I have let my gîte for a few months to someone I have vaguely known for years, and the more I get to know her the more I like Odile.

She is a retired French teacher from the lycée, so, like my other retired French teacher friend, Yves, she seems to know half le Vigan as former pupils or their parents.

Odile is dynamic, colourful, left wing/eco (same doctor and pysio as me), and very generous.  She checks daily whether there is anything I need or that she can do for me.

In fact, her time is much taken up working with the handful of Afghan refugees in le Vigan. It turns out that Odile, who speaks Farsi, is the only person in le Vigan who can communicate with these refugees!

How does she come to speak Farsi?  Well, as a teenager, inspired by a book she read on Afghanistan, she and a friend bought an old 2cv and drove it to Afghanistan, where she travelled, made friends and had adventures (at the same time that I was doing the same in Africa). On returing to Paris, she took a two-year course in Farsi, before moving on to more traditional university studies and a career as a teacher.

She is currently irritated with the behaviour of one of the refugees, who is not pulling his weight and helping to decorate his apartment.  And I think she finds the tensions amongst the group of volunteers working with the refugees (there are also Syrians and Africans, mainly Sudanese) irritating.

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