Tomorrow, dear Friends, is the first day of my official Sabbatical Year…

I promised to Ingrid and Clélia they’d get a regular update…it’s always good to keep one’s promises, the fact being I have no idea how this will be feasible in other parts of the world I intend to visit (So far, the plan is Germany, California, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar but a few are lined up though not confirmed…).

But prior to getting into the future, let’s get into the recent past.

After 20 years of international consulting and teaching, I decided that it was high time I did what I love doing (more teaching and researching) in other parts of the world. This meant of course taking a good rest first!

I started with a very refreshing and sunny vacation on the French Atlantic Coast, a road trip with my crazy friend Laurence Guillaume, a very talented painter and photographer (and therapist and many other things, check her blog)

With her, we visited French Britanny and I discovered the fair city of Vannes.

then, after cruising along the Morbihan Archipelago to the Ponant Islands.

we spent a splendid time in Houat, a tiny island( 3.3 Km long and 1.5 Km large (click here for more info)., where all you can do is swimming, walking or cycling ( that is…if you really insist…walking is all you need, plus reading, eating and sleeping!!!)

The funniest is that on the end of the world Island, where the sky meets the sand and the sea… I still managed to bump into a group of Sephardic singers….the last place where I expected to find them please note this took place in the pretty village church and the boat above, a common feature along the Atlantic Coast for churches. Ok, there were more ethnomusicians than actual sephardic jews but come on, who cares?

After an even more relaxing and more social stay at Anita’son the slightly bigger and extremely lovely Island of Yeu, we went to La Rochelle, a beautiful city and harbour and some signs of its extremely good relations with its sister city of QuebecAnd now, here I am, typing this last pre-sabbatical note from my Geneva balcony

Tomorrow afternoon, I will fly to Berlin for the Sociolinguistics symposium 19 where our group of Sociolinguists on Facebook will be holding a mini-symposium on Indigenous languages in the city . It will include the following presentations:

Session 120

Samira, Margareita and Toni alas cannot come but their presentations will be made by Uri, Michael and myself.

Adding spices to this event, we have a headquarters apartment where we are planning to meet and network in a very friendly manner. Who said Facebook is a nuisance? Facebook is what you make of it and the idea is excellent! Think about it, we have gathered some 700 experts and are now holding our own session after several individual meetings between our members and our official participation as a group at WIPCE in Peru…

Following Berlin, I will be in LA giving a talk in a Southern California prison as well as participating to a panel on the Interdependence Day 2012 founded and chaired by Prof. Benjamin R. Barber. Our roundtable will take place on Saturday September 8th at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools on the topic of “Cultural Perspectives on Interdependence and the Arts”.

So, dear friends, there is a strong chance at at some stage my sabbatical wondering will take me near you. I would love to seize this once in a lifetime chance to meet you and initiate even more challenging projects.

Having kept my promises, I feel it’s high time to relax , maybe like yesterday with some friends with a very hospitable way to celebrate my farewell with style:

Until my next posting, here’s a ppt of some of my best memories of my Atlantic trip and some post-Atlantic fond memories. Thanks Laurence, Sylvie and JB, Anita, Edith, Jacques, Eric, Sylvain, Carole and cousin François…sans oublier Ingrid et Annick pour un festin princier dans un cadre incroyable.

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My love to all and see (some of) you tomorrow!