The morning started out by leaving the hotel in Paris with Ed and Matt (who very kindly helped me with my bags and let me ride to the train station with them in their taxi) and taking the 12:15pm TGV (high-speed train) to Bordeaux. The trip was beautiful--picturesque countryside dotted with little villages. I had an hour layover in Bordeaux, then caught the train (normal train) to St. Vincent de Tyrosse.
Unfortunately the message that I would be arriving at 6:15pm did not get passed along to the director (who was the one supposed to meet me at the train station), so when I arrived...no one was waiting for me. I waited about 20 minutes until the entire station and platform was empty, but no one shozed up. I was starting to get really nervous because I didn't have any telephone numbers (my phone didn't even work) or addresses--I had no idea where to go! I decided to ask the man at the desk in the train station for help, but he wasn't very helpful or friendly. Basically he said: "No, there isn't any free internet around here. No, there's no place to get minutes for your phone--it's Sunday, everything is closed." And then just stared at me, without offering any help. Greeeeat.
So I tried walking into town to find a person who could help me, but the town was empty because on Sunday all the businesses are closed and everyone is at home aith their families. I spotted a phone booth- unfortunately you had to have a phone card to use it. It was then that I started feeling totally awful (it was now 7:30pm). It probably didn't help that I hadn't slept much the night before and hadn't eaten much during the day...and that everything hurt from lugging my heavy bags around.
Just then, I spotted a large warehouse with a bunch of people inside! I made my way over and went inside, not sure even what I was going to ask them to do for me, as I had no names of people in Tyrosse (my only contact person lives in a different town). A lady came over and I tried to explain my situation, but ended up bursting into tears instead. At that point a few ladies came over to see what was wrong and I sorta explained a little of what was going on, but it wasn't very clear because I kept sobbing in the middle. Definitely an embarrassing experience for me. They got me a glass of water and said that I shouldn't worry, they would help me.
After I calmed down, I told them that I was there to work at the elementary school, they found a lady who knows the director (who was supposed to pick me up) and she took me and my bags in her car to his house. Boy, was he surprised to see me! He had no idea that I was arriving (turns out my contact person didn't check her email on the weekend, and she hadn't passed along the message...of course he doesn't check his email on the weekend either, so it wouldn't even have mattered!) and he quickly invited me to stay at his house.
I had a nice dinner with Bruno (the director) and Françoise (his wife), who were very apologetic for how my arrival had taken place. Of course, I assured them that it wasn't their fault! After dinner and a shower, I feel much better. Sleep will be good as well...