There is something of a tradition in A Rocha of having a team “time out” in September or October. The idea is that everybody gets together, talks a little bit about what they’re doing and then has some sort of Bible study or Bible teaching. The idea is, as autumn deepens into winter, to stand back briefly from the ‘one-darn-thing-after-another’ situation which can dominate life, particularly in the warmer parts of the year.
So last Wednesday we went up to Courmettes for a couple of days. There’s a lot to be encouraged about: some new faces and a lot of new work being done inside the buildings. Mind you after decades of neglect and the need to meet strict standards for official accreditation there is always more to be done.
It was also a good time for our French. We sat through the three-hour discussion on eco-churches when we probably got most of what was said, and benefited from three good talks on the Bible and creation by a local pastor.
We have probably mentioned that Dominic, the cook at Courmettes, is distinctly superior and while we were there he was on top form. Chris was able to tell him in perfect honesty, that what we had that Wednesday evening was probably the best meal we’ve had in over two years in France. The fact that we had bought a couple of bottles of wine from our next-door neighbour (the Château D’Astros ) was definitely appreciated.
Thursday was a rather grey and saw the first of the winter hunting days. After the tragedy two years ago it was good to see that everybody seemed to be wearing fluorescent jackets. Apparently they managed to kill four wild boar. Some idea of why wild boar to need be shot is given in this video from a small town near us where they seem to be taking over the streets. Actually not far from Taradeau there was a serious accident recently when a driver swerved to avoid a boar in the middle of the road and hit an oncoming vehicle. The hazards of life in France!
And while the hunters were shooting away at the west end of the estate we were able to walk eastwards up onto the ridge high above Tourrettes- sur-Loup and look east to Nice and Italy. Up on the summit, not far below the cloud, we were both aware of a sensation that we haven’t felt for six months: we felt cold.