Reflections on community and connecting:
In the midst of all the tragedies and absurdities far and near, I’ve been blessed to help my son with a citizenship project he’s working on. In the past week, we’ve written to our French senator Roger Madec for information about protecting nature (for a smile, see the correct salutation to use at the end of the letter below…), taken an emergency First Aid course at the Town Hall, researched ways to help prepare and distribute food to the homeless, and attended a town meeting in our neighborhood. All this turned our feelings of sadness and frustration into gratitude for the many people helping other people.
To feel connected:
Free First Aid Trainings:
This past Saturday, 3500 Parisians attended sessions led by Red Cross volunteers in the local Mairies to learn how to save lives in the event of further terrorist attacks.(Ivan with Mr. Bernard Jomier, Deputy Mayor of Mme. Hidalgo, and Red Cross training team, photo by Lucas Surel)
Because it was so successful, the Samedi Qui Sauve will be held again. To learn how to protect yourself and save others: http://www.paris.fr/samediquisauve
For other Red Cross trainings: http://www.croix-rouge.fr/je-me-forme
Current Serve The City Paris missions and campaigns:
Local Town Hall meetings (conseils de quartier) are open to the public. You can find out about efforts to improve all aspects of local community life, including plans for city-wide composting to reduce the amount of garbage and associated pollution. Local reps record and respond to all questions and feedback. Information available on the local Mairie websites for all 20 arrondissements.
Now for the correct salutation to use when you write your French senator: “Avec mes respectueux hommages, je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur le Sénateur (Madame la Sénatrice), l’expression de ma considération distinguée.” (With my respectful hommage, I pray you to accredit, Mister or Madam Senator, the expression of my distinguished consideration). This French art form is endangered by the informal “Cordialement” (Cordially) we all now use in emails. There are entire websites devoted to the almost infinite variations required for different social and gender permutations. Enjoy it while it lasts!