Monday, June 8, 2009

Saint Denis, Here I Come!

Exciting news, folks! I found out that I will be living/teaching in the capital city, Saint Denis! This is good, I think, as it will be perhaps the best place for someone like me who, shall we say, does not the have strongest French language skills. If there are any other Anglophone ex-pats, it is most likely that they will be snooping around somewhere in the capital. It will also give me the potential to do some activism/community organizing (shh!) and more importantly, it means that I have access to good nightlife, medical facilities, and the Universite de La Reunion if I am interested in auditing a class or connecting with a professor. The capital is known for its French culture (cafes line most corners) and its rich history of Creole peoples (of course the history of slavery and subjugation is glossed over with beautiful French colonial architecture and narratives that privilege the French, white, male colonial officers, - one of whom a school that I will be working at is named for - who bravely fought other colonizing powers, such as the British or the Portugese).

Unfortunately I did not get the 9 month contract that I had hoped for, but instead I got the 7 month contract. I will be teaching high-school students at two different locations. They are very close to one another; they are also both in east-central Saint Denis, and are very close to the ocean!

It is quite a relief to know exactly where I will be teaching next year! I can now start to think about living arrangements, plane tickets, and right, what I will be teaching exactly. Because I will be teaching at the high school level, I believe that my curriculum will be essentially given to me. However, I have some of my own ideas (some subversive teaching practices) that I would like to implement if possible.

In particular, I think it would be important for the students to read African-American literature; this would act as a way of both 1) teaching American culture - yes A-A culture is a part of "American culture" and 2) allowing students to find connections between the US and La Reunion - both of which are born out of a history of slavery, and particularly, slavery based in racism.

That is all for now.



  1. Yo man,

    I've been to Reunion twice, for surfing and chilling with friends from the island. They live mostly in Etang Sale les Bains. I'm from Cape Town in South Africa. Anyways, I'm teaching in Jeju Island in South Korea right now. Very similar to Reunion as it is a volcanic island and in the summer the weather is just like Reunion. I'd like to hear from you about how you got a job there, because in the near future I'd like to teach there too. Feel free to ask me questions about Reunion from a foreigners perspective if you have any.


  2. Andries -

    Thanks for your comment. I will definitely get in touch with you if I have any questions. I got the job through the French government - they regularly employ American (and also British and Australian) students to teach English in France and her overseas territories (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion and Corsica). It is called the English Assistantship Program. You should be able to find it through google. They may hire individuals from other countries as well, although I am not certain. Anyway, they pay you enough so that you can survive and have a little bit of spending money, and you only have to work for around 12 hours a week, so it is not ridiculous. Let me know if you have any more questions.


  3. Hello,

    my husband and i might be relocating to Reunion island. i am a california native, but we live in th south of france for now (longing to return to the US but that's on the side). i'm desperately searching for real and current accounts of life there other than the tourism bla-bla. we're moving there with our daughter who's only 8months old at the moment. so i am concerned since i've never made a visit there, but my husband has several times though years ago. so he's the one with the dream for island living. can we easily get adjusted, can i find work there other than as an english teacher, can i survive on english...handle everyday life as i did in the US, or at least close to it? where's the best part to live on this volcanic island? i have experience with seismic activity since i was born and raised on a california faultline but not so close to a volcano! Plus no experience with cyclone weather. would appreciate any insights, advice, and no sugar-coated replies. thanks!