welcome” network run by the Jesuits. Our refugee arrived in October, and is housed by the members of the association in turn.

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    • Wow, good for you guys. I’m not sure I still have a place available, what with my US friends considering fleeing the sinking ship. I haven’t heard of any similar thing here.

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  4. The curse of bureaucracy….and the urban French view that the countryside is full of Le Pen voters…

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    • I don’t think it’s true of the French countryside because I read the election results. But the American countryside, seriously, Helen, it’s bad. Trump makes LePen look reasonable. Interesting that their supporters, and the Brexit supporters and all, are generally less well educated than, you know, our side. Well, it’s done now. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, it isn’t true….but the urban elite like to think so.
        I would not have voted for Trump…but I would have voted for Brexit. The way the EU is going worries me sick…the asset stripping in Greece, the pass the parcel with European banks…
        Unfortunately Britain does not have politician capable of combating the ills of the EU, let alone making a success of Brexit.

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        • I think the EU is out of control, not answerable to anyone. I do feel bad for Greece and the Greeks. On top of their paying for the bank bailout, they house so many of the refugees — with not nearly enough help from the EU or anyone else.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. We should all do our part. Actions speak louder than words. Asking oneself what can I do that will help is the first step …. the road is seldom straight or flat but at least one is on it. Well done you.

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    • So far all I have done is write a couple of letters and wring my hands. Now I’m going to look for those Jesuits who are actually getting people out of the camps.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great thought and one which I will also spread the word on. I intend to work with the homeless in Grenoble …. I don’t know if there is a refugee presence there but I will research. As I say – actions. And in life les petits pas are often the most constructive.

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  6. Lynn,

    We’re all in shell shock today. My poor niece was up til 5 AM, despite her having to get up at 7! Hope you are well.

    Fondly, John

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    • Yes, I’m okay. I have already resettled outside the US. There is no way to know how a guy who declared bankruptcy six times and ran a successful football league into the ground is going to manage a whole country. Maybe the way he ran Trump University? I just hope the existing checks and balances keep the country afloat. And I’m glad to be living elsewhere, three years closer to getting citizenship elsewhere.

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  7. Yes the apartment immediately crossed my mind. If Americans are stupid enough to elect trump I don’t want to be one.

    Erin

    >

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    • We didn’t elect him. The popular vote went to Clinton. The thing is, because of the Electoral College and the way Congress seats are distributed, the US is run by a minority of its citizens, those who live in rural areas. Those people are vastly over-represented. A lot of things need to change in the US. Eliminating the Electoral College and reapportioning Congress would be two good places to start.

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