May 21, 2014

Don’t Leave Your Holidays Back Home: Memorial Day Activities In France

Memorial Day weekend:  That time of the year when people are busy enjoying great-weather picnics, adventure-filled camping trips, and lively family gatherings.  But really, that’s not what this American holiday is actually about.  Three-day weekend aside, Memorial Day (observed on the last Monday in May) was created to honor all of the men and women who have died fighting for our freedom and democracy while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  

Lorraine American Cemetery
photo courtesy of AODMA
From WWI and WWII, there are thousands of American soldiers buried in cemeteries throughout France. Celebrate Memorial Day in France by paying your respects at the following events.

The American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA) website lists all of the ceremonies taking place in France this year.  The American Battle Monuments Commission lists all of the Memorial Day events and also the ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  

Memorial Day Ceremonies

Saturday, May 24, 2014:
  • Memorial de l'Escadrille Lafayette at Marnes-la-Coquette :  11h00.
Sunday, May 25, 2014:
  1. American Legion Mausoleum - New Cemetery of Neuilly 10h00
  2. The American Church of Paris  - Annual Memorial Day Service  10h00
  3. Arc de Triomphe, Paris – American Legion & AOMDA 18h30

Ceremonies in American Military Cemeteries:
  1. Aisne-Marne, Belleau, (3,000 individuals buried)   – 9h45
  2. Epinal, (6,000 individuals buried)   – 15h00
  3. Lorraine, Saint Avold, (11,000 individuals buried)   – 11h00
  4. Meuse-Argonne, Romagne sur Montfaucon, (15,000 individuals buried)   - 11h00
  5. Normandy, Colleville sur Mer, (11,000 individuals buried)   – 10h30
  6. Oise-Aine, Seringes et Nesle, (6,000 individuals buried)  - 15h00
  7. Rhone, Draguignan, (1,000 individuals buried)   -  10h00
  8. Saint Mihiel, Thiaucourt, (4,000 individuals buried)   - 16h00
  9. Suresnes, (2,500 individuals buried)   - 14h30
  10. Somme, Bony, (2,000 individuals buried)  – 15h00)     

Monday, May 26, 2014:
  • Brittany American Cemetery, Saint James, (5,000 individuals buried)  – 15h00

photo courtesy of AODMA

D-Day Commemoration
June 6, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.  The following list of information about the ceremonies to commemorate this event.

  1. The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Normandy (info & events)
  2. The American Chamber of Commerce in France and The American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union are organizing the Freedom and SolidarityForum on June 4-5, 2014.
  3. Normandy American Cemetery, bi-national ceremony, June 6, 2014.
    • American wishing to attend the ceremony must email the US Embassy to register.

May 14, 2014

The Guarantees You Need to Rent an Apartment in Paris

When in the process of renting an apartment in Paris, and France in general, one of the main rules of thumb is to have patience. Another is to provide the proper guarantees to the landlord. France reserves additional rights for tenants, and so landlords are more stringent in this respect. Here is a breakdown of all the types of guarantees and documents that may be required:

1.     Proof of employment:
This usually requires copies of the tenant’s last three pay slips (fiches de paie). S/he will need to prove that his or her monthly income is at least 3 times the monthly rent, and s/he must also provide a copy of his or her employment contract to show that s/he is not employed in a temporary position or still on a trial basis (période d’essai).

2.     Guarantee from an employer:
Many of our clients are covered by a guarantee of rent payment from their employer (who often in this case also pays their rent). AND/OR:

May 7, 2014

WICE Members: Spotlight on Henrietta Richer

WICE presents its Up Close and Personal series to give you an insider view of the fascinating members and staff who make up this remarkable association.  This week's focus is on Henrietta Richer, longtime WICE member. 

Photo by Henrietta Richer

1)  Why did you move to Paris and what do you do  here?   

I moved to Paris in 1986, having completed my university degree, to be with my future husband. I taught English language, culture and translating for many years and free-lanced articles providing both the text and the photographs. Now that my daughters are grown up and financially we are more comfortable, I devote all my time to writing short fiction, photography and my blog. This past year I’ve been improving my photography thanks to WICE courses, with a view to selling my work in the future, probably on a print on demand site, although I’ve no idea which one to choose. 
Henrietta Richer
2)  How did you find out about WICE and why did you join?   

When I first lived in Paris I read FUSAC to look for jobs and saw the WICE ads. The first courses I took were with Jennifer Dick, who has since moved on, about developing creativity in our writing. I was on maternity leave at the time and it was such a pleasure to be me again and not only la maman de... Jennifer encouraged me to continue writing.  

 3)  Which WICE courses have you taken and what did you gain from them? 

I’ve taken lots of WICE courses over the years, many of the fiction courses, a meeting with a publisher during the Paris Writing Workshop, and more recently photography and art. WICE courses are always great value and I’ve never been disappointed by the instructors, quite the contrary. All the instructors I’ve had through WICE have helped me move forward creatively and along with working alongside other participants.