Two months after the arrival of the “Convoy for Ukraine”, the refugees are well settled in the Var. The children are in school, some of the mothers have found work whilst others will be starting an intensive French course soon
We visit the refugees, half of them lodged in Bandol and the other half in Toulon, regularly to ensure they are doing well and have everything they need. Despite the hardships they have and continue to face, and the fact that they are separated from their families and husbands, their morale is excellent and they are taking full advantage of living in the Var, discovering the region during excursions organised for them.
The language barrier still makes conversations difficult and telephone translators are used often. But we manage to get by and make ourselves understood. All the moments spent together are happy. Seeing the smile of one of the mothers when their child takes us by the hand to walk down the street is always heart warming. Even after all the weeks of stress leading up to the arrival in an unknown country, their faces are now relaxed and smiling.
For example, last weekend a small group came to visit the boat “Merci” in the port of Toulon. After a while spent chatting on deck, we decided to prolong the moment with a good ice cream taken on the port and to leave for an improvised evening picnic at the beach of La Mître.
It was touching when the tired little ones climbed up onto our shoulders to ride home.