Our Fifth Week Working In Camping Le Moulin In Chef-Boutonne

This week, my first reading session with Dhiaa on Monday ended up being a science experiment morning using only two kitchen/cleaning products; bicarbonate of soda and alcohol vinegar! After working out how to blow balloons with empty water bottles and our two key products, the penultimate experiment was building rockets! Later on down the week I did come back on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and ended up reading with Btoul and Nour too. Their dad, Ibrahim told me Dhiaa’s reading had improved since I'd been working with him. I felt quite chuffed considering I've only been helping Dhiaa and the girls for a couple of weeks now.

Btoul's very happy with her balloon!

Nour is doing her rocket with the help of Valérie, one of the volunteers who've come with her daughter, Joséphine to do the experiments.

Joséphine prepare the launch of the first rocket! How exciting!

Ready with the lid on, and here's the video...

As I was leaving on Sunday, Ibrahim and I ended up talking a little about the situation in Syria. Ibrahim and his wife, Maali left their own dentist practice, their two flats and their 50 hectares of land with Ibrahim's mum and dad and his siblings. Kidnappings, explosions, being listened to or being put in prison were common events. They had no other choice, but to leave, in the hope to make their future better for their five children. Ibrahim told me that it will take years, generations even before Syria come back to normal and become a democracy. 

Last week, I mentioned that we’re now working alongside Nigel for the whole season. It means that he’s now looking after the campsite ground area whilst we’re now focusing our efforts on maintaining the grounds of the mobile homes area. We’d neglected that side a little bit to concentrate on making the camping grounds all neat, but it is now time for the other side to be looked after.

One of the first pitch to weed, BEFORE.

We’ve been working hard weeding, clearing edges, strimming and cutting the grass around each of the empty mobile homes. Grounds maintenance comes at a charge so most of the owners do their own ground whilst they’re there unless specified otherwise. The work can vary a lot from one unit to the other as some people only stay two weeks in the year and others will visit from four to six months.

It is nice as we’ve been able to know more of the owners who are there long term or even permanently such as Will and Jill. We get invited in for “a cuppa” a lot which is lovely, but we may have to put a stop on it from time to time as we may not be able to do any work! And following from last week, Pat and Roger did bring us back some porridge and digestives! Two big bags of porridge and three packs of digestives – we’re in heaven, we are very happy indeed.

One of the hardest pitches, BEFORE.

A close-up on the back patio.

And AFTER we worked our magic!

The paved stones can now be seen!
I did end up helping out in the restaurant at the last minute on Saturday. A big party was in and they needed some support in the kitchen. Unfortunately for us, I’d been looking forward to put my feet up and having a nice meal with Jamie after a long working day. Both of us had our pyjamas on already! Luckily they didn’t need both of us so Jamie stayed in and prepared our meal. Jamie even waited for me to come back to have our dinner together. Although I was ok at first, I started lagging after an hour. When Sarah and Alex realised I hadn’t eaten yet, they told me to go as the last table had been served their deserts. I was back in the van by 9.30pm.

One bad pitch, BEFORE.

And its very pad patio!


It may be sad, but we feel quite proud...
We’ll definitely have a different routine during the high season. We’ll have to start working and eating much earlier during the day to be refuelled and help out later on in the restaurant! For the moment though those days still seem far off as it has been a very quiet week in the campsite. The only few campers who visited the site all left very quickly due to the bad weather – grey clouds and rain for the most part.

This Sunday we didn’t go for a ride, we decided to take it easy. After a short walk to the local car boot sale in Lussais, I baked some brownies! What a nice heart warming activity to end the week? I might make some bread or shortbreads next week.

Yummy tin of brownies!