Our Family’s (2nd) Year in the South of France
Kids and Castles - Our year with kids in the South of France

Culture Shock: Swimming Pool

Requests for parent volunteers are not common in French schools. We are enjoying the break from school commitments, but it does mean we don’t know much about what is going on at school. So when Z came home with a note asking for parents to chaperone her weekly swim class, JM signed up.

It turned out to be a pretty big commitment. First was a required class where the parents were taught how to be good teaching assistants in the pool, then to the swimming pool for the  practical skills test.

After some difficulty finding the pool, JM changed into his bathing suit and headed out to take his test. There was no “please shower before entering the pool” sign, since everyone is automatically doused when they walked through the door from the change room to the pool. As JM was recovering from his surprise shower, the lifeguard hurried up to him in a state of clear agitation. For this one time only they would overlook it, but JM was not allowed to wear THAT in the pool.

“THAT” was a typical pair of navy swim trunks – typical in North America that is. This big suit was simply not allowed in the pool in France. Men here are required to wear speedo-style swim wear.

JM modeling the “banned” swimsuit

Off to buy some more “appropriate” swimwear so JM can chaperone the young children’s swim class.

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