As I type this post, it’s the fourth (or maybe fifth) draft of what I consider a re-introduction to this blog. I’ve written, then rewritten, (and then rewrote again two and a half times) searching for the best way to explain my absence. However, as much as my conscience was telling me that I owed readers (however many of you are left) and the overlords of the internet an explanation, I realized that in reality, I don’t. And even if I did, the word count on this post would be enough of a deterrent for all five of you remaining readers to close the tab.

I’ll make it simple: hello internet, I’ve returned. Bare with me through the vicissitudes of life as I try to regain some consistency and commitment to this blog.

This post also serves to preface what I’ll be writing for the foreseeable future. Last April, I was accepted as an English-language Teaching Assistant for the Assistant de Langue programme (you may know it as the Teaching Assistant Program in France or TAPIF). Therefore when last I posted, I was in the throes of preparing to move to France whilst also trying to graduate. Then from mid-September 2021 until mid-May 2022 I was freezing my ass off in Normandy and living my best French life. Based on that experience – and those to come because I’m renewing my contract – I’ve decided to write my own TAPIF guide.

My enthusiasm and expectations of TAPIF prior to becoming an assistant were largely coloured by the blogs and guides of previous assistants. While they were very useful as I prepared for my own journey, and I still look to some of them for guidance, I have to point out that these blogs are a little dated (the most recent being from 2016 and the oldest being from the early 2000s) and they were written by assistants from the US, UK and New Zealand. I want to showcase the experience of a Caribbean person on the programme and moving to a place as different as France. Something that I hope past and future Caribbean assistants can see themselves in, without purporting to be the voice of an entire region. While I plan to link my favourite and most helpful blogs, I hope to add something new to the discussion based on my experiences and hopefully the experiences of other Jamaican and Caribbean assistants.

So this new series has inspired my return to blogging and hopefully will provide enough motivation to keep me (relatively) consistent. I look forward to sharing my journey with you.